How Room Dividers Add Functional Space and Design Flair

Become a form and function master with room dividers.

By Ande Waggener


Whether it’s because your room is too big or you simply want some privacy, room dividers can be useful tools to define living areas in your home. When you use room dividers, however, you can either do it in the functional, ho-hum, “I just put this here to separate my space” way, or you can do it with some panache. I don’t know about you, but I’ll go with panache over ho-hum every time. Here are six ways you can use room dividers in ways that are both functional and fantastic.


1. Choose a Divider that Perfectly Matches Your Style

Given the variety of folding room dividers available, you should be able to find something that reflects your design sensibility. Instead of just buying the first divider you find at a discount store…




… be patient and keep shopping until you locate the perfect room divider to fit your personality.


From trendy shoji screens…



Photos by shutterstock


… to dramatic floral motifs…




… to the painted-white romance of intricate wood cut-outs…




… to the carved beauty of antiques…




… to simple modern lines…




… Room dividers offer endless potential for beautiful room décor.


2. Get Artsy!

If you’re willing to go beyond store-bought folding room dividers, you can pack some major wow into your décor with room dividers that double as art installations.


For example, you can go crazy with a pile of lumber from your home improvement store to create something architecturally eye-catching.




Or you can create something more fluid and modern. Either you or someone you hire can form nearly endless abstract sculptural dividers from plastic or plaster.


3. Go Green

Purchase or create a room divider that acts as a display for Mother Nature’s beauty.


Drape a simple folding room divider with ivy.




Or build a simple rope room divider and weave greenery throughout.




Or you can build a long planter and grow an indoor hedge! (The higher you build the planter, the more privacy your divider will provide.)


4. Install Storage

Room dividers can do more than just add space and design flare. They can also provide more places for displaying your treasures or putting your space in order.




You can create a divider out of a display of shelving (either built in or free standing … either way, however, they should be anchored to the floor for stability).


You can do the same thing with a freestanding set of cupboards or a closet.


Another fun way to add storage is with old school lockers. Purchase salvaged lockers like the ones below. Then line several of them up to create a fun and storage-filled room divider.




5. Add Elegant Wall Space

Just because there isn’t a wall where you need one to place furniture doesn’t mean one can’t be easily added. Combine beautiful molding with just a bit of sheet rock and some decorative element like stained glass, and you will have a gorgeous room divider that can transform a basic room into a showplace.




6. Fill an Empty Corner or Hide Flaws

If you have a big maw in one corner of the room or you have some ugly wall damage or something you want to hide like a breaker box or bit of electrical cord or plumbing, a room divider can be your hero. Pair it with other coordinated design pieces, and it will turn an ugly sister into a beautiful princess.




As you can see, room dividers are far more than just folding screens. They are everything from personality to art to planters to storage to elegance to masters of disguise. Consider using room dividers to add not only functionality to your space but the kind of interior design that delights the senses.


How have you used room dividers? Have you found another way room dividers can add to your space? Please share.


Images used with permission, courtesy of

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