Broken plan living: 3 stylish room divider ideas

Discover the trend of creating distinct zones within an open plan layout and 3 ways for you to get started.

Our homes have become more than just places to relax and recharge - they’re also where many of us now work and study. This has given rise to an interior design trend known as broken plan living, which zones an open plan layout to create smaller, more purposeful spaces.

With a broken plan, there’s still that sense of spaciousness and natural light often found in an open plan, but with better privacy. There are creative ways you can do this (without putting up a wall to close off the space completely) - think shelving, tiles, windows or even plants. Here are 3 room divider ideas to get you started with broken plan living.

1. Install glass partitions

Glass partitions as a room divider to separate a home office in the bedroom
Caro Bed, Ricco Chair

If you have a spacious bedroom that doubles as your home office, consider investing in glass partitions to zone the areas while still letting the light flow. Separating your professional and personal spaces can help improve wellbeing and allow you to ‘switch off’ when it’s time to relax.

A home office in a contemporary bedroom with glass partitions as a room divider
Ricco Chair

Use the same colour palette in both areas for a cohesive feel. Keep the look chic and contemporary with a modern desk and chair for your workstation. Then add accessories that inspire creativity and focus, like contemporary artwork and a pegboard for sticky notes.

2. Add open shelving

A stylish light grey sofa in an open plan living room with a tall shelving unit as a room divider
Senza L-Shape Sofa

In an open plan layout where your dining area tends to spill over to your living space, introduce a tall open shelving unit to separate the two. Sectioning off your living area can make it feel more cosy and intimate, and more conducive for relaxation. This budget-friendly solution can also be moved around if you change up your layout. And since it functions as a decorative piece, go ahead and style your perfect shelfie with it.

A shelving unit as a room divider between a stylish light grey sofa and industrial style dining set
Senza L-Shape Sofa, Addison and Brooklyn Dining Set

Plants are always a good idea. Mix a variety of trailing greenery with small potted ferns (good quality faux plants work just as well). Soften the look further with ceramic vases in organic shapes and soothing accessories like scented candles.

3. Zone with wall tiles

An alcove in a living room turned into an office or study area
Stockholm 2 Seater Sofa, Brooklyn Chair

If you lack an office or study room at home, an easy and affordable idea is to turn a corner or alcove into your work space. Zone the area with wall tiles to create a spot that’s distinct from the rest of the room. Choose tiles in a pattern and colour that sets the tone for productivity. Here, we used Osby Green Patterned Porcelain Tiles by Walls and Floors for a soothing yet uplifting look that blends in with the overall colour scheme.

An alcove turned into an office or study area with a modern chair and desk
Brooklyn Chair

For a stylish yet functional workstation, set up a wall mounted desk with a modern chair. A spot by a window is ideal for any natural light to energise the area, but also make sure you have sufficient task lighting in the form of table or floor lamps. Take advantage of vertical space with open shelving and add calming touches like candles and small plants.

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