Skip to content

Talk: Wall Dividers Pull Rooms Together

They may be short, tall, curved, see-through, or made of sustainable materials like bamboo. And there are a lot of ways a wall divider may be utilized in just about any room. Let us take a look and see how we could divide and conquer.

Kipnis Architecture + Planning

Deal with a tricky situation. “There are lots of things at work with this divider,” says Nathan Kipnis of Kipnis Architecture + Planning. “Both of those columns are wrapped around structural pipes, hiding them from view. I set up the columns that they were symmetrical with the center of the kitchen. And if you look closely, you can see that the living room is a step down and the measures terminate into the built-in”

The house that has been ripped down on the site was “well past its useful life,” Kipnis says, although it “had a couple of elements that we reused. The four leaded glass doors, for instance, are out of an older stairwell. The divider is open to either side at the center for artwork or plants, and also the glass-fronted cabinets hold books”

He adds, “This sort of solution is your best approach to deal with tricky issues — turn them in to style elements. We used to call this ‘celebrate the issue’ in design school.”

Feldman Architecture, Inc..

Boost mild stream. “We made this room divider set up of a wall which used to separate the rooms as a means of letting the spaces and mild to flow better but still retain some degree of branch,” says Jonathan Feldman of Feldman Architecture. The display is made of cherry cabinetry and panels, steel supports, and also a blend of clear and back-painted glass.


Multitask. “This wall divides the master bedroom in the closet, but the intent was to hold it down in the ceiling so that it allows the general space to flow above it and improve the size of the room,” says Cass Calder Smith of CCS Architecture. “This kind of wall, that is only Sheetrock that’s been painted, also basically becomes the headboard for your bed.”

Hufft Projects

Add viability and interest. “This entry hall display is made of walnut, acrylic and steel rods,” says Matthew Hufft of Hufft Projects. “To break this up a little, we wanted to provide the appearance of floating boxes, that are also practical as they can be used to store things like visitors’ gloves and hats. The walnut stools offer a spot for guests to sit down when they take off their shoes.”

Tom Hurt Architecture

Organize a series of rooms. “When we refurbished this midcentury modern brick house, we utilized cabinets instead of traditional walls to arrange the rear entry, mudroom, kitchen, family dining stall, kitchen office/work places — two of these — and the transition into the dining and living room,” says Tom Hurt of Hurt Partners Architects.

“The bookcase is made of a clear finished maple,” he points out, “and components of the cabinet system have solid panels, other components obscured glass, and also towards the rear [in this photograph] is a huge pin board for those kids’ jobs, family photos and such.” The ceiling stuff is custom-milled clear fir, and the flooring is honed granite.

Griffin Enright Architects

Give the illusion of privacy. “This room divider hangs off of steel pipe columns to make an open gap between the living room and the family room of a loftlike living area,” says Margaret Griffin of Griffin Enright Architects. “The floating shelf provides more privacy when seated and appears more floating when standing”

As for materials, “The shelf is made of birch, as is the ceiling,” she says, “and the steel pipe pillar is painted using a hammered-gray Hammerite paint, and it fits the floor, which also highlights the floating caliber of the shelf.”

INC, 2D3D Design

Incorporate renewable materials. “This project included the renovation of a spa owner’s private toilet at Mamalahoa Hot Tubs and Massage at Kona, Hawaii,” says Rosanne Percivalle of 2D3D Design. “The client wanted to have an open feeling which featured organic materials, but didn’t need to break the lender with expensive finishes and construction.”

This room divider “was the very first item I found,” she says, “and the rest of the toilet design evolved about it. At 36 inches wide, the display provides a separation in the bathroom, yet allows light to circulate around and through it.”

She adds, “I thought utilizing this display as a divider, in addition to a bigger similar display for the lost ceiling, could be an ideal way to integrate a renewable material like bamboo. We also saved on the cost of building a ceiling and wall out of Sheetrock simply by employing these prefabricated panels”

Rossington Architecture

Add a furniture element. “The display is a tool to dapple light, irrespective of whether it is placed vertically or horizontally,” says Phil Rossington of Rossington Architecture. “In this program it allows light plus also a glimpse of an opinion, but it also clearly defines the entry. Making the divider part of the built-in bench grounds it and strengthens it , physically and experientially.”

He adds, “African mahogany is a rich, glistening wood, and we used it to help direct the eye to the inside of the house, where it is used throughout.”

(m) + charles shore INTERIORS

Soften the hard lines of a attic space. “My impetus for designing a curved wall was to make a stylish and functional branch for your house office area inside this downtown Boston attic,” says M. Charles Beach of (m) + charles shore Interiors. “When viewed from front, the curved wall appears to be freestanding, but in reality it is anchored to the end of a 4-foot-high vertical bookcase we assembled that runs back into the present wall. This bookcase provides the soft branch between the two office spaces and accommodates novel storage on each side.”

He elaborates: “From an aesthetic perspective I employed a curved wall since I wanted to make an enveloping texture with a concave feature as opposed to the angles of a conventional wall. Loft spaces are usually unforgiving, and therefore I felt this style of wall could add a very distinct and elegant dimension to the whole loft experience. Additionally, from the home office side the curved walls lover out and make a natural entry-exit space that doesn’t require any doors”

Beach and his team utilized a flexible monitor, known as Flex-C Trac, on the bottom along with the framework. The claws are made of alloy, and the walls has been coated in Sheetrock and hand-finished to produce the smooth curve.

Schwartz and Architecture

Expand and expand. “This home’s master bedroom and master bath both have a limited number of available square footage,” says Neal Schwartz of Schwartz and Architecture. “We dealt with this by fixing the room divider as a piece of cabinetry rather than a conventional wall”

The feeling of distance has been further enhanced with clerestory windows. “Being able to find a continuous ceiling surface helps make the 2 rooms feel like one, and it also greatly expands the feeling of distance,” Schwartz says.

Schwartz and Architecture

Create an entrance. This is just another style by Neal Schwartz. “We had to add only a lot of formality to this ranch house, although we couldn’t produce a really separate entry foyer,” he says. “Here, the bookshelves are obtained from each side of the room and provide the entry only enough of a sense of branch and formality.”

MusaDesign Interior Design

Infuse a contemporary room with tradition. “The inspiration for those shelves came from viewing the grandiose redwood planks which were bought by a 22-foot-high wine barrel,” says Polina Zaika of MusaDesign Interior Design. “We maintained the burnt interior of the barrel over the side of the shelves. The minimalism of the home’s interior has been yelling for some soulful elements like wood. It almost looks like the bone arrangement of an old house.”

Goforth Gill Architects

Create an architectural focal point. “With this room divider we were looking to separate the dining area in the living room with an architectural element, while maintaining the openness between the two spaces,” says Kimberly Goforth of Goforth Gill Architects.

See related