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Ideas for Creating Room Dividers

Large, spacious rooms are growing more and more popular, with open floor plans that combine living, dining, and kitchen areas. In many cases, a vaulted ceiling soars high above the “great room,” adding to the feeling of overall spaciousness.

It can be challenging to decorate effectively in a massive, open space – and it can be great fun, too. If you have such a great room in your home, one way to create more intimate areas within it, while still maintaining the overarching grandeur of the space, is by using room dividers.

Here are some ideas for creating room dividers. They work well in large spaces, and can also be quite stunning in not-so-large rooms to create special effects.

  • Large Folding Screens. Exotic coromandel screens with carvings redolent of Indonesian and Asian cultures are instant statement-makers. Fabric or rice paper covered screens can also be used to great effect. Try placing folding screens behind a sofa to divide the living and dining areas, or placing them several feet in front of an awkwardly placed closet door.
  • Free Standing Table with Large Floral Arrangement or Plant. This design solution is commonly used to separate a front entry area from the main room. If your front door opens directly into the living room, this treatment can create the illusion of a separate entry area.
  • Hanging Tapestry or Curtains. Whether your ceilings are high or modest in height, hanging fabric from ceiling mounted hardware will give the illusion of divided space. A dramatic tapestry suspended from soaring ceilings will give drama to a space. Simple curtain panels shirred on a decorative rod attached to lower ceilings can create cozy spaces for dressing areas in large bedrooms.
  • Trees. A single, tall tree or palm in an elegant container of big proportions can screen a segment of the open space between living and dining areas. Several smaller, less space-consuming plants in cache pots can also make a beautiful screen when placed on a narrow table and positioned strategically for space division.
  • Open Shelving. Shelving units – either tall or waist height – are great for dividing rooms into discreet spaces. With the open shelves allowing for light moving through and around decorative objects, books, etc., the eye will stop at the solid aspects of shelves and objects, but will travel through the open spaces as well. This effect creates division without total separation.

Depending on the areas you want to divide within your large spaces, one of these treatments will likely suit your needs. If you want to experiment before committing to a more permanent solution, a lightweight, inexpensive bamboo or wicker folding screen is a great investment for testing different space divisions, and will be a great temporary solution to keep on hand, tucked away until needed.

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