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Once used in the palaces of ancient Chinese royalty, a room divider can add decoration to a room, as well as make it more functional, too.
“Room dividers act in a similar fashion to rugs in that they can create ‘zones’ in large spaces or a space that has two distinct functions,” says Gail Adele, Bondi-based interior designer and founder of The Personal Edit.
“Like art, they create texture and colour, and just like tall pot plants and lamps, they create visual stimulation at eye line height. This is especially important for rooms with high ceilings when you need something to fill in the space between the furniture and ceiling.”
As for what most people get wrong when styling room dividers, Adele says they tend to stand them alone “in no man’s land with no friends”, she says. Instead, they should be part of a mise-en-scene, which means set with furniture and homewares around them.
“They should be part of a group of equally beautiful items that group well together and make sense,” she says.
Another tip for room dividers is to make sure yours sticks to an overarching look or theme, says Adele. Another mistake she says she sees people make when furnishing their homes is to buy items randomly, without much forethought.
“This often results in a hotchpotch where nothing goes,” she says. “Because of its size, a room divider, in particular, can stick out like a sore thumb. Preparing a mood board beforehand can help with this.”
Ahead, Adele shares a few suggestions for her favourite options of room dividers, along with what style of room they work for.
“Dividers with rattan, like this one, work really well with Asian or easy, breezy, beachy vibes at home,” says Adele.
Linen House Palmvale Room Divider, now $559.99
This is another rattan option. It’s sturdy, weighing just under 9kgs, and made with handwoven rattan.
Anthropologie Floral Upholstered Room Divider, now $418.80
“Room dividers with floral art or detailed wallpaper finishes work really with eclectic looks,” says Adele. “Or for a touch of Frenchy elegance, try this room divider from Anthropologie.”