Design Ideas to Separate Two Rooms

Updated April 17, 2017

Separating an open floor plan into different living areas can prove challenging. When seeking to break up an open floor plan, take your goals into consideration. Studio apartments may require sturdy barriers between cooking and sleeping areas, while large living rooms can be comfortably broken up by the addition of softer barriers, such as curtain panels. When dividing a shared bedroom, consider the needs of its occupants--younger children will require less privacy than college roommates. If you wish to make rooms feel aesthetically connected once they are divided, use common decorating elements or similar paint colours to create a sense of unity.


Curtain panels offer an easy, inexpensive way to divide rooms. Curtain panels also weigh little, which makes them simple to store or pull aside as needed. Be aware that while curtains create an instant visual separation between living areas, they offer limited privacy, as most curtains do not block sound. Use curtain panels to divide large rooms into smaller, cosier areas, or to conceal storage areas. Cheerful floor-length panels can help separate living rooms from kitchens. Bamboo bead curtains offer doorway coverage without restricting airflow. Living rooms may be elegantly separated from dining rooms by hanging a series of suspended curtain panels.


Folding screens can conveniently and elegantly separate rooms. Use these to conceal dressing areas within bedrooms, or to shelter a reading nook in your living room. Because screens are portable and modular, you can purchase several and use them to divide living areas as circumstances dictate. Antique screens work well with classic decorating schemes; however, almost any screen can be made attractive by covering its panels with appealing fabric or wallpaper. You can also use vintage doors to create eclectic free-standing room screens.


Shelving can act as an attractive room divider while simultaneously providing additional storage for your room. Open shelving adds decorative panache to open floor plans, while floor to ceiling cupboards provide a practical division for shared children's rooms. When using shelving to break up living rooms, consider using the additional display space to show off prized possessions such as china, books, glassware or antique vases.

Free-Standing Walls

To create a strong sense of privacy, consider installing a free-standing wall. While this can be expensive, a wall creates more privacy than other room-dividing methods. This option works especially well for shared bedrooms. If you are building a free-standing wall into your living room or dining room, consider including a fireplace, as this will make your new wall more visually dramatic as well as functional.

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About the Author

Emily Maggrett has been writing for more than eight years. Her fiction has appeared in "Jeopardy" and "Rivet" and her journalism has appeared in "The Cascadia Weekly" and "The Western Front." Maggrett holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from Western Washington University.