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The Designer Way to Partition-Off Room Zones

When you need to divide up an open-plan space, you want to do it without having to build walls; why not try these creative ideas for partitioning off zones in an open-plan space.


Living in an open-plan space is not for everyone, but when you rent your home or don't have the funds to put up walls, you need to consider creative ways to divide large open spaces.








Since we have already ruled out that you can't drill holes in walls if you're renting, and you don't want to go to the cost and effort of building interior walls, one very practical idea to consider is that of ready-made shelf units. A large or custom shelf unit that can be open or closed provides not only extra storage space but also a simple and effective way to break up an open space.

What's even better about using shelf units to divide up a space is that you can quite easily make your own custom shelf unit to fit. Sturdy design will ensure safety and stability, leaving you free to choose the material of choice to make the shelf unit. I love the idea of being able to use reclaimed wood to make the shelf unit, particularly old flooring, beams or scaffolding planks. These types of materials already have a patina or age that adds to the finished appeal.



For those DIY savvy individuals who prefer to give any project a try, you can consider affordable wood such as pine or meranti to construct a shelf-style room divider.


If open shelving is not quite what you are looking for, in that it still doesn't offer the level of privacy that you want, then consider closed shelf units.

Closed or semi-closed bookcase or shelf units provide a much high level of privacy than does an open shelf unit. This type of room divider is perfect if you need to completely close off a section of an open-plan space, or where you want to create, say, for example, a small private home office.

For those renting their home, this wouldn't normally be something you could consider unless the landlord approved any renovations. But since you are using pieces that are not permanently fixed in place, you can simply remove and take these with you when you leave.







Shop around for display or shelf units that can be modified to fit into the space you want to close off or find a local handyman / carpenter that can make the units for you.


Of course, not everyone will want to completely close off a particular section and would rather have a more subtle division of zones within an open plan area. For this type of situation, there are plenty of options that you can consider.

Where you want to partition an open-plan space without intruding too much on the area, a simple divider will do the trick. Something as basic as a DIY divider using PAR pine slats and supports as shown above. If you're not too keen on making something yourself, you can achieve the same effect by installing a wooden vertical blind to offer privacy.

Another option, albeit a more expensive one, would be to have a tempered glass panel cut to fit a specific opening. This could then be tinted according to the level of privacy required.








With the popularity of CNC machines, there are plenty of companies out there that can cut boards to size and design. That gives you the freedom to select a design that ties in with your room decor and style.

While you could also probably create a far less intricate design using a jigsaw, the design options using a CNC machine are limitless. Design a single panel, or multiple panels, depending on the size of the space you need to fill and install these to provide all the privacy and separation you need.



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