Divide a room shared by siblings with a privacy curtain.

How to Divide a Room for Privacy

by Mary Cockrill

At times, you may need to divide a room into more private spaces. Whether you have a bedroom shared by siblings, an open living area or a studio apartment, partitioning off sections of a single room presents areas that are more intimate. Consider the type of privacy you want to create in the room, such as visual, acoustic, temporary or permanent. Develop a budget for your room partition to narrow the viable options to meet your privacy needs.

Permanent Partitions

A permanent partition offers a fixed, structural separation to a room. Solid walls reaching from the floor to ceiling impart visual privacy, as well as establishing a barrier from exterior noise. A built-in kitchen bar with overhead cabinets helps to separate a combined dining and kitchen space into individual areas to generate a more private feel. Back-to-back shelving units constructed in the center of a large living room partitions the space into more intimate conversation areas. A partial, floor-to-ceiling permanent wall constructed in the middle of a room delivers limited privacy without completely separating the two spaces.

Curtains and Screens

Floor-to-ceiling curtains supply a budget-friendly option for separating a single room. Add privacy to a bedroom shared by siblings when you hang curtains in the center of their bedroom to equally divide the available floor space. Affix curtain rod brackets to the ceiling to support your rod and curtains, or attach brackets to opposite walls. You can also install a curtain track system on the ceiling for curtains to hang from sliding hooks. Portable screens allow you to partition off any section of a room when privacy is desired. Freestanding panel screens are typically constructed with hinges joining five or six panels together to form one divider. Screen panels are available in a wide variety of materials, including natural bamboo, rice paper, metal, glass and wood, to endow needed privacy with decorative details.

Sliding Walls

Sliding walls run along a track system to divide a room into two private areas. Install metal tracks on the ceiling and floor to furnish a frame for wood, glass or acrylic walls to easily glide across. Sliding walls supply an easy solution for partitioning off a room when privacy is desired. Hang curtains on one or both sides of the sliding walls to increase the visual aesthetics and private appeal. Recycle old barn doors to make your own one-of-a-kind sliding walls.


Furniture pieces can add limited visual privacy to a room. Situate a large entertainment center in an open-concept room to divide one large area into distinct living and dining spaces. A freestanding, open shelving unit can also provide limited visual privacy when placed in the center of a room. Fill the shelves with decorative items, such as colorful pottery, framed photographs, natural greenery, books and other collectibles. Slide woven baskets onto the open shelves dividing your children's room for storing clothing, bedding, toys and personal items.

About the Author

Mary Cockrill's education and certifications in interior design and home staging have allowed her to author numerous home-related articles. Cockrill has been a top design consultant for a renowned home store and is the owner of Starwood Home & Gifts, LLC, an interior design, decorating and home staging business. She holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education with a comprehensive major in office administration.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images