6 Easy Ways to Divide a Room and Get the Most Out of Your Living Space

Kelly Weimert
Written by Kelly Weimert
Updated December 13, 2021
A bookshelf dividing the living room from the kitchen
Photo: Pixel-Shot / Adobe Stock

These room division tips make it a breeze to organize your space while enhancing your aesthetic

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Dividing a room can offer a more intuitive flow to your home, whether you live in a studio apartment and want to separate your living and sleeping areas, or you're working with an expansive open floor plan and need to define uncertain spaces in a thoughtful, design-forward way. Regardless of your reasons, there are a few tried-and-true methods for dividing a room that will help you organize your space, enhance its aesthetic, and fall in love with your home all over again. 

1. Add a Bookshelf

Standalone bookshelves can work wonders to separate one space from another. Essentially, a bookshelf can become a makeshift privacy wall, especially when it's filled to the brim with your favorite reads. You can also use the shelves to add decorative accents to elevate your home’s style, like a pretty vase full of fresh flowers, photos of loved ones, or tchotchkes picked up during your travels. 

2. Install a Barn Door

A bedroom with a wooden barn door
Photo: Allison / Adobe Stock

Barn doors are easy solution for when you want to divide a room, but you also want the ability to open it back up at a moment's notice. They're fairly straightforward to install, typically only requiring a bar from which they can hang and slide across, similar to a curtain rod. Plus, barn doors come in virtually every size, and you can customize them with fun paint colors and hardware, so it's easy to create the perfect fit for your space’s function and style.

3. Bring in a Folding Screen

Folding screens divide a room while adding some privacy. If you're not familiar with them, they're basically tall screens that fold like a brochure. You can choose from many different styles and materials, ranging from rattan screens perfect for enhancing boho looks to simple rice paper screens that can elevate a minimal look. There are also folding screens with beautiful, intricate patterns if you're looking to make a major style statement. 

4. Put Up a Curtain

Curtains are among the easiest and most inexpensive ways to add privacy to any open floor plan. And because they come in nearly infinite colors, materials, and patterns, they're stellar options for anyone with a particular color palette or interior design style. All you need to do is install a rod above the area you'd like to divide, such as on the wall above a door frame or hanging from the ceiling, and voila! Instant privacy.

5. Use Rugs

A living room and a dining area with rugs defining the areas
Photo: Javani LLC / Adobe Stock

If you're looking to save space or you're simply not too keen on the idea of incorporating a big divider, then rugs are a great option. They won't encroach on usable square footage, and they help define uncertain spaces with texture and color. For instance, if you're looking to divide your living room from your dining area, you can add a rug to the center of each space to help designate each area as its own. 

6. Rearrange the Furniture

You use furniture arrangements to visually separate rooms as well. Larger items, like sofas, naturally draw the eye toward them, so they're particularly useful for room division. For instance, if you live in a small studio and need to separate your bedroom from your living room, it's often as easy as orienting the back of your sofa against the bedroom, which will create a natural line of division. You can also do this with armchairs, long credenzas, and shelving units.

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