I'm renting a small apartment which has one bedroom, near the front door there is a large open space that could easily be converted to a bedroom/office with the addition of a partition across a wall.

Is there a way I can do this without making my apartment look like a surgery?

Bear in mind I'm renting, so structural changes wouldn't be good, It'd just be nice to be able to wall the room off when I felt like it.

Here is the room layout:

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3 Answers 3


You can get divider screens that are made of several reasonably lightweight panels connected together with hinges (like the IKEA RISÖR). Something like that could be used to divide the room. I've also seen people use freestanding shelf units to divide a large room, that are open on both sides (like the IKEA EXPEDIT), and then fill the shelves with books, decorative vases/bowls, and collectibles.

Neither option really creates a wall, but you're looking for something more temporary. Anything tall enough to go to the ceiling will either need to be really wide for stability, or attach to the ceiling, which I don't think you want to do.

Note: The linked products are used as examples of the type of furniture I'm writing about. They aren't meant as recommendations for specific products.

  • Thanks for the response, I'll leave this open a little while before accepting to see if anyone else has some more suggestions :) Dec 20, 2011 at 0:05
  • I suggest you look at a blog like Apartment Therapy. They often have examples of things people have done with similar small spaces, especially in studio apartments (one large room rather than a separate bedroom, so people tend to put up dividers to partition the room). Dec 20, 2011 at 0:17
  • Thanks, looks good, I'm not exactly great at decorating and pretty much just own a sofa, bed, dining table (And of course numerous consoles, speakers, game equipment!) Dec 20, 2011 at 0:22

In the Middle East, I saw an attractive answer to this question. Very large spaces are sometimes partitioned by rugs suspended on rails---like big curtains. You have instant privacy, and your walls look great.

We have a large room at home and I wanted to follow this system. Rugs were too expensive, so I used colorful jute---a fabric that has a lot of texture. One room can instantly turn into two rooms. The curtain / divider is on a rail close to the ceiling.

Not the best solution for renting, but a quick and attractive way to divide a space.


Contractors sometimes use temporary divider systems for dust containment. These systems use spring-loaded and/or adjustable poles to hold sheet plastic in place. If you don't need to hang anything on the wall, and sound insulation is not important, you might consider using one of these systems with fabric instead of plastic. Example: Speedy Wall (found via a search on "temporary plastic partition"). Note that fabric costs more than you think, and many fabrics only look good on one side and/or let a lot of light through.

Another option described here is to build a stud wall to snugly fit into the space (using a strip of "sill plate sealer" to help ensure the snug fit). This requires a small number of holes into the existing ceiling to ensure stability, but gives a solid-looking and feeling wall.

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