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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

I need to divide my studio apartment so it doesn't feel like one big box.

joeykeysDecember 12, 2012
Typical small NYC apartment.

The "living area" is a 11.5x19 area. I'd like to put either a book shelf or some kind of stylish room divider at around the 12 foot mark. Ideally, it would be around 9 feet wide.

I've looked at the Ikea Expedit (Stacking a few side by side/on top of each other) and while thats definitely a doable option, I don't love the look.

My floors are barnwood vinyl from Home Depot (http://www.homedepot.com/buy/flooring/vinyl-flooring-resilient-flooring/trafficmaster-allure-6-in-x-36-in-barnwood-resilient-vinyl-plank-flooring-24-sq-ft-case--261222.html#.UMjIfpPjm94), and my couch gray, and most of my other furniture is a gray/rustic/wood look.

Some of the options I have seen are the wood slat dividers (like here:
Industrial Kitchen · More Info
) but I need help on how to actually go about building that.

Would really appreciate any help.
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Can we see your space? It would help. More pics = more input from Houzzers.
    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 10:16AM
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Totally. I'll upload pictures of my space with furniture later today. In the mean time, heres the floorplan (http://imgur.com/3wPH7)

A big thing for me was that I dont want people to sit down and see my bed while they are on my couch. Which is why right now, the TV is mounted on the short wall (the otherside is the kitchen) and the couch faces that wall. The bed is in the back of the apt. I'm thinking that once I have a divider up, the couch can go against the right hand wall, and the TV on the left (creating more space for the coffee table, etc, in between the couch and TV).

Another big aspect is continuing to allow air & light to enter from the window, which is why the wooden slates and Expedit book case options are attractive to me.
    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 10:21AM
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Studio21 Architects
It's hard not having seen your space, but I will say that while custom building a room divider can look great, it does limit your future options. Your space might not have many layout options, but I would continue looking at shelving room dividers. They offer a storage purpose along with defining space which can be key when laying out small spaces.

Keep checking out shelving, the website below has fairly modestly priced options with a style to fit just about any home decor you may have.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 10:24AM
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I'd be up for using one of the book shelves (and it seems like the Expedit would be the best option for flexibility and cost. However, the colors are seriously lacking. I'll attach pictures of my current place later today and maybe you guys can provide some insight into what you think would be best.
    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 10:28AM
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Allied8 (formerly Verge AD)
I would consider a divider system that enables flexibility such as a fabric divider. I'm thinking out of the box fabric - could be metal fabric or could be fiber fabric. Translucent, opaque, partially open, you name it. This give you the ability to control ambient light; natural and artificial lighting. You can recess the track into the ceiling so the divider can all but disappear when necessary. Here are some examples...
1 Like    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 10:37AM
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You could use a standing screen of some sort....
I also love these. They attach to your ceiling and you can slide them and layer them however you like. I would imagine that you could build something along the same lines as well. I wish I were there. I would help you build something really cool!
mod screen.jpg · More Info
mode screen.jpg · More Info
    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 10:38AM
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Perhaps you could tack stained lattice strips (they are super cheap) on the back of an open bookcase, such as the IKEA Expedit. Then you have storage and screening.

I had the IKEA shelves and love them--very strudy. The tall skinny ones are the most versatile for putting together with just one person and for changing areound--good horizontally and vertically. But the large ones are the most economical--need two people to build and put in place.
    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 11:36AM
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@Verge Architecture & Design, LLC
A metal or a fiber divider would be really cool. Theres a restaurant near my house that had something similar that really sparked my interest on that. Any examples of ones to purchase, or ideas on how to put it together your self?

I don't love the idea of the standing screen (just doesn't give me a great feeling when I see it), but going inline with what Verge suggested above, something hanging from above could be really cool and great.

What color did you pick for the IKEA Shelves? I'm just worried about them looking tacky. The high gloss gray seems nice though.

Thanks for everything so far guys!
    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 11:48AM
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joey, I have the birch-look expedit shelves and I love them. Not cheap looking at all, in my opinion. You could line those up and attach frosted plexiglass to the back of them, so that you would still get light. just a thought. very inexpensive to go that route! how high are your ceilings?
    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 12:10PM
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8 ft. So, if I dont want the gray color, I can get (1) 5x5 Expedit and a 2x4 one and stack. That would be around 90" tall I believe. The gray is not available in 5x5 unfortunately.
    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 12:12PM
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Having lived in a similar space I advise blocking (with solid backed shelving or entertainment center) the corner by the kitchen to make a sleep space, as you indicate you already have done. Just takes one system the length of your kitchen wall and the other 2/3 that width so you make an "L" of them and leave an opening to access the new "room" you've created! On the bedroom side of it you can upholster the raw back of the units with any fabric you like. Just think of it as the "sleeping cocoon!" You could even create a fabric "roof" over the top! Sometimes you gotta think like a kid!
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    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 12:21PM
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How about a sliding barn door partition
    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 12:22PM
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Allied8 (formerly Verge AD)
IKEA has a great curtain/blinds/rails/rods department. I'd start there: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/categories/departments/Textiles/10654/

The trouble you might run into is covering long stretches of rod or rail. You may need mid supports which would force you to have multiple fabric panels. But if you're a pretty handy person you could go to home depot an pick yourself up some stainless steel cables and turnbuckles. Attache them to opposing walls or point in the ceiling. You can slide the fabric across the cable and use the turnbuckle to continually tighten the cable to mitigate the drooping. Good luck!
    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 1:08PM
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Hi everyone,

Something that came my way this morning is the IKEA Mandal headboard.


They measure 94" wide, and 24" high. I can squeeze a couple of inches on each side depending on how I mount/hang it.

I think I'd need at least 3, potentially 4, which is where this thing gets expensive.

Any tips on a DIY solution for something like this? I think the look is really cool. If there aren't any viable DIY options, anyone have a recommendation on how to hang these things in a middle of a room without breaking the bank? Looks like they are meant to be hung on a wall.
    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 9:10AM
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DIY: http://indulgy.com/post/ljke5LvnA1/cardboard-tube-room-divider

Also, google "carboard room divider". There are some stunning examples of different shapes cut out with slots that go into each other. Those would be easy to take apart and bring with you when you move.

I think cardboard would be light enough to slide over if you have a larger group of friends over. You can slide the divider toward your bed for more living space, and then push it back when everyone else goes home.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 9:29AM
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they are meant to be hung on a wall....but all you have to do is buy thin strips of wood going horizontially and then get 2 bigger pieces of wood to attach the smaller pieces to, that would run vertically. I would probably attach to the 2 pieces about a foot in on each side. But it all depends on how long the structure would need to be. You don't want it to sag in the middle. May even consider putting one vertical in the middle as well. You could then either hang them from chains with eye hooks from the top to ceiling, or build an actual frame around the entire thing and bolt it to the floor and wall.
    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 9:49AM
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That cardboard tube wall is a really great idea too!
    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 9:54AM
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FYI: Furring Strips of wood from home depot are 1x3x8 and are $1.53 each....
    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 10:02AM
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I ended up going with 3 of the IKEA Mandal headboards. I'll post some photos.
    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 11:54AM
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