Your surprisingly simple guide to installing partition walls

Amy Buxton Amy Buxton
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These days it seems like it's all open plan this and wide open spaces that but we know not everyone wants to follow the trend. Some of us like to keep a few degrees of separation between our living spaces and with that in mind, today we look at building partition walls.

Non-permanent and non-load bearing, these installations won't necessarily need to be built by a professional so if you are a keen amateur DIY enthusiast we think you'll be able to manage the whole process just fine. We've even included an idea for alternative dividing techniques that mean you won't need to mix any cement at all. Easy!

Why build one?

If you've followed interior design trends you will have seen open plan living really take off in the last few years and you may have even looked to embrace it yourself. If you have had enough of being able to see nearly every facet of your home from wherever you stand, however, you might be keen to reinstate a partition wall or two.

We love this room, put together by Helo Marques, and think it perfectly captures the spirit of having been open plan at one stage but now wanting a little more separation. The fun design that allows for a slither of visibility is something that would not be a quick weekend task though.

Draw up a plan

modern Bedroom by ARKITURA GmbH
ARKITURA GmbH

Schlafzimmer

ARKITURA GmbH

If you are set on adding a partition wall back into your home we recommend that you start with a logical mindset and get a really comprehensive plan together. It's no use simply dashing into the nearest DIY store, grabbing loads of materials and then wondering what you are actually going to do with them all.

Decide where you want to put it, what style you want and if it needs to offer any extra functionality on top of some privacy. These are all key questions that will affect your choices. Then you can try to allocate a budget and timescale to the project, too. 

Select your materials

 Household by MOVI ITALIA SRL
MOVI ITALIA SRL

Modo sccorrevole

MOVI ITALIA SRL

There are so many materials that work well for creating a partition wall so, if you are planning to complete the project yourself, try to select something that you are confident and comfortable working with, will give you the desired effect and will keep you within budget. We know this sounds a little unrealistic and as though we are suggesting you build it from unicorn horns but if you have planned the project carefully, this is doable!

Glass, brick and wood are all fantastic materials to use and benefit from being freely available. Make sure you research where the cheapest suppliers are too rather than getting overly keen and just throwing your budget out of the window.

Think about insulation

If you are adding a partition wall to a large space that includes your living room, do you need to consider giving it some insulating qualities? If you have taken the time to create a warm, cosy room you might benefit from adding some extra insulation to really drive down your heating costs.

If heat capturing isn't at the top of your priorities list but sound deadening is, how about adding some effective soundproofing materials to your partition wall? At least that way you could enjoy some quiet time even when everyone else is chatting in the adjoining room.

Know how you will decorate it

If you are adding a partition wall to your home, the chances are that you already have an idea of how you plan to decorate it and, if you are firm in your choices, you will have to factor them in when deciding how to construct your wall. 

For light décor, such as pictures, a super thin, lightweight wall will be fine but if you have grand plans to inset your television or even a woodburner, as seen here, you are going to need to build something far sturdier that can withstand the force of a lot of power tools.

Consider alternatives

modern Living room by Pickawood GmbH
Pickawood GmbH

Raumteiler aus höchster Qualität

Pickawood GmbH

If you're reading this and thinking that you do want some extra privacy but that a partition wall seems like a lot of work and money, there are lots of alternatives that you could try first.

Our favourite is to use a large bookcase to divide a room. Removable screens are another great option and both of these are super easy to remove if you miss your open plan vibe, not to mention a lot cheaper and easier to install. The choice is yours.

For more room dividing inspiration, take a look at this Ideabook: Divide And Conquer Without Walls. Clever furniture placement could be your new best friend!

Are you considering adding a partition wall to your home? What is your main motivating factor? We'd love to hear from you!
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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