20 Clever Room Divider Ideas to Get the Most Out of Any Space

Genius would be an understatement.

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Stephen Kent Johnson

As someone whose old bedroom didn't have a door, I know firsthand how transformative a room divider can be—though I definitely would've liked some real privacy, the antique folding screen I literally picked up off the sidewalk at least created an illusion of it. Not to mention, partitions can also introduce texture, dimension, and color. Whether it's an illusion of privacy, decorative personality, small space solution, or strategic layout you're after, these room divider ideas will swoop in to save the space. From folding screens to ceiling-high bookcases and makeshift rooms, read on for 20 ingenious (and of course, stylish) room divider ideas and shopping tips.

room divider ideas for living room
Tamin Johnson
Animate an Empty Corner

Folding screens, especially antique ones, tend to boast intricate designs and textural elements. This means they function as sculptures and works of art, too. In this living room designed by , the room divider in the corner transforms the entire space, infusing it with personality.

Check out for one-of-a-kind vintage finds, and shop our room divider pick below:

Vintage Hand-Wrought Faces Folding Screen, $725

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folding screen ideas
Arent & Pyke
Allow It to Set a Scene

In this space designed by , an average corner is elevated to art gallery status, thanks to the dreamy room divider with a silver-brushed ground and painted weeping willows. Even the angle is well thought out: the bends in the divider look like they're embracing the chaise.

Check out for all your home decor needs, and shop our room divider pick below:

Wayborn Gold Painted Double Side Screen, $584

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studio apartment decorating ideas
Leanne Ford Interiors
Hang a Dividing Curtain

Not all room dividers are folding screens. You can get crafty! Interior designer hung a curtain in this attic office nook to make it serve double duty as a guest room.

Check out for an endless range of furniture options, and shop our room divider pick below:

Eider & Ivory Blackout Curtain Hardware Set, $62

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temporary room divider ideas
Stephen Kent Johnson
Create an Entrway

If your front door opens right up in the formal living room—and if space allows—create a small makeshift entryway with a floor-to-ceiling folding screen. Adding textural intrigue and a more intimate sitting area, it's the perfect way to be greeted when you first walk through the door. Especially if you choose one inspired by a collage of found objects, as designer Juan Carretero did in this adventurous home.

Check out for classic investment pieces, and shop our room divider pick below:

Eames Molded Plywood Folding Screen, $2801

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room divider bedroom ideas
Fantastic Frank
Create a Makeshift Wadrobe

In a studio apartment, create a little wardrobe/ dressing room by folding the screen and sanctioning off a corner. You can hang your outfit for the following day there, too, to speed up your morning routine.

Check out for on-trend accents and furniture, and shop our room divider pick below:

CB2 Rattan Room Divider ($)

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kitchen living room divider ideas
Hecker Guthrie
Opt for a Tall Bookcase

Customized or not, a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf can function as a room divider while also providing extra storage and display space. In this open floor plan space designed by , the sculptural wall unit speaks to the geometric motifs throughout, so even though it breaks up the room nicely, it doesn't mess with the flow or feel out of place.

Check out for timeless staples, and shop our room divider pick below:

Crate & Barrel Room Divider Bookcase, $699

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folding screen design ideas
Arent & Pyke
Let It Dictate Color Scheme

If you're not sure how to start the decorating process, choose a large artwork or one statement piece of decor with multiple colors in it. In this bedroom designed by Arent & Pyke, the elaborate room divider sets the tone for the color scheme. They pulled out the marigold, navy, and burnt orange-red hues, then softened things up with a cool white ceiling, gray carpet, and rattan accent chair.

Check out for high-quality antiques and collector treasures, and shop our room divider pick below:

Colé Floral Pattern Decor Divider, $2234

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room divider studio ideas
Ngoc Minh Ngo
Hang Floating Art

In interior designer Max Sinsteden's studio, he made his sleep zone feel separate from the rest of the room by hanging a super high curtain and then suspending a floating painting to break it off even more. "I hate seeing a bed from the front door, so I added a curtain to partition that space. When you close it, you honestly feel like you're in a Parisian hotel," he tells us. This means you can entertain, too, without feeling like everyone's hanging out in your bedroom. "A small space doesn't hamper me from inviting 50 people over. It's very Breakfast at Tiffany's—I always make room for people and keep plenty of ice."

Check out for all your home decor needs, and shop our room divider pick below:

RoomDividersNow Ceiling Track Divider Kit, $125

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corner decorating ideas
JONATHAN HOEKKLO
Create a Vignette

Corners have a tendency to look awkward when empty, and folding screens are an easy way to liven them up. Then add large plants. To make sure it's not just your floors getting some love, hang a plant high up on the corner wall. It's all about creating dimension.

Check out for hip, affordable home decor, and shop our room divider pick below:

Apartment 2B Sawyer Room Divider, $239

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wall art ideas folding screen
THOMAS LOOF
Hang It Above the Sofa

Similarly, room dividers can be fastened to the wall (or simply leaned against it if its tall enough) for wall decor that brings more dimension. In this living room designed by Nick Olsen, it sets the tone and adds so much intricate beauty.

Check out for reasonably priced, stylish goods, and shop our room divider pick below:

Cost Plus Hand-Carved Wood Screen, $300

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room divider ideas
STACEY BRANDFORD
Section Off Nooks

Installing curtains won't just come in handy in a makeshift guest room. In this dining room designed by Sarah Richardson, the reading nook because it's own cozy little space thanks to the whimsical curtains.

Check out for all your home basics, and shop our room divider pick below:

IKEA Room Divider Curtains,

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moroccan room divider ideas
MIGUEL FLORES-VIANNA
Introduce Texture

Just lean it directly against the wall to bring more textural intrigue into the space. It's a great way to liven up a room without much architectural distinction. For example, in this bedroom designed by Cathy Kincaid, the wall divider drives home the Moroccan-inspired aesthetic. They actually cut the screen in half to flank each side of the bed for a symmetrical look.

Check out for stylish decor and small-space solutions, and shop our room divider pick below:

Urban Outfitters Carved Wood Room Divider, $249

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wood room divider ideas
Laura Resen
Use Wooden Slats

Wooden slats that partially section off the room into two areas is a more open effect since you can see through the panels. In this home designed by Ray Booth, it partitions the stairwell from the living area nicely—and there's still a sense of flow and easy movement from section to section.

Check out for chic contemporary designs, and shop our room divider pick below.

Ferm Living Black Wooden Shelf Unit, $579

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folding screen room divider ideas
Thomas Loof
Create a Hint of Privacy

When you want to break up an open loft or studio apartment but don't want or can't install an permanent dividers, just use a folding screen. The two sets of chairs on either side of the room divider here cue the eye to notice that the two spaces are separate. Designer Maureen Footer also accentuates the vertical space in this apartment, drawing our attention up with a super tall bed canopy. And "there's no room to be timid" in a small space, she reminds us.

Check out for beautiful furniture and accents, and shop our room divider pick below:

Merrill Linen Room Screen, $395

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hanging room divider ideas
Nicole Franzen
Hang Beads or Fabric

When you want to block off a doorless doorframe without actually having to install a door, consider fabric, crochet, or beads, depending on the style of the space.

Check out for handmade designs and fun vintage finds, and shop our room divider pick below:

Large Macrame Door Curtains, $179

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living room divider ideas
Nicole Franzen
Hide Unsightly Essentials

A mirrored one in a great idea if you want to make the room appear larger/ have it blend in seamlessly. Whether it's random household supplies or an architectural quirk like a door to nowhere that throws off the layout, a strategically placed folding screen is a sneaky, stylish way to hide it.

Check out for on-trend contemporary designs, and shop our room divider pick below:

Frances & Son Avidan Mirrored Screen, $922

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studio apartment ideas
David A. Land
Install Sliding Doors

If it doesn't cost too much, you could install sliding doors for a more effective, real sense of privacy in a studio apartment. Take note from this guest house designed by Vern Yip. This way, they won't take up any space since they don't swing open so you can leave them open for a more spacious feel when you're not asleep.

Check out for all your home decor needs, and shop our room divider pick below:

Dogberry White Wood Barn Door, $469

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folding screen bedroom ideas
Horst P. Horst
Block Out the Light

Have we mentioned the infinite functional value of folding screens yet? Though this gorgeous bedroom (sister Parish's retreat at her family's summer compound in Maine) has curtains to block out the morning light, the folding screen will guarantee beauty sleep. Plus, it adds to the nice cozy, layered style.

Check out for tons of options for all your decorating needs, and shop our room divider pick below:

Skyline Furniture Upholstered Curved Screen, $250

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wall partition ideas
Studio DB
Turn It Into a Vanity

In the bedroom, dressing room, or bathroom, fold a screen so it opens up onto a small desk or vanity table. If it's structurally sound, you can even customize it into a vanity by adding a small shelf. The folding element creates a tiny enclosed environment perfect for an intimate vanity station. Keep your eyes out for a three-paneled design where the center panel is widest. We're digging the sexy color scheme in this boudoir designed by , too.

Check out for stylish pieces from up-and-coming designers, and shop our room divider pick below:

Nikari Skandinavia Separat Space Divider, $1738

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room partition ideas
Fantastic Frank
Use Glass

An interior window will create the same effect of a visual cue that separates the living area from the bedroom without actually being separate rooms, but a glass panel still allows light to floor the entire space and doesn't interrupt the flow of the open floor space.

Check out

IKEA Pair of Sliding Door Frames, $225

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