Here’s a Totally Unique Room Divider Inspired by a Very Famous Artist 

published Jan 31, 2023
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Coral colored small dining room and kitchen in apartment

Small apartments always require clever methods for creating the look of a larger space with multiple rooms. You’ve probably seen your fair share of traditional room partition screens, storage-packed KALLAX units, curtains, and more, but this totally-custom room divider is a new and exciting I’ve never seen before. Both the homeowner and architecture firm behind this 355-square-foot apartment in Warsaw, Poland, are in agreement: The partition wall is one of the best features in the home.

“I enjoy my partition wall,” owner Katarzyna Kowalska says, “which I designed with cooperation with the executive company — it is an element which separates the hall and living room and is a piece of art to me.” The architect team at blok585m2 add: “We had probably three different concepts and no final decision, but in the end of the construction, the owner fell in love with Alexander Calder’s mobiles ,and we loved the idea of using this motif at first sight [in the entryway partition].”

Even if you’re not familiar with the name, you’ve likely seen work by or inspired by Alexander Calder, an American artist famous for his metal mobiles, which relied on careful weight distribution to balance the pieces. Calder’s mobiles were innovative in material, their modern shapes, their mid-century inspired color palette, and how they moved delicately with air currents alone. His work is on display domestically at prestigious museums like the MoMA and the National Gallery of Art, as well as internationally in Australia, France, South Korea, and beyond.

The custom divider in Kowalska’s home pays homage to Calder’s signature style with its thin metal supports that run from the floor to the ceiling, mimicking the thin wire Calder used to create his mobiles, and interspersed flat shapes and wooden balls, which are reminiscent of the forms he used to perfectly counterweight his works. The end result is a work of art in its own right that visually separates the entryway from the living and dining areas but maintains sight-lines throughout the apartment to keep things airy and free-flowing.

The lesson here: Why not let a favorite artist’s work inspire you to do something bespoke in your place? Whether you hire an architect to make something substantial and one-of-a-kind, like this room divider, or you just riff on the shades in a favorite painting for your color scheme, home decor inspiration is truly everywhere if you just start looking for it.