Room Dividers

Written by Serena Berger
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Room dividers are one of the most flexible and fun design elements you can incorporate into your home. Some furniture stores sell room dividers and dressing screens interchangeably, while some distinguish the former as somewhat larger. The idea is quite simple: a screen made of several hinged panels can stand on its own and change configurations based on the way that you angle the panels. You can partition or hide any area of the room at will.

You should be able to find decorative screens ranging from about 72 inches (six feet) to 160 inches (over 13 feet) when fully extended. Depending on how you angle the panels, however, your screen may only be a fraction of that width when it's in your space. Screens also have different numbers of panels, anywhere from three to 10.

Creative Uses of Room Dividers

Clever designers can use screens to re-shape and define their interior space quite profoundly. They can be used to direct the flow of air and the quality of light, both of which most people do not consciously consider, but which have a tremendous impact on your mood and comfort in any space. They can also be used to conceal anything that you don't feel is as beautiful as the rest of the room--a vent or radiator that you don't like, an air conditioner, or even items that you don't really have anyplace appropriate to store or put away.

More innovative uses of screens may be as substitutes for draperies or as backdrops for furniture groupings. If you have a dining room which opens directly into your kitchen or living room, you may decide to use a screen to create a feeling of a more discrete space for formal dining. If you have guests for a large party, you can also use screens as a tactful way to keep guests out of rooms where you don't want them to go.

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