NTS Tips and Tricks

How To Effectively Use Room Dividers

Whether you reside in a tiny apartment or a compact house, room dividers are a great way to maximise both space and functionality, especially by demarcating spaces. We’ve compiled a few ways our featured projects have used room dividers, along with the different types of partitions they’ve employed.

1. Room dividers to separate the entrance from the main living area

One of the most significant advantages of room dividers in small homes is their ability to create distinct zones within a limited space, especially in an open-plan layout. By not allowing the entrance to open directly into the apartment, a sense of intrigue is kept, as well as the amplifying effect a small hallway has on a larger living space.

In 7B, Hong Kong design studio WonderWonder placed a curved cabinet in front of the entrance, creating a physical divide and an immediate visual separation from the outside world. The curved divider also has an arched niche, allowing guests a sneak peek into the main living area and natural light to enter the entrance hall.

2. Enhance the aesthetic of the room with a customised divider

Room dividers don’t have to be merely functional; they can also contribute to the aesthetics of the space. With such a variety of different dividers, who’s to say you can’t customise them to complement the overall décor of the home?

Hobbyist ceramicist Katarzyna thought so as well when she requested a custom structure from her sister and brother-in-law architect team redesigning her small home. A black metal and wooden openwork structure delineates Koka Studio’s entrance in Poland, heavily inspired by Alexander Calder’s whimsical hanging mobiles she loved and wanted as part of her apartment.

3. Install glass panels to allow natural light to flow through

Installing glass panels is an easy way to allow light to stream through while keeping the partition intact. Parisian architect Taïna Pichon strategically integrated glass panels in a wall separating the bedroom and main living space, ensuring Renovation D’un Appartement A Jourdain had an uninterrupted flow of natural light throughout. For more privacy between the living room and sleeping area, roller blinds were also installed.

4. Conceal different parts of the living space

Room dividers can be strategically placed to slide over different areas of your small home, turning a multifunctional, open-plan layout into separate zones when needed. Boneca in Sydney is a great example of this, where architect Brad Swartz installed a playful wooden slatted sliding screen that reveals the kitchen and hides the bedroom when slid one way, and vice versa. The room partition is an effective way to hide away unwanted clutter in the kitchen or any private spaces when guests are over.

5. Create privacy and personal space

Curtains offer the privacy residents need without the need for permanent walls while providing acoustic dampening and visual softness to the interior. Nicholas Gurney purposefully designed a theatrical gold curtain in the Warren to separate the art studio/guest room from the main living area, easily tucked away in a storage pod when not needed.

Room dividers are invaluable in small homes, offering a practical and aesthetically pleasing way to zone and demarcate spaces. Their ability to create functional zones, provide privacy, enhance aesthetics, and adapt to changing needs make them an essential tool for making the most of small living spaces.

For more useful tips and tricks, read How To Create Zones In Your Small Living Room.