Good Question: Interior wall alternatives

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Hello AT,

I live with my husband and daughter in a 1,000 sq. ft. one-bedroom apartment in Jackson Heights, Queens. Now that our daughter is almost a year old, it is time (past time) to give her a separate or semi-separate room to sleep in. The most obvious thing is to divide our large 14x18 bedroom.

We considered a compression wall, but this is not an option because our ceilings are not made of concrete. Putting up a real wall is an option, but it will be costly, and will severely cut up the room. (Also we may have to take it down when we move.) A curtain seems too lightweight, but I haven't ruled that out.

Any thoughts on creative ways to divide the room in a semi-sound-proof and light-proof way?


Dear Rebecca,
A good question indeed. We've seen every type of solution, from rice-paper partitions to full-on walls, as you propose. We've also seen one solution--a home-made but very effective one--that involved a heavily quilted curtain that absorbed sound very well.

An army of apartment therapists with who knows how many apartment configurations will hopefully be able to chime in with additional recommendations, perhaps with specific resources.



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Maxwell left teaching in 2001 to start Apartment Therapy as a design business helping people to make their homes more beautiful, organized AND healthy. The website started up in 2004 with the help of his brother, Oliver.