A classic case of 'divide & rule'

A classic case of 'divide & rule'

A classic case of 'divide & rule'

Room dividers are creative options that add form, functionality and style to your home decor.  Natasha Menezes offers a dekko.

Most homes these days are designed along with a foyer. A foyer is a small passageway or room at the entrance, typically used either for hanging garments or for stowing away drenched clothes and an umbrella. The living, dining and bedrooms are attached to it.

Initially, the foyer was used as an airlock system to keep away cold drafts of air from entering the heated rooms inside. Today, it stands as a key architectural element with no particular usage.

So, if you want to adorn your hallway with a new façade or allow for some privacy for your family and guests from the foyer area, without burning a hole in your pocket, room partitions are your best bet.

Room dividers are creative options to add form, functionality and style to your modern home decor. They come in all shapes, sizes and materials so that you can customise your setting well within your defined budget.

A room divider is a screen or piece of furniture mounted either from the ceiling or floor or meeting end to end from the ceiling to the floor. It is used as a division between two separate rooms or spaces.

The history of folding room dividers or partitions dates back to the seventh  century in China where it was primarily used by the royal families. They were heavy and ornate and usually kept in one place. The Japanese started using them  in lighter and portable forms, at tea ceremonies, religious gatherings and outdoor processions.

Europeans remodelled them into their own versions by using wood, silk, glass, mirrors and leather. Today, they are used everywhere, from dwellings to offices and schools to restaurants.

“Room partitions are a great option to use as dividing spaces and making more efficient use of the areas within. They can also be used as room accents or decorative pieces in a sprawling drawing room expanse. They can add privacy, hide clutter, increase storage spaces, give a fresh burst of colour, redirect foot traffic, create a foyer or just add cosiness to your room,” says notable Delhi interior designer Parul Amla.


The nature of room partitions can either be permanent, built-in or portable. Permanent fixtures are usually trending in restaurants as in wine cellars. Built-in dividers are popular in offices while portable dividers are built on wheels and can be ferried around in different places of your apartment. The latter is mostly seen in conventional centres.

They may completely obscure vision as seen in floor to ceiling dividers or allow for some visuals in the form of partly opaque glass which is used as a divider.

Dividers are typically made from wood, fabric, plexiglass, framed cotton canvas, pleated fabric or mirrors. Potted plants, book cases and curtain railings can also be used. Portable dividers are supported by wheels. Dividers can be of different types — shoji screens, cubicle dividers, pipe and drape screens or plain cemented walls.


lThey are great at endowing you with privacy between your kitchenette and dining areas, or planning your kids’ room with a separate sleeping space for each kid.

lPartitions made of glass are trendy and they add a plush demeanour to your home that will also stand the envy of all visitors’ eyes. They are in vogue today because of their chic designs and upscale patterns. They also make your room seem bigger due to the refractive quality of glass used here.

Room dividers can accentuate the look of your room. They are ideal for homeoffices as they augment the backdrop of your office space while maintaining a professional atmosphere.

lPortable room dividers are economical and can be moved around easily. They can be folded and kept inside when not needed, thus adding unique dimensions to your room.

lSmall homes or studio apartments benefit from room dividers as it is both practical and creative. It visually adds another room to your small abode.


Curtain room partitions are the most economical to use. They can be made of plastic or fabric and are soft, flexible and romantic. You can play around with different colours, textures and patterns, depending on the overall decor. They can also be made and changed easily. You can layer two pieces of curtain fabric together, one lighter like sheer, and the other slightly opaque, to add visual drama to your room.

Sliding room dividers and screens can add a unique texture and depth to your room. Materials may include fabric, wood or even glass and metal. These panels are useful to separate a home office area from the rest of your room, or to create a quiet environ for reading. You can even include stained glass for this purpose.

Storage furniture like shelves, bookcases and stands can dub into room dividers. They add more aesthetic value and also serve as a separate place for displaying unique collectibles. Since they are not completely opaque, they tend to bring in harmony with the rest of the room. Light from one part of the room can easily transition into the other part  via the room divider.

Permanent floor to ceiling dividers made of cement are more expensive, but they bring in elegance and sophistication to your interior design. Hanging room partitions are contemporary and chic. They can be made of plastic, beads or fabric. They typically drop from the roof and are stylish and modern. They also make natural lighting seep in very beautifully.

You can also experiment with shape. Try building a curved wall as a room divider and place a large couch in front of it. It brings in creativity and adds a fun quotient.

To sum it up, creating room dividers are creative, fun and functional. So, make them your conversation starters.