How to separate spaces at home without building walls?

Lily Cichanowicz Lily Cichanowicz
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A major trend in interior design at the moment is the open floor plan. Open planning challenges the more traditional notion that homes must be compartmentalized into rooms each dedicated to a specific purpose. The open plan allows for a better flow of light throughout the home, and it can encourage a sense of community amongst its inhabitants. Not to mention, it makes any interior look airier and more expansive. There is so much to love about an open floor plan, but it’s not always so simple to successfully make a home out of a space that is lacking a sense of definition altogether. There are ways to reap all the benefits of an open plan whilst still creating cosy, purposeful little spaces in the absence of conventional walls. Come with us as we explore some simple tips for separating areas at home while keeping things open and spacious. There is bound to be something to fit your needs. Happy decorating!

Make things a little cosier with a fireplace

Perhaps you’ve considered knocking down an obtrusive wall to create an open plan layout but you can’t because of your beloved fireplace. We are here to tell you that it’s possible to have your cake and eat it too in this scenario. In fact, it is quite trendy to have a freestanding fireplace in the home. The presence of a fireplace in this living room is an exemplary depiction of what wonders a hearth can do in creating an inviting, comfortable interior. The presence of a fireplace in the dining room makes for a warm and relaxing meal that will keep your guests sticking around time and again. Even a bathroom could benefit from the addition of a fireplace to keep it toasty. Using a fireplace as a divider between the bedroom and bathroom would definitely be a wonderful innovation to replace a conventional wall. Really, a fireplace can enhance any space by bringing good cheer and a sense of home.

The functional floating panel

A floating panel acts as a more concise version of a conventional wall. It functions only in the exact spot where it is needed, leaving the reason of the space without barrier. This is an ideal solution if you’re looking to create some privacy or to cultivate a cosy nook within a larger space. For instance, the bedroom is divided with a floating panel and the result is the establishment of a small dressing area. The dressing space feels defined and more luxurious than if one were simply getting ready in the corner of a large bedroom. More than that, the wall allows for a mirror to be adhered to the wall, which really ties the little spot together. On the other side, a television would fit perfectly, which could greatly enhance time spent in this bedroom. Everyone loves posting up and watching a few episodes of their favourite series in the comfort and security of their bed!

Separate more thoroughly with some sliding doors

Sliding doors are a great addition to any open plan because they can quite effectively create rooms without completely omitting the flow of light throughout the home that makes open plans so appealing. With the addition of sliding glass doors in particular, it is possible to visually connect spaces while creating a noise barrier. This is great for home offices or meeting areas. Additionally, the glass doors can block out smells from saturating the rest of the house in an open plan interior, something that can be a bit of a nuisance when the kitchen is directly connected to the rest of the house. One way to best maximise the benefits of using sliding doors is to use them around the dining area. This way, you can create a formal, pristine spot for family gatherings, meetings, and for getting work done in peace and quiet.

Different floor

Taking a short hiatus from discussing the means through which you can best separate spaces in your home with barriers, lets look downward for a moment and consider the floor. Using different flooring materials for various areas of your open plan interior can do wonders for dividing the space. One of the most intuitive places to do this would be between the kitchen and living room or dining room. It makes sense because linoleum tiling or other more durable forms of flooring naturally suit the kitchen where messes are more likely to happen, while a nice hardwood floor or carpet can add a touch of opulence and comfort to other living areas. With the added touch of a kitchen island, the dining area and kitchen of this gorgeous country style home feel more distinct from one another despite their proximity.

Use a bookshelf for a barrier

Conventional wisdom might dictate your bookshelf belongs against the wall and out of the way. They are usually rather unwieldy and even imposing after all. Why not use these qualities to your advantage? Situating the bookshelf in between designated areas in your open plan works splendidly as a divider. Bookshelves can also act as wonderful display cases and storage pieces. Implementing a bookshelf barrier between your living room and kitchen like we see in this interior design by Pickawood Gmbh not only works effectively in dividing the space, this large shelf also creates a good spot for storing items relevant to each area. There are decorations and dining glassware along with books and storage, controllers and electronics. All of it is easily accessible and seamlessly incorporated into one big happy open plan interior.

Create division between rooms with some curtains

Curtains function much like conventional walls. Generally, they extend from floor to ceiling, which creates a pretty thorough barrier between one room and the next. The difference between walls and curtains, however, is that they are far less permanent. Curtains are ideal for separating spaces temporarily, perhaps for creating a small study nook or sectioning the bedroom off from the living area while company is over. Curtains also allow you flexibility in the level of transparency you’d like to exist between one area of the house and another. These curtains for example, are quite sheer so the divide between rooms becomes more symbolic. You could certainly opt for heavier, more opaque curtains to add more distinction to the division between spaces. This is something especially relevant if you’re planning to divide the bedroom from the rest of the home through by hanging curtains because thicker curtains provide more privacy and muffle noise.

If you found this Ideabook helpful, check out this guide for dividing the kitchen and the living room in an open plan.


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