This DIY Divider Just Might Be the Solution Your Studio Apartment Needs

published Nov 21, 2022
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Credit: Erin Derby

I could go on for hours about the bright, charming, basically Parisian studio apartment of Jessica Rachel Williams because it’s that good. This pre-war gem is nestled in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, and Williams occupies the 520 square-foot space that once served as the 1885 brownstone building’s parlor. While the home comes with plenty of character already (original herringbone wood floors, picture frame molding, a dumbwaiter, high ceilings, just to name a few), it’s Williams’ thoughtful outfitting of the space that really makes it shine.

Credit: Erin Derby

At first glance, you likely wouldn’t realize the home is fairly small, thanks to its super-tall ceilings and airy layout. While Williams certainly could have opted for the tried-and-true studio layout — a bookcase to divide the living and sleeping areas — she went for a softer divider: a gauzy canopy above her bed. The canopy visually differentiates the “bedroom” from the rest of the main living area, without interrupting sight lines and making the room feel smaller. The translucent curtains also allow light to pass through the entire space, so the bed and corner of the room gets just as much light as the window seating area.

Credit: Erin Derby

If you’re hoping to recreate this effortless-looking idea, I’ve identified the best way to do it. First, you’ll cut two wooden dowels to the width of your canopy curtains (like these!), or you could easily have them cut to size at a home improvement store. Then, you’ll screw cup hooks (or stick on Command Hooks) to your ceiling where you want the dowels to hang, spacing them slightly closer to each other than the length of the dowels. Tie fishing line or string to the ends of the dowels, then to the cup hooks, ensuring that the dowels are level and at your preferred height. Finally, you can drape your curtains over the dowels to create the canopy bed of your childhood (and adult!) dreams.