With the rise of the open plan living space showing no signs of slowing down — no doubt thanks, in no small part, to Grand Designs — more and more of us are living life out in the open. But sometimes, it can be nice to carve out a little space for yourself, or at the very least figure out where the dining room ends and the living room begins. That’s where room dividers come in: the best room dividers will carve up your living space whilst remaining a stylish feature as opposed to an eyesore.
Our list of the best folding screens has rounded up a number of trendy and classic options to suit any interior style, any budget, and any need. If you live in a shared space, want to separate out a dressing area in a bedroom, or simply want to create a modular living space with 'removable' privacy, a solid room divider can be an endlessly useful option for creating occasional living spaces or marking yourself off for me-time. Room partitions are a great way to cordon off cosy spaces, such as a reading area, in a small home - cluster some minimalist furniture such as an armchair, coffee table and rug and encapsulate your snug with a screen that separates you from the world - a practical and functional haven!
They needn’t be purely practical either — with Japanese screens that’ll make you feel like you’re in a New York penthouse or a teahouse in Kyoto, and vintage-style shabby chic screens for a rustic feel, they can be beautiful, too. Teamed with considered lighting such as a modern, focussed lampshade or dimly lit floor lamp, your room divider could actually become your very own art installation.
But if it’s a feature you’re after, prepare to find your new lust-have here: copper or rose gold fiends will fall in love with modern metal structures, just warm enough to not feel industrial, but still thoroughly cool; lovers of modern design, meanwhile, are sure to be head-over-heels for artisanal wooden constructions and beautiful natural forms that are more sculpture than screen, but still look just as at home in your living room as in the Tate Modern. Not sure which camp you fall into? Keep reading for our list of the best room dividers, and we’ll help you decide.
1. Tom Raffield Gwelsen Screen
A long-lasting investment piece lovingly handmade in a woodland workshop
Best for: Investment art piece | Size: H180 x W60-180 x D5 cm | Material: Solid oak | RRP: £1,695
The Danes have already perfected the concept of furniture as art, but they have real competition in the form of this utterly gorgeous screen from Exmoor-born Tom Raffield — this is art, no doubt about it. Using an innovative steaming method to manipulate wood into undulating shapes, this is a wonderful example of art piece-meets-practicality that creates structure without boxing you in.
2. murando - Decorative folding screen
A customisable oversized screen for full-on interior drama
Best for: Funky spaces | Size: H172 x W45 cm | Material: Wood, non-woven canvas | RRP: £139.00 (for XXL, price dependent on design)
This decorative screen comes in a range of funky designs, from colourful eclectic tile patterns to intricate mandala designs, to suit offbeat spaces. If you like something with a bit of edge, this is the room divider for you. We’re particularly taken with the oversized XXL version, which makes a real standout feature, but if you’re stuck for space, you can opt for fewer panels with no less impact. They’re not the most discreet, however, so if you’re after a subtle screen, go for the Cupro copper divider below.
3. Cupro Copper Web Room Divider
A subtle, delicate divider for creating cosy nooks and dedicated spaces
Best for: Subtlety | Size: H183 x W120 x D1.5cm | Material: Metal | RRP: £165.00
The interiors world’s love affair with copper isn’t going anywhere, which is great news when it brings us lovely pieces like this fashion-forward room divider from Cupro. For adding a bit of statement hardware to a modern space, it’s just the thing, and ticks all the boxes when it comes to trends. Geometric shapes? Tick. Copper? Double tick. Because of its beautiful web effect, it’s made to stand out rather than blend in, so for something with a bit more privacy, go for the solid Hartleys Japanese-style screen.
4. Hartleys Japanese Style Folding Wooden Room Divider
A great value screen to bring elegant Eastern flavour to any space
Best for: Cool budget buy | Size: H170 x W121.5 cm | Material: Wood, translucent paper | RRP: £49.95
This good-looking budget buy is our pick of the inexpensive room dividers, perfect for student rooms. It’s solid enough to preserve modesty while changing (or, let’s be real, conceal a carefully curated floordrobe when company pops round), but the Shoji-style screen still lets light through, creating a warm diffused glow in the evening. It’s also ideal for separating study and sleeping space when you need to switch off.
5. Arthouse Enchantment Night Owl Room Divider
A dreamy vintage-style wooden screen with painted details for whimsy and wonder
Best for: Girly vintage | Size: H150 x W120 x D2.5 cm | Material: Wood, canvas | RRP: £74.99
A beautiful addition to any young lady’s room, this whimsical nature-inspired screen is light, bright, and right at home in a shabby chic interior scheme. It also has our vote for best divider for kids’ rooms due to its ability to add both personality and privacy, so young room sharers can fold it back when they want to play or socialise, and then get it out again for me-time. If you have boys sharing who won’t be fans of the cute woodland theme, or your child has more of a minimalist aesthetic, the Hartleys Japanese-style Shoji screen is a great alternative.