Design Inspo

Room Divider Ideas To Create Separate Spaces

You can have “more space” at home with the clever placement of room dividers that change with your needs. Let’s find the style that’s right for you.

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Need a little space lately? You’re not alone. Home designers are hearing more requests for flexible living spaces within open floor plans than ever before. The open concept is here to stay, and that’s okay because these room divider ideas are here to help.

Our guide will help you create the adaptive spaces you need to live your best life at home. 

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Moving Dividers for Multi-Use Spaces

The open floor plan concept rose to popularity in the 1950s with the ranch style and split-level home; it soon became the standard in homebuilding. The great room worked well with the changing nature of family life at the time, particularly smaller-sized families who worked away from home.

Family life is changing again for some of us, and we need to adapt traditional ideas for separating space to accommodate that. It’s time to upgrade the hastily erected lockdown-era room dividers for better solutions that beautify our spaces. 

Sliding Doors

The tatami room, or washitsu, in Japanese culture, was traditionally a multi-purpose room. The tatami room was meant to adapt quickly to a family’s needs and create a separate space (without being too detached) through the use of sliding doors. 

Your door doesn’t have to be rustic or even made of wood. Shoji screens are a popular substitution because they allow light to filter in and create a warm glow. The beloved barn door track system is another way many families are tapping into this concept of versatility. 

Glass Panels for Visibility 

Hanging glass partitions gives the same light filtering barrier as the shoji screen. Glass can be crystal clear or frosted to assign different areas of the home a greater sense of purpose.

Placing these partitions on an overhead sliding track allows you to change which parts of the room are segmented for your family’s needs. The kids will still be within sight as they do homework, but they won’t be distracted by the TV in the next room. 

Pocket Doors

The demand for this modular room division is so high that home builders now give buyers optional pocket doors to close off living areas. 

If your home doesn't have pocket doors, you could still install them if the doorframe is wide enough and the wall isn’t housing wiring or plumbing. There is a level of noise reduction to these doors that allows the kids to have a dedicated play area while you get some work done. You could also turn them into glass doors for even more visibility.

Accordion Partitions

Much like the pocket door, accordion room partitions are growing in popularity to separate living areas. With a track system installed, they can span the length of a room, each door folding down to the size of one standard door against the wall.

You can even run one across the top of your kitchen island in a fluted woodwork design that blends with contemporary kitchen cabinetry. At last — you have that intimate dining experience you crave (without hiring a contractor). 

How To Add Privacy to Your Home

Your bedroom area is one of those places where you may want a fully opaque barrier, as small space and studio apartment dwellers understand all too well. The issue here isn’t noise reduction or using a space to redirect focus; it is simply privacy. 


Curtains can provide seclusion for the bedroom or workout area without needing to change the fundamental layout of the home.

Keep the following things in mind so that these additions look intentional:

  • If you have windows in the room, match the curtain fabric and hang your dividers at the same height as window treatments. Let your fabric panels be generous; they should pleat and pool at the floor like luxurious custom window treatments, even when closed. 
  • In loft-like spaces, hang your curtains high to avoid disrupting the sense of vertical space and obscuring the charm of a vaulted ceiling. 

Folding Screens

Families have been relying on folding screens since they were created in China during the second century B.C. Fun fact: Coco Chanel is said to have had more than a dozen Coromandel Chinese screens throughout her home — and you simply cannot argue with Coco Chanel’s design taste! 

You can also use screens as an artistic way to separate your dining room from the hectic activity in the living room or give visitors a sense of privacy when they sleep on the foldout. When these screens aren’t being used for privacy, they can stand in as art along a wall. 

For a Hollywood-style dressing area, a simple folding screen is just big enough to give a little privacy to a corner of the bedroom while creating height and a decorative focal point. 

Smaller Spaces for Peace of Mind

Some homeowners prefer spaces broken up into smaller areas because it makes them feel calmer and more secure. In this case, a room divider lends a nest-like quality to either side of the space, and you can have this feeling of escape without complete division.

The Green Pony Wall

If you already have a pony wall that isn’t quite high enough for your tastes, set a couple of planters on top to create a divider of greenery. 

Snake plants make a tall “wall” and require very little natural light or care. Let the house plants work their mental health magic while they provide a restful retreat. Hang a few plants from boho macrame planters to complete the partition wall from floor to ceiling. 

Graphic Wood Slats 

Floor-to-ceiling wood slats create striking vertical lines that give a mid-century mood feel to the decor while making a soft barrier between spaces. You can still communicate between rooms, but there is a feeling of seclusion, which may be all you need to relax in the evening. 

Furniture as Dividers

Chances are you already have some furniture in your home that you can rearrange or repurpose to break space into cozier zones. 

Display your book collection instead with a couple of freestanding bookshelves strategically placed to split up an uncomfortably large living area. Bookcases are a natural way to define a quiet reading nook

Make open shelving practical by installing floating, wall-mounted wine racks as wall dividers. These can stand around 41 x 122” and hold around 200 bottles of wine — a win for anyone who also loves to entertain and throw dinner parties. 

Room Dividers With Storage

The above options require no tools, but we have a few suggestions for people who crave a weekend project. If you don’t mind a DIY project and could use some extra storage, the woodworking project below will give your home a custom feel while separating living zones. 

Hidden Storage Wall

If you were considering building a half-wall or partition in a space, why not transform a bland wall into a hidden storage space that seamlessly divides your room?

Experiment with placement using Spoak’s interior design visualization tool for multiple mockups you can discuss with a contractor or handy friend. Though your wall may have a bigger footprint, your storage wall can give the illusion of creating space simply because it allows you to better clean up your existing space by hiding the clutter of daily life. Die-hard minimalists, this is the room makeover for you. 

Create a Workspace

Setting aside workspace has been the biggest recent challenge in interior design. Are you working from home permanently? You aren’t alone.

As soon as lockdowns began, searches for terms like home office and desk reached epic proportions. If you are trying to carve out space for a home office in your open floor plan, you can use any of the previous ideas; however, noise reduction will still be challenging. Acoustic and roll-out panels may just do the trick. 

Acoustic Panels

Innovations in modular home office acoustics have led to beautiful acoustic panels that can look like fluted wooden walls or large-scale paintings while absorbing ambient sounds. Pair either with a folding screen of the same material for a beautiful take on a cubicle. 

Roll-Out Panels

Creative roll-out acoustic room dividers have the look of an art deco Tambour screen. Pair one with an acoustic panel that you decorate with your own art for an office space that is Zoom call ready. 

Now Make Your Space Work for You

Large room layouts call for clever decorating ideas to define areas at home and make the most of your open space. Extra time at home means we need more from our home decor, and these are some of the best room dividers to give you plenty of places to work, gather, play, and rest at home. 

Photo Credit: (Left) Domino


Tatami Room: The Heart Of Japanese Contemporary Home | Savvy Tokyo

After Years of Open-Plan Living, How Has Covid Affected Floor Layouts? | Barron's

Coco Chanel loved coromandel screens | Style

Room dividers — and all their old-Hollywood charm | The Frederick News Post

The Mental Health Benefits of Living in a Small Space | Very Well Mind

What science tells us about the mood-boosting effects of indoor plants | Washington Post

Flexible spaces: how the lockdown will affect the design of our future homes | Evening Standard

Open Floor Plan: History, Pros and Cons | The Spruce

Join Spoak for new ideas and skills for making your spaces work for you.

Date Posted
February 2, 2023



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