Is your home short on square footage? Budget on the slim side? This roundup of our favorite DIY room dividers will provide the inspiration you need to optimize the space you do have without compromising on style.
Room dividers are a great way to compartmentalize concept living and create a multifunctional space that offers cozy sections for different uses, from separating the living and kitchen areas to creating a WFH area in your bedroom.
Whether you're looking for ways to optimize space as part of your small or studio apartment, or simply want to carve out a cozy nook in a small living room, these our 11 DIY room dividers will provide the perfect inspiration for your next home project.
11 DIY room dividers to partition your space
These DIY room dividers will show you how you can maximize space, without spending a fortune or compromising the overall aesthetic of your home.
1. Work a modern rustic wooden room divider to separate your living space
To add interest, character and privacy, Jessi of @byjessigoldstein, opted to construct a curved wooden DIY room divider to separate her living space.
A room divider is a brilliant small apartment living room idea, and allows you to create separate spaces for different uses. This curved room divider ensures there's a clear distinction between the lounging area and the home office.
Jessi explains how to create the look below:
1. Buy individual timber sticks at two or three inches wide.
2. Make groups of 13 or 14 sticks and lay them down side to side on the floor.
3. Staple one stick with another, all together from only one side. Do the same thing with all the groups.
4. Stand one group with the wave facing one side, and put the next group facing the opposite side. Staple them and repeat.
5. Finish by applying a toner of your preferred color.
2. Introduce curves with an arched room divider
As far as studio apartment ideas go, this arched DIY room divider nails the brief: both chic and practical at the same time.
'I live in an alcove studio and I wanted a separation between the alcove bed area and the living space,' explains Laura of @laura.cattano. 'I didn't like the idea of sitting at the dining table looking at my bed.'
Laura used beautiful birch wood for the project, which worked perfectly within her Scandi-style decor theme. 'I wanted something wooden, freestanding, but light - hence the use of the mirror - which is actually mirrored acrylic,' she says. 'The arc softens the piece and helps to differentiate it from the other walls in the apartment.'
3. Add color and pattern with a striped folding screen
A folding screen is a great idea for a weekend project to add color and pattern to your space. You could use your folding screen to separate any space, but Christy at confessionsofaserialdiyer.com created hers to use a dressing area. She used a stencil to apply a pretty damask pattern, and Frog tape from Amazon to create the stripes, which add a pretty coastal vibe.
She says: 'I picked up the folding screen from a thrift store and paid $26 for it. I always wanted a fancy screen to change behind like in the movies.'
Explaining how she created the look, Christy says: 'To add my stencil, first I measured to see where I wanted to add the stencil and in what pattern. Then I sprayed Loctite Spray Adhesive on the back first to hold it in place. I used a small brush and pure white DIY chalk paint to fill in the stencil, taking care not to brush towards the edges as much as possible.
'I continued to add a quick spray of the adhesive to the back before moving it to the next spot. (After I was finished, I used an old wash cloth and warm running water to wipe down the stencil on the side with the paint in my kitchen sink, then let it lay sticky side up on a paper towel to dry.)
'I sanded generously with 220 grit sandpaper after to smooth it all out.' Christy then used Frog tape to apply her stripes, before sealing it with Annie Sloan’s clear soft wax.
4. Go boho with a rattan DIY room divider
A rattan room divider is a surefire way to inspire a boho living room vibe. Combined with arched tops, and you've got yourself an on-trend piece for a fraction of the store-bought price.
'This room divider was designed with the intent to provide a physical separation between two living spaces, while still letting through ample light,' says Nicolette, of @madebynicolette.
'Three main processes were used to create the DIY room divider. Firstly, the outer frame was made using wood joinery techniques. I turned the spindles at the bottom on a wood lathe, similar to how the process of making balusters for a stair railing. I created five different spindle designs to add a point of interest at the bottom of the divider.'
She continues: 'The woven midsection is done through a process called cane weaving. I was inspired by beautiful and intricate patterns found on vintage chairs with cane seats. The cane strands are naturally very dry and brittle, and so the cane is soaked before weaving, to allow it to gain some elasticity.
'The pattern is then woven with the wet cane, and as the cane dries, the strands shrink and become taut. As a final step, the three panels were joined together using cane.'
5. Create a contemporary Crittall-style room divider for a sleek look
If you're a fan of Crittall-style doors and windows but don't have the budget or the right space, a nod to the look with a DIY room divider is a stylish - and affordable - alternative.
You can easily use matte black paint to create the look, as Floor of @washplate did above.
She says: 'A room divider not only 'divides' the space in half (which is ideal if you want to separate two areas), but it also breaks a larger space. By placing a divider in the room, you create more depth and also create new corners that you can style to give your living room or bedroom extra atmosphere.
'This room divider is not only nice and low-budget but is also a great DIY project that is not too complicated.
'I made our room divider from pine slats and painted it black for the steel effect.'
See exactly how Floor created the look on this blog.
6. Fashion a biophilic living 'green screen'
Decorating with plants is an inexpensive and eco-friendly way to separate a makeshift home office in your bedroom.
'Being around plants can boost productivity and reduce stress,' says Rebecca Snowden, Interior Style Advisor at Furniture And Choice. 'Zone your WFH (working from home) space with a bookshelf filled with a variety of greenery like potted ferns and trailing plants.'
In areas that receive little sunlight, faux plants work just as well. Create a fresh and airy workspace with a white desk and chair, and calming green artwork.
You can also use a sleek black clothes rail to fashion your 'green screen' DIY room divider for an industrial, contemporary take on the look.
7. Channel an industrial vibe with an upcycled window frame
Working with industrial interior design? An upcycled window frame DIY room divider will enhance the look perfectly.
'We purchased this chippy, vintage window for only $20 at an antique market,' explains Jeanette, of snazzylittlethings.com.
'Once our basement remodel was finished we realized we needed to create more defined spaces. This window was a perfect complement to our vintage, industrial vibe and helped create a division between the bar and mantel seating area.'
8. Install an on-trend grey wood slatted style
A room divider doesn't need to be opaque; it's often simply used as a way of zoning a room and delineating different spaces.
The cool, grey slatted wood room divider above shows how you can create a cozy dining space while maintaining an open, airy feel.
So how was it created? 'I started this mini project by purchasing wood from the local sawmill,' says Robyn, of @robynathome_.
'I used 4 x 1 planed pine for the verticals and some off cuts of 3 x 2 for the top and bottom. A frame was then created with several “test fits” as the ceiling wasn’t level. Once the frame was the right size, I cut and screwed the remaining verticals in place.
'Once built, I was able to hold the divider in place with some clamps. I then used hardwood wedges and clear silicone to secure in place.
'This method required no drilling to the ceiling or new flooring I just had installed. The finish was achieved by using Littlefairs driftwood wood dye.'
9. Craft a fluted room divider for a cool kids bedroom idea
If you don't have space for kids' study room ideas, a DIY room divider is an effective alternative to create the homework area needed as your child gets older.
'Now Ralph is heading into secondary school we wanted a dedicated space where he could do homework, and this room divider does the job perfectly, separating a workspace from the bed,' she says.
'I used the back of the headboard to fix a sheet of MDF and this was paneled with cut-down strips of MDF.
'The desktop is from IKEA and sits on small ledges screwed into the wall so that it appears to float.
'Finally, above the desk the paneled strips are taken to the ceiling and the top of the headboard enclosed with an MDF shelf to finish the divider and create a more permanent looking structure'.
Laura adds: 'The whole divider is painted in Farrow and Ball Lichen.'
10. Display a modern rustic aesthetic with a patinated frame
A rustic-chic painted frame room divider will work wonders in a Scandi decor space.
Natascha created the frame herself with pine, then applied several layers of paint before sanding it back to create a rustic, patinated effect. The result is a divider that adds a textural element to a creative space
11. Style up a DIY room divider with a clever IKEA hack
You can create an ultra-chic rattan DIY room divider with a clever IKEA Ivar hack. The famous cabinet range is actually available as shelving, and its side panels can be bought separately, which makes the product ideal for DIY projects.
When paired with cane webbing, these Ivar side panels create a chic and ultra-handy IKEA room divider idea that serves as an easy and affordable way to add a bohemian atmosphere to any space.
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Ruth Doherty is a lifestyle journalist based in London. An experienced freelance digital writer and editor, she is known for covering everything from travel and interiors to fashion and beauty. She regularly contributes to Livingetc, Ideal Home and Homes & Gardens, as well as titles like Prima and Red. Outside of work, her biggest loves are endless cups of tea, almond croissants, shopping for clothes she doesn’t need, and booking holidays she does.
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