Room dividers come in all shapes and sizes, use a variety of materials, and serve a variety of purposes. They were originally used simply for splitting a room into two spaces, such as a studio apartment that might be separated into a living area and a sleeping area. Nowadays, people still use dividers for this reason, but a more common use is as a decorative element. When choosing one, a shopper's main consideration should be its purpose.
Many people use dividers to add a certain look to a room. They are available in many different colors and with a variety of patterns printed on them. People who cannot find one with the look they like can often simply paint one in any color they wish.
The materials used to make room dividers are many and varied, and include everything from solid wood to leather to paper and plastic. Some fold up into a single panel, while others are solid, standing structures. Solid ones are often used in business meetings to separate groups of people.
Room dividers are also great when used for storage spaces. Often, users can fold them against a wall corner to make a storage space for all types of materials. Many include storage pouches in their folds, which can be used to hold magazines and books or shoes. Some dividers also have mirrors in the panels, which are not only practical, but also add an appearance of space to a room. There are also dividers feature shelves when opened or that feature slots to hold photographs.
Many dividers are named after a particular country or region, such as France or Asia. Each of these styles has its own particular design. The French design features an open framework that can be seen through, while Asian dividers usually have delicate patterns and paper screens.
The original concept was to use the structure to enhance and divide a living space. One can be used to divide a shared children's room into two areas or to make a large room look smaller and warmer. It can also give a smaller room the appearance of space, since the divider might create the illusion of more area hidden behind it.