A room can be divided up in many different ways, but only some of those will truly be comfortable or offer you any semblance of privacy. For this reason, considering all of the best room divider ideas you have available to you before taking the plunge is essential – so make sure to read this guide in full.

Whether you want a custom-made divider that's virtually soundproof or a budget-friendly dividing curain for temporary use, there are a range of pros and cons to each choice you could make. Let's start by defining what a room divider even is, as the definition changes depending on where you are and who you ask:

What is a room divider – and why would you want to use one?

Like their name implies, room dividers are a kind of wall partition that separates different sections of a room to provide privacy in homes with limited space. That isn’t to say that you can only use room dividers when you’re lacking space – but they can help a lot for those who are.

There isn’t really a standard type of divider as using nearly anything – including furniture and bookcases – could be considered good ways to divide a room. With that being said, some of the most common options you’ll come across are floor-to-ceiling height wall partitions that fully separate spaces into two distinct sections.

As for why you may want to use a divider, here are are some good reasons:

  • You’re looking for ways to stretch a home with limited space

  • You want more privacy in a shared room – visually or in terms of noise

  • Blocking off certain sections of a home

  • Separating multiple sections of your child’s bedroom

  • They simply just look nice or aesthetically compliment your current design choices

Clearly, space-saving room divider ideas can benefit almost anyone, including your kids:

Using a room partition to create space for your kids

Before we talk about all the different kinds of room dividers out there, we specifically wanted to highlight their usefulness when it comes to creating a comfortable bedroom that multiple kids can share.

The main problem with many dividers, as you’ll find out below, is that they don’t really offer much in the way of actual privacy – just because your kids share a room doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a bit of privacy or peace of mind when they need it.

The foundation of a happily-shared room between kids is how the space is divided up. It needs to feel equal and offer all your kids a cozy space to retreat to when they’ve had a tough day. Fitting a divider in with the layout of your kids beds can be tricky, depending on the size of their beds – when you work with us, you’ll have access to decades of knowledge and expert advice.

Our top room divider ideas

Dividers aren’t always just a wall or ceiling length bookcase – they can also be smaller pieces of furniture, movable paneling, and other kinds of less-common wall partition ideas. Depending on why you want a divider, you’ll have to choose between a handful of upsides and downsides that come with each type.

With that being said, custom-made dividers have few to zero downsides compared to other options, because they can be modulated to fit within your unique home:

Custom-made room divider ideas

Before we get into some other kinds of room partitions, let’s discuss custom dividers. Whether you’re setting up a nursery or you’ve just moved to a new studio apartment, a custom-made room divider offers you a wide range of features that you won’t find when shopping online or at your local home goods store.

At Casa Kids, we’ve been designing and installing room dividers for years now, and during that time we’ve noticed a few key benefits involved with going the custom-route, including:

  • Permanent or non-permanent installations that can be moved around

  • Complete control over the design process via home consultations

  • More acoustic privacy compared to DIY room divider options

  • The ability to safely secure your room divider

  • A real sense of divided space – you won’t have to pretend, even with tall ceilings

  • More modularity in terms of storage space

If that sounds interesting to you, consider browsing our gallery of dividers we’ve made in the past. Whatever you’re imagining, we can make it – we can help make your perfect room divider idea a reality.

You don’t have to settle for a simple curtain or hastily-constructed bookcase that might fall over while your kids are lounging on their bunk bed; we’ll work alongside you to draw up plans for an entirely unique room divider, tailor-fit for your child’s bedroom or home.

Some of our most popular options include floor-to-ceiling plywood or plexiglass sections, double-sided bookcases, and even real doors and windows paired with a custom shelving unit. Once ordered, we’ll even deliver and install the divider ourselves – no more dust, debris, or scratches left behind from your attempts at assembling cheap knock-off furniture.

Free standing room divider ideas

If you’re looking for a lightweight and movable room divider, you’ll want to investigate a few different kinds of free standing or paneled dividers. And this category is pretty broad: ranging from simple wooden or plastic panels with little expectation of privacy to more expensive Japanese-style shoji screens that you can easily fold and move around your home.

Rattan dividers are another popular choice, and are quite similar to shoji screens in many ways, including their simple wood frame. The key thing to remember is that sturdier free standing panels like this will be more expensive compared to basic, flimsier ones. If you want a list, look for any of these kinds of free standing dividers:

  • Japanese shoji panels – which can also be sliding doors

  • Rattan dividers with foldable panels

  • Other folding screens or free standing panels and walls

Wood is a natural material that compliments a wide range of interior design styles – it’s often the material of choice for free standing dividers because it’s lightweight and easy to craft into panels and screens that can fold and be moved around your home. While free standing panels are usually wood, you can also find plastic, glass, or metal versions.

Hanging room divider ideas

Similar to free-standing paneled room dividers, partitions that either hang from your are also going to be lightweight – as they’re most likely made from wood, plastic, or fabric due to the potential damage heavier materials like metal could cause if they fall.

When it comes to hanging dividers, you can choose from hanging panels situated in your dining room room or nearby hallways, curtains installed alongside a sleek metal rod, or even things like partitions made from hanging beads or rugs. These kinds of dividers are used to create a more visually appealing partition that doesn’t require lots of floor space – oftentimes they’re designed more for aesthetics than privacy, with lots of gaps in the partition itself that let in natural light.

Overall, these are your best options:

  • Hanging curtains (including blackout or noise-proof versions)

  • Dividers made from strings of beads, carpets, or rugs

  • Lightweight wood, plastic, or metal panels that hang

If you’re trying to stretch your budget, picking up a simple curtain divider may be your best bet. Not only are curtains cheaper, they’re also lightweight enough for most people to easily remove them as needed.

Floor or ceiling track dividers

Room dividers that follow a track are another popular choice with a bit of character. These kinds of room partitions involve physically pulling or pushing a door or panel around when you want privacy and range in style from things like barn doors to traditional Japanese shoji screens (which can also be free-standing as mentioned above).

Curtains can sometimes fall under this category too, depending on how the hardware is set up on your floor or ceiling. The main idea behind these kinds of space dividers is to provide you with the ability to add or remove a wall as needed, with some materials offering a bit more privacy than others.

For example, a heavier sliding barn door will most likely filter out noise better than a lightweight, accordion-style room divider that folds up when moved along its track. If you’re someone who has lots of pets or young children, a well-placed floor or ceiling track room divider offers you a way to block off access to a room immediately when needed.

Bookcases and other creative room dividers

You don’t have to divide your room with panels or doors – you can also simply just use pieces of furniture like bookcases or even larger lighting fixtures to split up a room. While these won’t filter out noises or sounds as well as a more extensive barrier, if you're trying to figure out how to divide a room without a wall, try using something like:

  • Bookcases or shelving

  • Cabinets or dressers

  • Portable whiteboards or blackboards

  • Large lighting fixtures like lamps

With that in mind, things like bookcases are generally meant to be positioned against a wall for stability. So if you do decide to go with a bookcase or cabinet partition in your home office or living room, be aware of the fact that they could tip over more easily.

Another one of the benefits of going with a custom-made divider (covered above) is that we prioritize the safety of you and your family when designing your setup. The height, weight, and other dimensions of your partition will match the overall design of your home, and you won’t have to worry about falling encyclopedias while your kids play.

Properly setting up a room divider

Finally, we want to mention how to properly set up a room divider including custom-made wall partitions or simple ceiling-track curtains – there are a few key things to consider when installing a divider, no matter which direction you choose to go with.

The most important thing to consider is that, depending on where you live, there may be actual laws that prohibit or dictate how you divide up your home. For example, we primarily work out of the New York area – as of recent years, NYC has begun cracking down on illegally installed room dividers and partitions due to safety concerns.

So if you live somewhere like NYC, it’s likely you’ll have to go through the process of hiring an architect or engineer to design an up-to-code wall partition or room divider if you don’t want to break your lease agreements or any local laws.

Navigating these tricky legal landscapes is another reason why you should consider going with a custom-made room divider; by working with us, we guarantee you the delivery and installation of divider that complies with your local regulations – not only that, but our installation team is specifically trained to avoid any sort of damage to your living space.

Final thoughts

With such a wide variety of modern room dividers and partitions on the market, finding one that compliments your living space can be frustrating. Local laws often prohibit the installation of permanent studio dividers and room separators, which means opting for a more unique partition design drawn up by a real architect or engineer could be required.

If you have any questions that weren't answered in our guide to room dividers, feel free to reach out to us so we can help you design one that compliments your home and keeps your kiddos safe.