How to Block a Hallway With a Room Divider

In small living quarters, repurposing areas is a great way to get the most out of available space.

For example, with the addition of a few pieces of equipment, one side of the bedroom or the living room could become a home gym. You can also repurpose a hallway. It's unconventional, but if you have limited overall space, every square foot counts, especially if the hallway is rather large and/or has several square feet of unused space. With a room divider and a few clever decorating techniques, you can put that unused space to good use.

First, do some space planning. Considering all the variables before any redecorating begins is key. Decide where you want to put the room divider. You don't want to block access to the hallway or any doors, unless that room has another entrance. To decide how large the space needs to be, consider what it will be used for: a classroom for a homeschooling student, a mini studio where you can draw or paint, an office from which you can work at home, a craft corner in which to make gift baskets or do your scrapbooking or jewelry-making, or a knitting nook where you can quilt, stitch and sew.

Determine what kind of room divider works best. There are a couple of techniques you can use. The first is separating the space physically. A folding screen, bookshelf, hanging curtain, movable wall, or something similar would serve the purpose. The second is separating the space visually. Use this technique if a room divider is too obstructive for your tastes, or if you feel the space is too small for it. Visual separation involves tricking the eye to make the spaces look like two clearly defined areas. Paint the walls in each adjacent space a different color, then use furniture placement and area rugs to delineate each zone.

Bring in the furniture. But first, carefully determine the appropriate size. Nothing cramps a room like furniture that is too big for it; plus, some hallways may be very narrow. Bearing in mind the confined area, you'll need to use only furniture that is necessary. For an office, a table lamp, desk and chair are necessary, but a bookshelf would take up too much space. For a craft corner, eliminate the need for storage containers by using a desk with lots of built-in storage. Other space-saving tips include using a folding chair, which can be leaned against the wall out of the way when not in use, and using wall-mounted shelves, which require no floor space.

Things You Will Need

  • Tape measure
  • Furniture
  • Room divider
  • Paint
  • Area rug

About the Author

Donni Jones has been an editor and writer since 1996. She has edited articles for and contributed content to numerous publications, magazines and online businesses such as FootSmart.com and KateAspen.com. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of West Florida.