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Partitions and screens – space dividers

Open plan living is certainly all the rage when it comes to interior design. It might be a kitchen which flows into a dining area or perhaps a lounge / diner or even a bedroom come study. With all this multi-functioning space, a way of separating the uses of each room has become more important than ever.

A visual room divider, whether a full screen or simply an interruption to the flow of the room can be an easy way to differentiate the areas of the room and their diverse functions. There are many different options whether it is a simple set of shelving or a full set of fold-able doors. It all depends on the room and your budget.

A visual disturbance

partition screenSimply placing furniture of some description can be a great way of dividing a room. A row of large pot plants or a free-standing book shelf are two great options for a living room area. Some living rooms will have an L-shaped sofa arrangement which effectively divides an eating area from a sitting area. Sometimes just a change of lighting can be enough to clearly establish the different uses of one room.

A moveable divider

Screens such as those made from bamboo or wicker are great for when the space needs dividing for one-off occasions. When the divider is no longer needed it can be folded away until the next time. Some room screens can be very decorative and are perfect for creating a dressing area in a bedroom. Some are painted wood or even tapestries. They can be very beautiful and very expensive.

Screens such as these often come in three or even four foldable sections and can be made in every conceivable material from wood and leather to rice paper and glass. They can be see through or not and can be used in many different settings from screening a window in place of curtains, to creating an artificial hallway for doors which open directly into a living room.


A simple curtain on a track can make a very effective room divider, particularly in a bedroom. The curtain can be pushed back when not in use and can make a room more cosy when it is used. Curtaining material can be very heavy and thick ensuring the noise from the divided part of the room is less of an issue.

Moveable walls

Sliding or folding room dividers are common in offices and workplaces where full walls are not required. Despite being mostly a commercial application, these dividers can be useful in a home setting. They are quick to install, cheaper than a fully plastered internal wall and offer more flexibility.

Often made of tempered glass or composite boards, the dividers can come in any colour and can even be painted in some cases. They are reasonably lightweight and simply run in a track which sits flush in the floor.

Some have fold-able panels and others have sliding panels. Clearly fold-able panels offer more flexibility and allow the room to be opened up fully.

Fold-able doors which suit a more domestic setting are bi-fold doors which can be used internally and externally. Internal ones might be used to separate L-shaped rooms or to help maintain heat in one room without having to install a smaller door opening. Generally bi-fold doors close tightly and seal the room as any door would. They run on floor and ceiling tracks and can be designed to fit any space.