Have you ever wished you could conjure an extra room in your home – as a study, a TV room or a cosy den, perhaps? If you’ve resigned yourself to a small home with limited bedrooms, take heart in knowing that the key to creating multifunction in a compact home lies in creating zones within existing spaces. With a little inspiration, you can magic up an additional room without having to call in a builder. Here are some simple ideas to turn one room into two.
Go for a decorative screen
Screens with intricate carvings, trad jali (traditional Indian latticework) or contemporary metal designs can breathe oodles of character into a room, while serving as effortless dividers. If you prefer not to jar the aesthetic of your larger space, consider going for a screen with delicate fretwork, as pictured above, to channel light both ways.
Alternatively, if you want to create two distinct zones within your room, go for a solid screen like the one on the left to maintain maximum privacy on both sides
A great way to partition your room into two while also giving it a modish dramatic edge is to get a metal room divider in a contemporary avatar. With a bold design, you don’t have to go big. Opt for a slim screen like the one here to symbolise the end of one zone and the beginning of another.
For a more extravagant look, play up your design to include embellishments that fit into your room decor.
Bring in a shelving unit
A basic shelving unit – open or closed – is perfect for giving your room a multifunctional facelift. By placing your unit between your two spaces, you can create a sense of division while also maximising the space within the unit for storage and display. An open unit is a good option if you plan to keep a visual connection between your zones…
…On the other hand, if you prefer to close your zones off from each other, a closed unit can help morph each space into an independent, private retreat.
Install glass partitions
Glass doors like these are a good choice if you’re looking to create a division without robbing your larger space of light and volume. Install them floor to ceiling to merge them into the shell of your room and make them a luminous gateway between your spaces.
For a look that spells visual continuity, go for sliding doors that can be swept all the way back.
Play with elevations
Instead of using dividers and screens to close off spaces, consider splitting your room into functional levels. In a kids’ bedroom, for instance, you can easily accommodate a split-level play room like this one. However, make safety a priority when planning such elevations in a kids’ space. Consider this option only if your kids are independent enough to handle being at a height unsupervised.
A bed hoisted onto an elevated platform can visually signal a sleep zone, and relegate the lower level to other activities.
Embrace accordion doors
Accordion doors can afford you the luxury of folding your partition all the way to the wall when you want a large, seamless space. Plus, they make for an aesthetic addition to any room, serving as an understated design statement.
Seek out a sculptural accent
Is it a sculpture? A shelving unit? Or something in between? The truth is, anything can work as a room divider if you think about it, and a divider that bends the rules can easily straddle the line between aesthetics and ergonomics. Think outside the box and consider accents like statues, handicrafts and quirky furniture to divide your room while also serving as its pièce de résistance.
Draw the curtains
An easy-breezy way to split your room into two without making a permanent commitment to your walls is to introduce curtains. Gauzy curtains like these are an excellent way to zone your spaces while still maintaining visual fluidity.