8 Ways To Create More Privacy in Your Home, According to Designers

published Feb 9, 2021
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If being hunkered down at home with roommates or family members for the past year has taught us anything, it’s how important a little privacy can be. “Since the pandemic began, our homes have become our office, gym, restaurant, and entertainment spaces,” says interior designer Eliza McNabb of Hyphen & Co. “Creating a dedicated private space at home can help you (and your roommates or family members) make time for quiet moments.”

Dreaming of a designated nook at home where you can score some much-needed solo time? From floating art walls to meditation corners and more, these are tips from interior designers to create more privacy inside your shared spaces. 

Fashion a floating wall 

When you can’t have real walls inside an open-concept space, designer Carneil Griffin of Griffin Direction Interiors says a floating wall is the next best thing. “Having a space that puts you in work mode — or relaxation mode — is paramount in 2021,” he explains. “A floating art wall, made of thinly cut wood paneling or lightweight MDF plastic sheeting, can carve out privacy while helping you flip the switch between different in-home activities.” 

If you’re handy, the good news is that you can DIY this kind of a floating wall fairly easily. All you have to do is cut a piece of wall divider material to size. Then install anchors into your ceiling, screw hooks into the divider, and connect the two pieces with adjustable connectors that provide the amount of coverage you want (from ceiling to floor or otherwise).

Hang curtains to close off an open space

McNabb says ceiling-mounted curtains, like the ones spotted in Scott and Kristan Cunningham’s downtown Los Angeles loft, can double as versatile room dividers that offer plenty of visual privacy. “You can pull the curtain closed as needed and open things back up easily,” she explains. “The best part? No matter what your budget may be, you can find an option that works for you, from track systems with custom drapery to tension rods and off-the-shelf curtains.” 

Credit: Julie Soefer

Turn your bedside table into a mini WFH station

Whether you have work to do or simply need time to yourself, designer Marie Flanigan says nestling a small desk and a comfortable chair inside a room with a door can provide both privacy and noise control. “Even if your bedroom is the only place you’re able to find privacy, you can use the desk as an alternative to a bedside table,” she adds.

Create a meditation corner

With nothing more than a few plush floor cushions and an accent rug, designer Dominique Brielle Fluker of DBF Interiors says you can transform just about any corner of your home into a serene meditation nook. “A meditation corner can be used as a space to unwind after a long day at work or as a place to score some alone time before you interact with your partner in the morning,” she explains. 

To create a cozy sanctuary in a corner of a room, Fluker recommends integrating comforting yet uplifting decor elements such as soft floor pillows, interesting artwork, a small side table or bench, and a colorful rug into the area, just like Aditi Khorana did inside her eclectic Los Angeles home, as seen above. “If you can find a corner near a window, even better,” Fluker adds. 

Make a homework nook

If you have kids at home, designer Jamie Nusser of J Designs says you can carve out a designated homework nook by simply placing a desk, table, or tabletop surface against an accent wall. “We like creating a separate nook that doesn’t bleed into the rest of the house for kids to study and play in,” she explains. “We find that if there is a clear cut-off point, the clutter seems to stay more concentrated, and the kids will have a dedicated space for themselves so parents can have a break.”

To take your homework nook to the next level, you can add a fun wallpaper as a backdrop or filing cabinets and baskets or bins for storage. If you’re finding the kids get distracted by what’s going on in the rest of the room, you can always team this solution up with a hanging wall divider or even curtains to section off the space better.

Use bookcases to compartmentalize a space

If you’re in a studio or have an open floor plan, designer Michelle Lisac says you can use bookcases to create a small, private seating area. “Open bookcases with architectural silhouettes, like the  KALLAX from IKEA or 3.14 Bookcase at CB2, can be used as room dividers to compartmentalize the space,” she explains. 

You can also place a room-dividing bookcase by your bed to separate your sleeping zone from the rest of your space like Jacqueline Clair did in her Upper East Side studio apartment. “This provides you with a sense of privacy while adding visual interest to the area,” Lisac says. It also gives you a place to store your decorative accessories and books.

Credit: Zeke Ruelas

Make an outdoor nook on your patio

When the weather permits, designer John McClain recommends taking advantage of outdoor space when you really need alone time. “Backyards and patios were once reserved for family gatherings and cookouts, but I guarantee you there is an intimate space to be found there,” he says. “Pair a comfy weatherproof lounge sofa or chair with a side table or two and voilà: You have a private outdoor space where you can work, read, or enjoy any activity you like to do alone.” 

Credit: Erin Derby

Folding screens FTW

You can always count on a sophisticated folding screen to score some much-needed privacy at home. “Vintage screens are a really chic way to separate a room and essentially create two distinct spaces,” designer Mary Patton says. “After the pandemic, they will also look beautiful styled as a headboard behind a bed.”

Section off a corner of your living room or bedroom with a stylish folding screen to score a private reading nook in no time. You can also follow in Jackie Cantwell’s footsteps and use an eye-catching vintage screen to forge a designated bedroom area in a doorless space.