11 Stunning Room Dividers that Prove Open Concept is Overrated

  • Sep 19, 2018

Open plan living? Pfft… that’s so last year. Room dividers are great for creating functional zones in a large space, but consider them for small spaces too as they help carve out areas for a bit more privacy without taking up too much floor estate. Whether you live in a sprawling landed home or a petite-sized HDB flat, we’ve got the room divider for you:  

1. Vertical wood slats

For a Zen flair, opt for vertical slats. It feels very architectural so that’s instant visual interest, and it allows ventilation and light to pass through while still providing a bit of coverage. That’s what we call a win-win.

These wooden slats, which function also as a TV wall, are dip-dyed in black at the bottom so they appear like oversized matchsticks.

Design: Akihaus

The dining area is set apart from a wooden slat divider that reaches all the way across the ceiling.

A wooden slat divider cordons off the wardrobe area from the main bedroom for more privacy.

Design: The Scientist  

2. Ventilation Blocks

Ventilation blocks are typically used on the facades of architectural projects in order to invite ventilation into the buildings. But they can be used as a form of room divider too. The perforated motifs form a quirky feature wall that can still allow a small amount of light to pass through.

White-painted with floral motifs, this ventilation brick wall serves to segregate the bedroom from the study.

Design: Fuse Concept

When left raw, the ventilation brick wall lends an edgy, industrial look.

Design: Fuse Concept  

3. Shelving

In smaller homes, doubling your shelves as dividers is a good way to introduce more storage in your space. We like these ones:

The study is partially concealed behind a bookshelf.

Design: Distinctidentity

A work station is cordoned off to the side of the kitchen in this home with the addition of see-through, full-height bookshelves.

Design: Square Room Interior Design  

4. Framed glass panels

Framed glass panels are a popular choice as a room divider for homeowners in Singapore. What’s so appealing about them are their coolness quotient—they offer up a laidback, loft-style vibe that is at once contemporary and timeless. We also like them in smaller apartments, where, thanks to the clear glass panels, light can still reach all sorts of nooks and crannies.

Bi-fold glass panels enclose the kitchen from the rest of the home when necessary.

Design: Icon Interior Design

Go for white frames if you’re after a resort, coastal feel to your space.

Design: The Design Abode

Longer glass panels mean you’re getting less visual obstruction, which is great if you want to segregate spaces but don’t require that much privacy.

Design: Third Avenue Studio  

5. Metal grilles

Metal grilles come in all sorts of designs, and they are perfect for adding interest in a space. To prevent rusting, you might want to ensure your grilles are powder coated.

A metal grille sits atop a cabinet, serving as a divider between the foyer and the rest of the home.

Design: Arc Define

A full-length metal grille divider draws the line between the entrance of the home and the rest of the living space.

Design: Team Interior Design

This metal grille serves as a TV feature wall, while separating the living room area from the foyer.

Design: Wee Studio  

6. Glass louvres

Glass louvres are usually installed as external structures to keep the house cool. In these examples however, they are used as room dividers. Sure, cleaning is going to be a pain, but you get a super cool, quirky partition in return.

A panel of glass louvres hides the view of the sleeping quarters from the doorway.

Design: Distinctidentity

A wall of glass louvres was built to mimic the actual window louvres on the other side of the home library. The space feels like a separate entity on its own as a result.

Design: Museum Homes

As this apartment didn't get enough sunlight, the designer decided to partition the bedroom with louvres instead of a concrete wall so that spaces could get maximum daylight.

Design: Versaform  

7. Curtains

For folks who prefer a softer touch, use curtains as your divider. They can be washed (bonus!) and they are a great way to add versatility to your space. Pull them back when you don’t need privacy and draw them when you do.

Now you see it, now you don’t. When work is in progress, the study area gets a curtain treatment.

Design: Design Neu

See-through day curtains divide the home office from the living room. They are less visually heavy so the apartment doesn’t feel overwhelmed with too much fabric.

Design: Ehka Studio

The master en-suite hides behind a curtain panel.

Design: Arkhilite  

8. Ribbed glass panels

Ribbed glass panels are a good option if you like the look of glass but prefer more privacy in your segregated spaces since they aren't as see-through. Somewhat retro, they bring in a bit of light and add dimension and texture to a space.

This walk-in wardrobe gets its privacy thanks to the sheets of ribbed glass panels.

Design: Poetus

A monochrome-themed bedroom gets extra visual texture from the ribbed glass panels surrounding the en suite.

Design: Third Avenue Studio  

9. Bi-fold panels

Like curtains, bi-fold panels create incredibly flexible spaces in your home. They can be completely folded up when you need the open space, or closed when you want to divide up the zones for privacy.

This common leisure space was installed with bi-fold panels to accommodate the different needs of the various occupants in the home.

Design: Upstairs

The master en-suite is separated from the bedroom with bi-fold panels.

Design: Box.id Studio

The bedroom of this bachelor’s studio apartment is fitted with bi-fold panels for more privacy.

Design: Fifth Avenue Interior  

10. Rotating panels

If you have more space to play around with, consider going for rotating panels. These dividers feel somewhat ethereal especially when half opened, and when used near windows, they can cast a gorgeous play of shadows into your spaces.

Rotating wood panels add architectural interest to this apartment.

Design: Free Space Intent

Here, translucent rotating glass panels can be opened, closed or half-opened and closed for a dimensionally more vibrant space.

Image: troickkrymsk  

11. Chicken wire glass

Chicken wire glass panels were created in the late 19th century as a safety measure. Wire mesh (usually wire used to keep chickens in the farm) were embedded in the glass sheets used in buildings so that they won’t shatter easily. Nowadays, they are used more commonly as room dividers and serve a more decorative function. But besides being sturdier than ordinary glass panels, they do provide some sound insulation as well.

The mesh wire panel throws a retro vibe to this breakfast bar corner.

Design: Linear Space Concepts

Go mid-century with a chicken wire divider.

Design: Icon Interior Design

A vintage themed home hides its dining area behind wood-framed chicken wire glass panels.

Design: Three-D Conceptwerke

Wide double panels of chicken wire glass serve as the entry into the kitchen.

Design: Versaform

Encased in a pink frame, the chicken wire panels lend a feminine, country-style vibe to the bedroom.

Design: Linear Space Concepts Are room dividers for you, or do you plan to go for an open-plan home? Let us know in the comments!  

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