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How to Maximize Space & Create Privacy
Room dividers are like magicians: they make something out of nothing. They instantly turn one large room into two, make privacy blossom and even create the illusion of more space.
Some dividers are so substantial and sturdy that they are almost interior partition walls. Scaling down is more the norm, though, because when DIYing, who wants to make things complicated? So put your carpentry and drywall skills on the back burner for a later date. Instead, think more along the lines of staple guns, hot glue, finish nails and fabric tape.
Almost any material is fair game, too: rope, license plates, PVC pipe, chicken wire, repurposed IKEA doors, pallet wood, vinyl records, metal.Continue to 2 of 11 below.
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What better room divider for an upholstery collective than one made of organic fibers? Morgan Satterfield, who loves remodeling her mid-century modern home near Palm Springs, CA, has a friend who offers upholstery classes in a giant warehouse, and that warehouse was just too big. Adding a divider near the door was the perfect way to soften this cavernous space.
This divider is dead-simple, easy to realize and materials are cheap. Thick jute rope, available at hardware and craft/hobby stores, goes for about $1 per linear foot. If you are willing to compromise with thinner 1/16" jute rope, costs plummet.
Mount wooden shoe plates on the floor and ceiling, then thread the rope between the plates. While not effective at creating a total visual block, this type of divider is superb at demarcating and separating spaces.Continue to 3 of 11 below.
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PAX Brings Peace
Studio apartment dwellers know how cabin fever can develop. It's something about having one room–and one room only–that really dials up the fever. It intensifies when two people dwell in that same single room. Problem?
Not at all. Where there is a need, there is an IKEA hack. Jules Yap, founder of the popular blog IKEA Hackers, relates the solution that one of her readers hit on: cut the room into two parts with a sliding wall.
IKEA PAX wardrobe doors with frosted glass come in sizes large enough to stretch from ceiling to floor. They slide effortlessly on tracks and, like a just-sharpened knife, slice one chaotic room into two separate calm sanctuaries.Continue to 4 of 11 below.
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It's as if Jennifer Eckert over at Fresh Crush was mainlining genius with this fabric-covered divider. She managed to hit every sweet spot in the world of DIY room dividers with this one.
Cheap? You bet. She pulled this one in for less than $170 for two panels.
DIY-friendly? Yes. Complete list of tools and materials she used: drill, bit, pencil, measuring tape, ceiling hooks, adjustable connectors, hurricane tape, hammer, staple gun, staples and safety glasses.
Flexible? Of course. Those adjustable connectors, attached to the ceiling, allow for easy vertical adjustment.
This divider is so out-of-the-box fast because the fabric is stretched over pre-built artist canvases, each 30" by 50".Continue to 5 of 11 below.
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This is one IKEA hack that is more about placement than it is about drills, screws and saws. All you have to do is rotate a Kallax shelving unit ninety degrees so that it is perpendicular to the wall (Kallax is the successor to IKEA's wildly popular Expedit unit, which they discontinued in 2014).
The most important "hack" is to secure the unit to avoid tipping. IKEA provides free tip-over hardware restraint kits, but these largely will not work when Kallax is positioned at this angle. Instead, use solid restraints, such as metal "L" brackets attached to a wall stud and to the top of the unit.
Supplement this with screws driven through the side of the unit, directly into the same stud. Screw heads will be visible, but you can cover them with tiny plastic white screw cap covers (about $11 for 100).Continue to 6 of 11 below.
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It looks like fabric, but it isn't. This is a coiled metal wire mesh that drapes and hangs just like fabric. Oregon's Cascade Coil made this divider for a Hyatt Hotel, but DIYers too can purchase metal coil products directly from the company on its website and make wonderful things.Continue to 7 of 11 below.
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Anybody who has ever taken a sledgehammer to a plaster wall knows the distinctive, beautiful parallel lines that emerge from the dust. These lines are lath boards. Lath was nailed to the studs and acted as a base for the plaster.
This half-constructed (or deconstructed?) divider wall pays homage to the roots of this 15th St. Brooklyn, NY duplex.Continue to 8 of 11 below.
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Two for One
Both horrified and amused that a Boston retailer was asking around $300 for a pallet wood room divider, Staci and husband Doug made their own. After sourcing local pallets for materials, they quickly put together this divider so that they could separate one big room into a half-office, half-bedroom combination. The divider does double duty as a kind of vertical scrapbook: finish nails pounded into various places on the divider act as hooks for binder clips, which in turn display mementos of trips and Broadway shows.Continue to 10 of 11 below.
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Emily at the fun craft blog Jones Design Company paid less than $100 for this gorgeous salvaged window sash. After mounting it to the ceiling with a barn door track, she and her family had an instant room divider. As Emily notes, she wanted to define the space, yet "keep things bright and open." This window does just the trick.Continue to 11 of 11 below.
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DIY design blogger Susan wasn't eager to trash her outdated but fully functional tri-fold room divider. As a mother, grandmother and teacher, it's not exactly setting a good example to landfill stuff that still works.
So she punched out the flimsy pressboard inserts in the divider, retaining the wood frame. Shabby chic and elegant country are her preferred styles, so she purchased chicken wire and stapled it to each of the three sections.
After adding curios and photos, she now has a personalized room divider that separates her kitchen from the dining room.