Books and Beyond
A tall bookcase -- even two or three, side by side -- acts as a wall that visually separates the bedroom area from the rest of the studio apartment. Position the bookcase with the shelves facing the living area if you need storage space in the main part of the apartment. The shelves also provide a place for a few decorative accents. Two bookcases back to back provide shelf space on each side. In the bedroom, add fabric storage bins to stash bedding and clothing if there isn't enough room in your closet or dresser. Purchase used bookcases from a thrift store or salvage yard, or opt for inexpensive boxed models you can put together yourself, in the apartment.
If the landlord allows, install a curtain track on the ceiling to hang curtain panels. Use ceiling anchors so the tracks stays put even with the added weight of the fabric. For a less obtrusive solution, use a retractable clothesline that reaches from one wall to an opposite wall, or attach clothesline to ceiling hooks at opposite ends of the space to divide the sleeping area and living space. Cut lightweight fabric panels to hang from the clothesline. Curtain ring clips allow you to clip the fabric in place and remove it anytime you like. Give the panels a finished look by sewing or fusing a hem in place. Fold the edge over and insert fusible webbing to iron a permanent hem in place -- no sewing required.
A shoji screen can become a lightweight, portable room divider that allows light to shine through while still giving you privacy for the bedroom area. These screens feature hinged panels and translucent paper on a lightweight frame. The screen folds up for easy transport or storage when you don't want the apartment divided. Make your own hinged folding screen by repurposing old accordion closet doors acquired for free or inexpensively at a salvage shop. Paint the panels to suit your own decorative style. You can also hinge a series of tall window shutters together for a makeshift room screen.
If you prefer dividing the bedroom space with something that looks more like a wall, build your own freestanding divider. Stack and adhere glass blocks into a wall as tall and wide as you want using a special tray system designed specifically for such projects. Attached salvaged doors or wood to a homemade wooden frame for an eclectic freestanding wall, painting the doors and framework to match your apartment's decor. Add boards onto the base facing facing the bedroom, using the bed frame, headboard or dresser to stabilize the wall so it cannot be tipped.