Elana Safronsky, Managing Editor
Friday, June 5, 2009 5:06 PM EDT
We all know what the traditional room divider looks like. And there are still, to this day, a zillion permutations of it so we need not go over all the different fabrics and screens that could be to your liking. Instead, for this week's Top 5 Friday -- which today is actually 7 -- I've rounded up some interesting ways you can divide your living space, a common design concern in the wake of the open concept revolution.
The Backless Shelving Unit
The backless shelving unit is a favourite go-to for dividing a space, both because it's easy -- as it only involves picking the shelf out and zero construction -- but also because it serves a double purpose by creating the opportunity for display storage. There is a boundless see of these on the market, and all you need to do is figure out your dimensions, budget and style, although I will caution that most of these tend to be on the modern side, so if you're looking to use this idea in a classical home, it may be more touch-and-go.
The Fireplace Divide
If you're not lucky enough to inherit this feature, then it's certainly worth investing in. A partition wall incorporating a fireplace is a great way to kill two birds with one stone; break up the space while creating an instant focal point. Also, one of the things that makes a partition wall often an awkward sight, is that it serves no purpose other than to help you create some order in your space. A fireplace gives that wall purpose, diminishing it as a seemingly senseless intrusion into the room.
Certainly something to consider when remodeling. Built-ins as dividers basically takes the open shelving idea one step further. Instead of simply partitioning the space, the solid construction creates actual nooks, such as the kitchen nook in the photo on the left. By building the cabinetry into the space as a partition wall, you create visual interest as well as much-needed storage, and will most likely save on space as wall and storage become one. Something about the columns in the photo on the right doesn't quite sit right with me, but I do really like the idea of the substantial cabinetry acting as a partial barrier between the living space and the entrance. It creates the perfect office nook beyond.
Stone and Glass Panels
Got dough? Well, really, glass is not that expensive, unless of course you'd like it to sport a beautiful etched lace pattern as the one shown in the photo on the right... The stone panel as you can imagine is no deal, but you can save on construction costs -- this option really only involves installation costs, which if you're paying by the hour, should be considerably less than custom cabinetry, a fireplace or even a simple drywall partition. And what you gain in drama and style is really priceless. A natural material with inherent beauty will always appeal.
Suspended panels by 3 Form, via Closet Solutions blog; Ikea's "Kvartal" suspended curtain panel
Don't have any dough? Get a similar effect to the glass ans stone with suspended panels of fiberglass, fabric and even bamboo. While the 3-Form panels are not in the giveaway category, IKEA's "Kvartal" curtain panels are all under $50.00 and affix with a track-based hanging system that you could buy separately and source your own panels to hang.
Good Ol' Curtains
Marley and Lockyer blog; NomiInc.com; Cote de Texas blog
I'm just loving this trend, which is actually something that's been around for ever, but is recently experiencing a resurgence. My parents would laugh at this as they shudder to remember their communist sentence living in a Moscow communal apartment, where numerous families would inhabit single rooms divided by curtains very much like these. Well, I prefer to focus on the old romance of the curtain divider, which is a great way to create drama at minimum cost. A nice vintage piece of damask hanging floor-to-ceiling between your couch and the entrance way is really all you need to successfully take this idea home. (That is, if your interior is of the romantic style.) And I love those dormers in the centre photograph -- they seem to not really do much, but to me, they make the whole room!
And as Always, a Parting Piece of Crazy
Design-Milk.com, firewood storage unit from ImprovementsCatalog.com; stacked firewood from Kwaree.com
You know I must! I first saw this in application in a cafe (in a photo of course, as the cafe was somewhere were I am not), but then seeing that pile of artfully stacked firewood and later finding that wood office wall on the left, I started to glimmer with a little idea: why not use stacked firewood as a partition? It's beautiful, natural and could be a very therapeutic project for a cottage or loft apartment. You can stack and mortar the logs somehow for a free-standing effect or create a storage rack for them that's long and squat (something nicer than the storage rack pictured above, but you get the idea) that could even act as a TV console dividing two spaces. Just think of all the fun you can have picking out logs that are all the same size! No really, I think there's something here...
Have you made use of any of these options in your own home? Which appeals to you the most?