San Francisco’s rich architectural history has filled the city with beautiful and varied buildings, some of which have floor plans that don’t match the expectations of modern residents. If your new apartment used to be part of a single-family dwelling, you might want to divide an oddly shaped mystery room into more useable spaces. If you’re sharing a one-bedroom with a roommate or two, simple partitions can come in handy for privacy. All you need is only these simple ideas of how to separate a room without a wall.
Ideas on How to Separate a Room without a Wall
Curtains – In the fine old tradition of roommates everywhere, the simplest way to partition a room is probably to hang a curtain in place of a wall. Although it doesn’t provide much of a sound barrier, curtains are relatively cheap, easy to install and easy to remove again when you move out. They’re also more versatile than sturdier options: close them for privacy, or pull them out of the way to open the space for company or roommate hangout time. A tall folding screen works equally well if you prefer the look.
Bookcases – To imitate the solidity of a real wall, divide a room with floor-to-ceiling bookcases. To provide shelving on both sides of the partition, place two bookcases side by side and face one in each direction. Hang tapestries or wallpaper on the backs to hide the bare wood. If each side of the room has its own entrance, install the bookcases across the entire width of the space to create a full wall. If you need a doorway through the partition, leave 3 or 4 feet open on one side and cover the gap with a curtain or folding screen.
Closet Doors – If you own the property or your landlord gives you permission, install sliding or folding closet doors for a more permanent solution. Because closets come in all dimensions, you can find closet doors wide enough to partition an entire room or narrow enough to fill in an empty doorway. Install runners on the floor and ceiling, then insert sliding wooden or mirrored panels to divide the space. If you want the option of opening the doors to restore the room to its original size, use folding doors instead.
Open Floor Plan – Old apartments often feature spaces that once were closets, hallways or other small areas in a large house. They may have a tiny kitchen in the back of the dining room or a single space that needs to function as den, office and breakfast room. Use the arrangement of the furniture and the decorating scheme to divide such spaces without closing them off. Paint the walls in each space different colors; carpet the den section and tile the kitchen section; place a sofa so it faces the living area and backs onto the dining area. Experiment until you find the arrangement that works in your home.
There are several ways on how to separate a room without building a wall, all you need is imagination. One idea is to hang antique stained glass windows or old arched windows from the ceiling. Look for either type of window at antique stores and architectural supply yards. You can also build a custom divider to separate a room and decorate each side differently. Bead curtains and furniture placement are two more ways to delineate a space, neither of which requires building a wall.