How To Divide a Small Studio Apartment Without Building a Wall

How To Divide a Small Studio Apartment Without Building a Wall

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Katie Holdefehr
Feb 20, 2017

While the thought of dividing a small studio into even smaller compartments may strike fear into the hearts of many apartment dwellers, there may come a time when the need for privacy and the longing for a "grownup" home wins out. If you're caught between a studio in a city you love and the kind of multi-bedroom house suburban dreams are made of, these simple room dividers could be all the compromise you need. Hey, backyards are overrated anyway.

Above: This hip loft in L.A. uses an open shelving unit as a space separator, but rather than line the shelves with glassware or boooks, renters Adam and Daniel stock theirs with plants. Greenery divides the space, yet lets you peek through the leaves to the bedroom on the other side.

(Image credit: The Local Project)

A slated wooden screen provides an illusion of privacy in this studio from The Local Project, yet it doesn't cut up the small space. I'm imagining building a smaller version of this divider out of two-by-fours and wooden dowels.

(Image credit: Lonny)

The glass and brass screen above serves to separate the private and public areas of this studio apartment featured on Lonny—but we see right through that charade. A transparent divide keeps the room open, yet clearly marks a boundary that's off-limits.

(Image credit: Dwell via Jose Mandojana)

In the Vancouver home of designer Omer Arbel, featured in Dwell, a puzzle of open, glassware-lined shelves separates two rooms. Get the look by using shelving and semi-translucent collectibles that let you glimpse through to the space beyond.

In her London apartment, photographed for her book Flea Market Style and spotted on This is Love Forever, stylist Emily Chalmers sections off her work area with a curtain sewn from colorful, mismatched scarves. If you're a DIY-savvy renter, try stitching your own curtain and use removable Command hooks or a curtain wire to suspend it from the ceiling.

(Image credit: Sweet Harmonie)

Folding screens automatically seem to turn any bedroom into what can only be described as a "boudoir," and the bamboo-and-fabric one above from Sweet Harmonie also infuses the room with a laid-back tropical vibe. The screen above was found in the home decor shop Muy Mucho, but I'm also imagining this would make a fun DIY project (by the way, did you know that Home Depot sells bamboo poles?).

(Image credit: The Everygirl)

If you're committed to separating your space, you may as well take a lesson from this California studio on The Everygirl and make your divider work for you. Buying or building a wheeled divider with shelves will give you an extra storage area for pillows, books or your record player. The best part: You don't need to feel bad about your collecting habit, because the more you stock the shelves, the more privacy you'll gain.

(Image credit: Jeremy Ryan for Popsugar)

Inside a spacious 2,000-square-foot loft in Nashville, featured on Popsugar, vintage window panes stand in for walls.

(Image credit: IKEA)

To separate this small space, the brilliant stylists at IKEA looped neon pink strips through a TARVA headboard, then all the way up so the ceiling. Try this at home with boldly colored yarn or ribbon.

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