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Journal

April 4th

Divide (and Conquer!) Your Living Space

You can buy see-through book shelves to fit your style and create the room separation you need.

Living spaces that include “great rooms” or combination living/dining areas are terrific for entertaining and for families, but sometimes they can appear cavernous and cold if they aren’t designed properly. And on the other end of the spectrum, a small condo or apartment needs to have delineated places for living, dining and cooking. Fortunately, in both of these situations it’s possible to use furniture and accessories to divide the space without creating permanent walls.

Back in the ’60s and ’70s, it was popular to partition a home’s entryway with a half-wall topped by pillars so you could see through to the door but still have a sense of separation. Of course that look is dated now, but the same concept remains. By using a simple partition, you can give the feel of boundaries but you don’t block off light and views.

A fireplace makes an ideal space divider.

For example, I really like to use a freestanding bookcase that is open from both sides. IKEA’s Billy line works well for this approach, or you can use a more high-end version in a variety of styles and materials. Either way, the bookcase lets in light from both sides and it provides a showcase for holding accessories and accents, such as vases, trinkets from your latest travels, books or plants.

A large screen is an obvious choice for dividing a space. Look for a screen that complements your décor but still allows light through rather than a completely opaque screen that forms a wall. Instead of anchoring the screen from wall to the other, bring it in six to nine feet so it generates its own space.

Simply installing a swivel TV can give the feel of two rooms in one.

You can also use items that can be arranged to give the impression of a wall. For instance, a group of large pots in different sizes sets space apart. I also like wide floor lamps uplighting tall bamboo plants that add texture and bring in the outdoors. If you are remodeling, consider a two-sided fireplace that gives off warmth and ambience to both sides of the room, or install a swivel TV.

As you can see, there are many ways to creatively assign your living space without giving up an overall feeling of airiness. Just be sure to think from both sides of the “wall” so you aren’t facing a beautiful view from one side of the unit and a less-than-desirable look from the other.

If we can help with any of your decorating or remodeling needs, please contact us.