23 Room Divider Ideas to Creatively Split Up Your Space

Paul Pogue
Written by Paul Pogue
Updated March 14, 2022
Woman doing work behind room divider
Photo: Maskot / Getty Images

Not your grandmother’s folding screens

While open-concept floor plans are a popular interior design style in homes because of their functionality and visual appeal, they aren’t always ideal in every scenario. There are a variety of ways you can split up a room, and you can choose options that are simple and decorative, like a tapestry or shade. Or, you can opt for a more permanent option, such as a sliding door or a built-in bookcase. Check out some creative room divider ideas to partition an otherwise open floor plan. 

Try Out Different Materials and Colors to Bring Texture and Character to the Open Space 

While you may commonly associate a room divider with a traditional folding screen, there are various materials and colors that can ‌give the same effect. 

1. Translucent Shade

Folding translucent room divider
Photo: Helin Loik-Tomson / Getty Images

A folding screen can be easily folded up when not in use, then expanded when you need to create a divide. A translucent shade is a great option for those looking to let in natural light, yet keep an element of privacy within the space.

2. Monochromatic Color Scheme

Green folding screen in room
Photo: Photographee.eu / Adobe Stock

Match the screen to the room’s paint color to blend in with the walls. Using the same color on the divider creates cohesion and brings a calming monochromatic color scheme to the space.  

3. Geometric Divider

Geometric-patterned room divider
Photo: New Africa / Adobe Stock

Use a room divider as both a functional and ornamental way to separate living space. This geometric-patterned screen delineates the open floor plan while serving as a decorative point of interest. You can find screens in varying geometric patterns and shapes to best match your style.

4. White-On-White

All-white interior with folding screen
Photo: New Africa / Adobe Stock

Stick to a white-on-white color scheme to make a small room feel brighter and larger. Opting for an all-white color pallet is a good option when you’re dividing up the space, as it keeps the area looking light and open despite the separation.

5. Light Natural Wood 

 Bohemian living room with wood privacy screen
Photo: New Africa / Adobe Stock

Bring natural wood into the space to mix textures and elements for a bohemian feel. Tuck the screen in a corner to hide utilities or conceal appliances when not in use. 

6. Bursts of Color

Bright blue folding screen in room
Photo: Africa Studio / Adobe Stock

Go bold and paint the privacy screen a color that contrasts with the wall. A rich blue brings an unexpected tone into the room while tying the space together by highlighting the colors in the artwork. 

7. Black and White

Work-from-home office with black and white privacy screen
Photo: Pixel-Shot / Adobe Stock

Black and white is a timeless color combo that brings modernity to a bedroom that also functions as a remote office. A folding screen can be easily set up at the beginning of your workday. This creates a designated work-from-home area, so you can get into the zone with minimal distractions.

8. Tube Divider

White tube room divider
Photo: Photographee.eu / Adobe Stock

Get creative when choosing materials to create a DIY room divider. For example, white PVC tubes can be put together to create a makeshift wall. Not only do they add privacy to the space, but they bring playfulness and visual appeal into the room.

9. Patterned Tapestry

Tapestry room divider in living room
Photo: Photographee.eu / Adobe Stock

Another room divider idea is to hang your favorite tapestry to create a barrier, making two separate spaces. You can use a muted-colored tapestry to blend in with the walls. Or, use a bold-patterned textile to pop in the space and serve as an accent. 

10. Swanky Curtains

Curtains separating open-concept floor plan
Photo: RossHelen / Getty Images

Bring drama into the space by hanging dark curtains in between two rooms. Keep them open when you want to use the entire area, or shut them when you need privacy. Use dark hardware and slate gray curtains to bring an industrial, yet sumptuous feel to the room.

Use Furniture or Structures to Serve as a Multifunctional Room Divider

Use pieces of furniture or structural elements within the space to serve as a nontraditional room divider.

11. Two-Way Fireplace

Modern fireplace in open-concept room
Photo: numismarty / Getty Images

A fireplace in between two rooms is an unconventional, yet functional way to separate an open space. Keep the entire area warm and enjoy the ambiance of the fireplace from both rooms. This fireplace ties the separate rooms together by using different materials on the top and bottom of the unit. 

12. Low-Level Console

Open-concept apartment with small room divider
Photo: Westend61 / Getty Images

A room divider doesn’t necessarily need to take up all the vertical space in the room. Instead, a low-level console can ‌create two distinct living areas. This low-to-the-ground divider offers storage solutions as well, allowing you to keep your odds and ends from different rooms tucked neatly away. 

13. Functional Island

Open-concept kitchen with island in the middle
Photo: sl-f / Getty Images

If you don’t have a separate kitchen and dining room, use an island to create two separate zones that can blend into one as needed. Use the island as a kitchen prep space for everyday meals. Or, set up bar stools to create more seating, and use it as a second eating space when you have company over.

14. See-Through Cubbies

Rack room divider in open-concept apartment
Photo: Yury Gubin / Getty Images

Use a floor-to-ceiling open shelving unit to partition a room without building walls. Adorn the freestanding piece of furniture with a few mementos and trinkets to keep it open, and let natural light flow through the space. Or fill in the shelves to create more privacy.

15. Modern Credenza

Large great room with separate living and dining space
Photo: ZenShui/Frederic Cirou / Getty Images

Remember, a credenza doesn’t have to be placed against a wall to provide function and aesthetic appeal. Instead, back it up against a couch to create separation in an otherwise open-concept great room. Opt for a thick, modern structure to provide definition between the living room and dining room.

16. Integrated Pillars

Bookcase built into pillars in home
Photo: chandlerphoto / Getty Images

Use natural architectural elements to your advantage to create a divide in the room. Build a shelving unit between pillars or walls to add storage and a level of privacy between two areas. 

17. Cozy Book Nook

Girl reading a book next to bookshelf
Photo: Catherine Delahaye / Getty Images

Have a book lover in the home? Use a freestanding bookshelf in between rooms to make it feel like you’re browsing the aisles of the library whenever you’re in the mood for a good read. Use it in a large space to create a divide, or put one in a smaller area to set up a cozy book nook. 

18. Stand-Up Planter

Large indoor planter planters
Photo: Vershinin / Getty Images

Incorporate greenery into the space by using a tall planter to delineate the room. You can line up multiple planters next to each other to create a makeshift wall. Opt for tall indoor ferns to add privacy. Or, choose short flowering plants for a more decorative look. 

Fill In Alcoves or Entryways By Installing Space-Saving Doors

If you’re looking for a more closed-off way to section off the space, use different types of doors to separate the room. 

19. Hidden Pocket Door

Couple dancing in a living room with pocket doors
Photo: Cavan Images / Getty Images

Consider installing a pocket door in an unused opening that’s concealed within the wall when not in use. Not only does this type of door maximize valuable floor space, but it makes a functional, yet impactful design statement.

20. Frosted Glass Door

Frosted glass sliding doors in kitchen
Photo: Elliott Kaufman / Getty Images

Use a frosted glass door to divide two rooms and provide a contemporary aesthetic. This style of door works well in a room you want to let some natural light in, as the frosted glass will soften the amount of light that enters from the other room.

21. Opaque Doors

Modern open-concept apartment with glass-paned room divider
Photo: Victor zastol'skiy / Adobe Stock

For a more permanent room divider, opt for glass-paned interior doors. Choosing glass as a partition lets you have the best of both worlds—a room flooded with natural light ‌you get with an open-concept room, yet a distinct separation between areas. 

22. Sliding Barn Door

Sliding barn door in room
Photo: TriggerPhoto / Getty Images

Barn doors work well in various home decor styles and can be installed to either keep two rooms separate when closed, or connected as needed. Not only do they add character to the space, but you can find a barn door kit to install the unit yourself as a weekend project. 

23. Modern Sliding Door

Modern sliding door in industrial bedroom
Photo: Carlina Teteris / Getty Images

If barn doors feel a bit too rustic, opt for a sliding door with a more modern style. This wooden sliding door provides a contemporary twist on traditional barn doors by using vertical slats of wood with exposed industrial hardware.