Whether the condo you own or the condo you’re considering is large, small or something in between, you’ll want to think through how to get the most use out of the space and make every square foot count. Open layouts are desirable to many of my clients. They are great for everyday living and entertaining, but oversized, expansive spaces (even though they have a wow factor) can seem overwhelming and hard to envision how best to utilize the space. Creating defined spaces can make an oversized room or a loft, for example, feel warmer, more inviting, more livable and more usable. Even smaller condos, where space is often used for dual purposes, benefit from defining space into separate zones – to create an entryway, to separate a living area from a dining room or create home office in a bedroom – while still encouraging traffic flow.
A current trend is the use of room dividers. They come in many ready-made forms or you can have them custom built, and they are a great way to segment space. In addition, you can use room dividers as a design element reflecting your own personal style, as well as to add privacy, to hide clutter and increase storage options. Many room dividers are mobile, allowing you to move them around where you need them; others are installed, affixed floor to ceiling and permanent. The options are endless, from casual to formal, from airy and open to those offering complete privacy, with choices in materials to suit every budget and aesthetic preference.
Consider your purpose and your décor to determine the style and structure that will best fit. Here are some options to ponder:
Cubes, Shelves and Cabinets: Using cubes, shelves or cabinetry in your condo as a room divider helps break up and define space while adding functional storage.
- Decorative Screens: Screens come in a wide range of beautiful materials and gorgeous designs. Some incorporate translucent material that allow light to pass through, others are designed to provide complete privacy, and yet others provide function, such as screens equipped with corkboards and canvas pockets to help organize a home office, kitchen or playroom. Screens are not only useful to create distinct spaces and privacy, but are also effective for hiding clutter or for creating storage space behind them. Many are portable and can be folded up and stored or extended when you need to use them.
Partial Walls: Architecturally-designed and professionally installed partial walls, typically floor to ceiling, though sometimes dropped from the ceiling, will provide clear living zones and allow you to create highly functional spaces. Half walls between a kitchen and living room can allow family members and guests to easily converse with the chef without getting in the way of the work zone (while also hiding messy counters). Or, consider a quarter-wall to create a slight separation between an entry area and the living room while still encouraging social engagement and light flow.
- Sliding Partitions: Full-height sliding doors and partitions, installed on a track system, provide the flexibility to close off an entire area, such as a bedroom, bathroom, media room or office when needed.
- Windows: A bank of interior multi-pane windows can define different zones within a singular space, while keeping the area light an airy and retaining the view between the spaces.
- Columns: Affixed to floors, walls and ceilings, columns create an architectural focal point and also lend separation while preserving the openness of two spaces.
How have you used room dividers to divvy up space in your home?