For the past several posts, I have been focusing on fixing the problem of too much wall space. However, what do you do when you have the opposite problem: not enough walls, period. In the case of dorms, apartments, and kids’ rooms, shared spaces are everywhere, causing design challenges and sometimes fighting roommates. If we all had the ability, of course we would be happy to just build a wall or a whole room to solve this problem, but for most this is not an option. So why not make the best of it, and turn this divisive issue into a unique design focal point. Solutions come in all different materials, price points, and installation times.
These interesting sliding panels are brought to you from the wonderful people at Ikea. Their kvartal system is perfect due to its versatile design and many panel options. The ability to move these semi-translucent dividers/curtains is perfect for spaces that are a tad small but still need the option of privacy. As with most Ikea products, there is some assembly required, but it’s still a lot easier than building a wall!
This nifty video shows another creative solution to a troublesome open floor plan. Its installation requires less time, money, and holes in your ceiling than the kvartal system. Simply buy some curtains or make your own. Careful to pick out a fabric that works with your decor rather than competing with it. It should look like a natural addition to your room, not like a glaring sign saying “warning! we’re hiding an unsightly mess behind here!”
Sometimes, apartments do contain structures meant to divide the space. However, the one above was an unsightly railing that worked more for safety rather than style. The above is from my own apartment’s loft, which also happens to be my roomie’s bedroom. While the loft is the largest bedroom in the apartment, it also lacks a full wall on one side which is exposed to the living room. After mulling over various possible answers to her decorating dilemma, my roommate, Jennie decided on this innovative trick. She cut strips of fabric the length of the railing and weaved them in and out of the metal rails creating an awesome basket-weave effect. She then did the same with ribbon to add a splash of color that ties it in with the pops of orange all around our apartment. This idea not only gives her more privacy in her room, but looks great–from both sides of the fence.
These are just a few ideas to solve the common issue of too many people, not enough walls. However, all of these are also useful in a studio apartment scenario where you would want to separate spaces due to functionality rather than privacy. Whatever your reason, remember that room dividers come in all forms. Got a cool stained glass window or mirror? Suspend it from the ceiling to separate a space. An avid reader? Use open backed bookshelves to divide your room. Big fan of burning some incense and just mellowing out? Beaded curtains are still a groovy way to solve a lack of walls or doors. Express yourself with room dividers, you and your roommates won’t regret it!