As many of us start to consider downsized-living, we should know that today’s downsized homes come with new interior features . . . rooms that serve more than one function or multipurpose rooms.
A multipurpose room or interior space has more than one purpose, one that’s meant to serve more than one function so you can make the most of your square footage.
For instance, a large room that has segmented areas within itself, and serves the living, dining and kitchen functions (without being built as separate rooms) is a multipurpose room. This type of space is called a “great room”.
5 Examples of Multi-Functional Rooms
Rooms that serve two or more functions and purposes include:
- Entry hallway/Living area/Dining area
- Study/Family room ('den')
- Kitchen/Breakfast nook
- Living area/Dining area/Kitchenette
Creating two or more distinct living spaces within a single room (without closing each allocated area off) can be a bit of a challenge. Luckily there are a good number of ways to do this, and all the solutions mentioned below are not only attractive and easy to implement, some are quite affordable too.
7 Affordable Room Divider Ideas
- Privacy Screens
- Plants - artificial or natural
- Open bookcases
- Display units
- Fish tank
- Storage cabinets
- Console (hall table)
1. Privacy Screens
Screen dividers are trending once again. A more traditional room divider, privacy screens are great for dividing up areas within a room instead of closing it off with a wall. They come in a number of modern and classic (Asian inspired) styles ranging from two or more foldable panels, depending on the width of your boundary line, to a one-panel large room divider with wood, metal, or PVC framed textiles.
A line-up or cluster of tall plants can serve as a space divider. You can use either artificial or natural foliage as long as they are a minimum of 140cm height. Remember the arrangement is meant to serve as a form of partition. Natural or artificial bamboo plants work well because not only are they tidy and uniform, their leaves are not all over the place. Ensure you use nice pots or planters, something that enhances and compliments the room décor.
3. Open Shelves/Bookcases
Once you've determined the boundary between your living area and dining area, for instance, divide the two areas with an open shelf /bookcase unit where you can display anything from your choice books and magazines to objects of art and family memorabilia. The shelves and uprights may be configured symmetrically or asymmetrically. Such units serve as a 'visual’ room divider (partition) where you can see through but can't pass through. Remember to leave ample space for movement from one area to another.
4. Display Stands
Display stands or blocks (rectangular, square, or cylindrical) of varying heights can be arranged in a line or cluster to serve as a room divider that demarcates areas within a multi-functional room. Display items you can place on each include artworks (carvings, ceramic statues, metal art, etc…) flowers or dried plant in unique vases, driftwood, your trophies, and the like. Depending on the available space, it can be a line-up of 3, 5, or 7 units. Using odd numbers is best.
5. Fish Tank
Bring nature into the interior space (asides plants) and use as a room partition of sorts. Custom built aquariums make one of the best space dividers because your guests will never tire of watching swimming fish and listening to the gentle sounds of moving water. But if you dislike the idea of having to maintain a fish tank, you can have an ‘aqua-scape’ with water (an underwater garden without fish), or without water (a glass tank with plants, beach sand/sea shells, rock-work and/or driftwood) instead. It won't require much attention except for the occasional dusting regimen.
6. Storage Cabinets
A custom built storage cabinet will not only serve as a partition of sorts, it will also be a smart, functional, and versatile item of furniture. This is another great idea for a room divider . . . with a two-faced multi-functional cabinet. It can serve as a library of books on one face, and a storage section with doors on the other face. Use the top surface as you would a mantelpiece. It should be deep enough (minimum 45cm) to serve both functions comfortably.
7. Console Table
Console tables do not always have to be placed against a wall. They can be used as a floating freestanding room divider to separate areas in a creative fashion as well. Depending on the invisible boundary line you’ve drawn between spaces, you can use a short or a long console to act as a room divider. Ensure it’s a bit tall (min 100cm and max 120cm) and display nice decorative items like framed family photos on pretty stands, objet d’art, or souvenirs.