Dividing Spaces in Your Home

Filed Under: Do it yourself, Home repair, Remodeling    by: ITC

Partitions can be used in most homes to make best use of available space, turning large or awkwardly- shaped rooms into more manageable accommodation.

The large, L-shaped room is common to many homes, yet it is not the most convenient of shapes to furnish or heat. By building a partition with an access door across one of the legs you can produce two smaller, rectangular rooms which are much cozier and more easily heated.

Long, narrow rooms also produce their own particular problems, such as giving the impression of being like tunnels or causing difficulties in positioning furniture. The tendency is to put everything around the walls, leaving a large bare area in the center of the room.

By building a partition that spans, say, only half of the room’s width, you can create two distinct areas (for living and dining perhaps) without completely losing the feeling of being in one large room.

Furniture can then be grouped more effectively into sitting arrangements and dining areas. You can achieve the same effect by building a waist-high partition across the room, but in this case there would be much more of an open-plan feel to the room. Such a partition would also provide some useful shelf space along the top, or for a tier of shelves above.

Obviously, if you are using a partition to make two rooms out of one, you will have to arrange access to the new room. The easiest way is to build a door in the partition.

However, this means that you must walk through one room to reach the other and that might not always be convenient, especially if the rooms are used as bedrooms. To overcome this problem you can either make a new doorway through one of the original walls of the room or build a second partition at right angles to the first to form a small lobby, from which both rooms can be entered separately and maintain a sense of privacy.

A bathroom formed by partitioning off part of a larger room. The confined space is visually enlarged by the overall tiling of the walls and bath platform, and light is admitted through a glass block wall.

An important point to consider when partitioning a room is the availability of daylight in both new rooms. You may find that the only suitable position for the partition means that one room has no window at all. In this situation, you can provide a fair degree of natural light by incorporating panes of glass (clear or frosted depending on the purpose of the room) along the top of the partition. You could even include a glass door.

Partitions can be very useful for creating storage. By building what is effectively a false wall across the end of a room, you can use the space between it and the original wall for inset shelving, cabinets and even walk-in closets. This can be very handy if there is a small room next to a large one, since by cutting an opening in the original dividing wall and arranging the internal divisions of the storage space partition at right angles to the first to form a small lobby, from which both rooms can be entered separately and maintain a sense of privacy.

An important point to consider when partitioning a room is the availability of daylight in both new rooms. You may find that the only suitable position for the partition means that one room has no window at all. In this situation, you can provide a fair degree of natural light by incorporating panes of glass (clear or frosted depending on the purpose of the room) along the top of the partition. You could even include a glass door.

Partitions can be very useful for creating storage. By building what is effectively a false wall across the end of a room, you can use the space between it and the original wall for inset shelving, cabinets and even walk-in closets. This can be very handy if there is a small room next to a large one, since by cutting an opening in the original dividing wall and arranging the internal divisions of the storage space carefully, you will provide a storage facility for both rooms.

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