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Partial Partitions

By September 27, 2019October 2nd, 2019Design Advice & Inspiration, Design, Knowledge & Tips

Open plan living, dining & kitchen spaces continue to be popular – and we love the way that (safely!) removing walls can convert a dark set of small rooms into a light, spacious and modern living space. However, sometimes it pays to keep a partial partition between rooms. Here’s why – and how to do it.

Why partition?

It feels more comfortable; Rooms that are close to square in proportion feel more comfortable than elongated ones. If you have a long, thin space, installing a partial partition will improve the feel of the space. Similarly, a living area can feel unwelcoming if it is entirely exposed (we retain an animal-like instinctive dislike for having our backs exposed when relaxing).

To create storage space; Unless you have an extremely tidy household, a fully open space can look messy once the TV & audio equipment, books, and miscellany are in place. A partition wall creates a natural recess for built-in cupboards and shelves.

To avoid ‘dead’ space; With space at a premium in most homes, it can be difficult to allow generous circulation space between each of the zones in an open plan space. This often results in ‘dead’ spaces – unsuitable for furniture or for walking through. These can easily become dumping grounds for clutter. A partial partition in this space can eliminate the problem.

How to partition

Open Shelves

Built in storage combining open shelves with cabinets is a brilliant way to subtly separate spaces without blocking the light or restricting the sense of space. Add a plant or 5 and we’re in heaven! You can achieve a similar effect with free-standing shelves – just make sure they are designed to be unsupported and are designed to hold the weight of what you plan to keep on them.


We love a Crittal-style glazed partition. Again, this preserves the light, while adding a touch of modern/ industrial style. This works particularly well with high ceilings, or unusual roof-lines. For additional privacy and a stylistic flourish, we love reeded glass.

Nib Walls

If you are opening-up the space by removing a structural wall, you will likely need to retain a small ‘nib’ wall to cover the required structural steels. Extending this nib a little creates a subtle divide between zones – and the opportunity to create a gorgeous feature with ceiling mouldings. 

Console table

For a non-structural divide, a console table or slim cabinet topped with plants positioned behind a sofa works to partition a space – a particularly good solution to divide a seating area from circulation space. 

If you’re thinking about changing the layout of your home, get in touch.

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