Open plan home design is very much a signature element of Australian homes, due in part to our beautiful climate and our love affair with indoor-outdoor living.
A free-flowing open-plan design gives the feeling of light, space and fresh air that we so love and welcome, however, it can lack the gentle sense of separation that is often needed in one big, open-box room.
It can be difficult to create different rooms within a room – ie. effectively separating living, dining, study, and play zones while still maintaining a physically opened space – but one method we can use to achieve this is the strategic, subtle placement of room dividers.
There are so many options and materials to work with when it comes to creating an impactful division. As well as adding a striking feature to the room with texture or pop of colour, room dividers can be instrumental in providing more options for how you configure the spaces and your furniture within them – whilst still maintaining the cohesive flow of the original open design.
How room dividers work
Now, this might sound obvious to some, but essentially, room dividers should be placed where walls would otherwise be. Putting a screen where a wall wouldn’t be just doesn’t, well, make sense. You want to create a physical barrier – but not a solid one. Here are 5 of our faves:
Fireplace: Using a fireplace as a room divider – especially a two-way fireplace – provides plenty of design scope for both sides of the room. It’s an instant point of interest for the eyes as well as being super-functional.
Exposed Brick: Dividers using exposed brick bring an architectural quality to a space that’s edgy, earthy and difficult to ignore. Used inside or out, they bring texture to a space, making it feel grounded, comfortable and purposeful.
Timber Slats: Floor-to-ceiling timber slats can bring a divided space to life. It achieves that important sense of separation and invites a beautiful play of light and shade patterns across walls and floors. Chunky timber posts add strength along with visual appeal.
Mirrors: Much more than just functional, a mirror can become the focal point of a thoughtfully designed divider – reflecting off more light into a room, mirrors are a classic example of form and function. It’s an idea that works particularly well if you want to create a feeling of separation and privacy between a bedroom and an open-plan ensuite.
Laser-cut screens: Laser-cut metal screens are like art built into a wall. Painted or left natural, equally striking indoor or outdoors, a laser-cut screen can come in virtually any design – you can even design your own one-off piece that you’ll never see anywhere else!
Do you have any other room divider ideas? Leave a comment below.