​Separate space stylishly with our room divider ideas

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
The Bromptons: Chelsea Roselind Wilson Design Classic style living room
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Open-plan layouts are certainly the norm in modern times, with everything from kitchens and dining rooms to bedrooms and bathrooms sharing seamless designs for more spacious living. However, there are certain rooms that just beg to be divided up. It might be because of a need for privacy, better space management, or simply due to decorative purposes. Your house, your call. 

Of course we are not suggesting that everyone has the space (and budget) to install a new wall whenever required, which means it’s up to plan B: inserting a well-placed divider to turn one open space into two adjoining-yet-separate areas. 

Doing this the correct way can ensure extra space for relaxing, working, eating, sleeping and even socialising without laying so much as a brick.

Let’s see some clever room divider ideas to help you separate space the stylish way…

A kitchen island

MR & MRS BLANK'S KITCHEN Diane Berry Kitchens Modern kitchen
Diane Berry Kitchens


Diane Berry Kitchens

We love stylish elements that are also practical, and nothing comes close to a kitchen island. Expertly designed to help with kitchen storage and food-prepping areas, few people seem to remember that kitchen islands are also perfect when it comes to room divider ideas.

After all, what better way to announce to your guests where the kitchen ends and the dining room / living room starts?

Divided by (glass) doors

​Studio Flat Room Divider Sliding Doors by Bravo London. Bravo London Ltd Modern walls & floors Glass Green
Bravo London Ltd

​Studio Flat Room Divider Sliding Doors by Bravo London.

Bravo London Ltd

With the right professionals, open space can be separated in a jiffy via elegant full-glass sliding doors. They’re slim, light and completely opaque (depending on which design you choose), meaning they’re ideal for separating, say, the living room from the bedroom.

Open-shelving room divider

BOON - Cube Storage Units Regalraum UK Modern study/office White
Regalraum UK

BOON—Cube Storage Units

Regalraum UK

Seeing as open shelves and bookcases are available in a multitude of sizes, styles and designs, it’s not impossible finding the perfect model for your open space. Aside from functioning perfectly as room partitions, these beauties add potential for storage and displaying, and are accessible from both sides.

A built-in aquarium

Contemporary Family Home Aquarium Architecture Modern dining room
Aquarium Architecture

Contemporary Family Home

Aquarium Architecture

Want to make a style statement while also separating a room? A fish tank is definitely one way of accomplishing this. Creating the illusion of more space via its glass surfaces, this design is sure to get your guests talking as well! And let’s not forget the additional colours, textures, patterns and lighting that it can add to your interiors.

A stunning sideboard

ES Sideboard Credenza AFID Design Living roomCupboards & sideboards
AFID Design

ES Sideboard Credenza

AFID Design

Sideboards and credenzas are usually placed against walls, but what if you can turn them sideways to split a room in half? Of course this is feasible, and is a clever way of separating dining spaces from living rooms while still keeping your plates, napkins and cutlery stored away.

Oversized headboard

Bedroom, bed, headboard and bedsides muto BedroomBeds & headboards

Bedroom, bed, headboard and bedsides


Who says a bed’s headboard must be placed against a wall? An oversized design like this one can be ideal as a room divider, successfully separating the bedroom from the bathroom without taking up floor space.

Fabulous folding screens

The ancient Japanese had it right when they started thinking about room divider ideas. Folding screens have been used for centuries to separate rooms, and it doesn’t seem as if their time has run out. They take up very little space, have almost no visual weight, and since they are on casters they are very easy to move around.

Plus, they come available in various sizes, colours and designs, so you don’t need to introduce an Asian style into your home should you choose to opt for a folding screen.

Wallpaper that wows

Room divider ideas aren’t exclusive to structural elements placed in a room’s centre. Simple wallpaper can also be used in an open-plan layout, effectively signalling the “end” of one room (like the lounge) and the start of another (such as the dining room).

Using different floor coverings

Living Room and Dining Area Roselind Wilson Design Classic style living room
Roselind Wilson Design

Living Room and Dining Area

Roselind Wilson Design

Dividing up an open layout via different flooring remains one of the more popular methods, consider that this idea doesn’t rely on how big your space is. We love combining hardwood floors with patterned tiles, but another easy room divider idea is to simply lay down a nice rug, as can be seen in this example where the living room’s patterned/textured flooring is separated visually via the dining area’s wooden floors.

Sliding doors

Sliding Door A2studio Modern dining room

Sliding Door


Erect two slim walls (or just one, depending on the size of your room), add in a sliding door, et voilà: a once open-plan layout successfully split up into two separate rooms! And don’t forget that adding in a door also introduces new potential in terms of colours, patterns and textures.

Turning your furniture

Think about how you make different zones in an open-plan layout blend into one another: you move the furniture so that they make an open flow, effectively welcoming in a visitor. Well, how about doing it vice versa? 

Which way do your sofas and chairs face? Simply re-arranging your furniture so that each area’s pieces face away from the adjoining space (for example, moving the living area’s chairs so that they face the focal point, like the fireplace or TV wall, away from the adjoining kitchen) is also an easy way of distinguishing between different zones in an open-plan layout.

Walls with only doorframes

Open-plan living room with eclectic furnishings leading into kitchen Timothy James Interiors Eclectic style living room Wood Grey
Timothy James Interiors

Open-plan living room with eclectic furnishings leading into kitchen

Timothy James Interiors

Erecting a simple slim wall with no door (which, in effect, is nothing more than an open doorframe) might take a bit of effort and building, yet the end result will be what you require: a once open-plan space transformed into separate areas, like this kitchen/living area shows us.

Adding a fireplace

Reception / Living Room Jam Space Ltd Eclectic style living room
Jam Space Ltd

Reception / Living Room

Jam Space Ltd

It might not be as quick and easy as laying down a colourful rug, but when it comes to room divider ideas, this one is quite the eye-catching option! 

Fortunately, fireplaces are available in a multitude of sizes and designs. Therefore, you don’t need to first build a wall if you’re thinking of going with this option. 

Check out this super contemporary design above which makes use of slim, glass-walled fireplaces that still ensure a visual link between rooms, yet firmly announce where the one zone ends and the next beings.

And don’t forget that this option is also functional, ensuring decent heat while separating those rooms. 

Now, let’s go the other way with these Reasons to embrace open plan living.

What other ways can be used to successfully divide up an open-plan room?

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