Transform your space with partitions

Homes are being influenced by many retail, office and hotel design trends. It is not too difficult to understand why – many of the values and principles we aspire to have deliberately been the muse behind many of these consumer-driven commercial designs, and slowly they are finding there way back to our living spaces.
One such trend is the need for transient interior spaces – spaces that can change and adapt to different living ages. This trend has been very evident in the surge of the popular loft-style apartments – where there are little or no interior walls or divides. Here the spaces are open-plan in the extreme – relying on the positioning of the furniture and the inclusion of various décor accents and lighting, to divide the space into different living areas. This gives the inhabitant of such spaces the freedom to change the interior layout whenever he or she pleases, as there are no permanent structures defining the spaces.

However, this level of open-plan intensity is not for everyone, but there is still a strong demand for a somewhat discrete substitute that offers semi-permanent or transforming interior spaces. For these individuals, there are a number of very interesting alternatives to traditional interior walls built from bricks and mortar – the only limitation being the imagination…
Due to the many benefits of glass, more and more of this versatile material is being used in today’s homes. Glass is a comparatively inexpensive building material, it is not too heavy – thereby negating the need for costly foundations, it lets the light through, it can be produced to keep noise and cold out too (double glazing), it can be cut into various shapes, and it adds a highly attractive, sleek aesthetic to any interior space.
Glass walling can also be constructed in such a way that it can slide and open out – thereby changing the dimensions and layout of interior spaces. Pelican Systems’ Glasswall movable glass partitioning system for example, is a top-hung and movable – allowing it to be stacked away remotely to provide a clear opening. “The system is unique in that the panels have no vertical glazing styles, thereby facilitating clear uninterrupted views and the distinctive elegance that only glass can offer. It also opens up an area and creates the illusion of increased space,” says Mala Reddy, marketing manager of Pelican Sytems.

Glass concertina doors are ideal for covered patios – with the glass partitions closed, homeowners can enjoy the view of the garden during the winter months, and in summer the doors can be opened out to open the patio to the garden
Glass walling has the added advantage of being able to be transparent or opaque – there are many ways of creating a sandblasted look on glass – allowing glass to be used as a room divider that can create a sense of privacy, but still let the light in and offer the possibility of opening out the room. Opaque glass is perfect for the latest trend of including the bathroom in the bedroom – opaque sliding doors can slide away – opening the en suite bathroom to the bedroom, but they can also be cleverly closed if added privacy is required. For this particular trend – opaque glass is often used for the toilet cubicles – for maximum privacy, while not blocking out any much desired light.
Wood seems to be all over our living spaces – overhead, underfoot, and even surrounding and dividing us.
With the emergence of the minimalist, contemporary look, especially those styles with underlying influences from the 50s and 60s, wood panelling seems to be regaining its once diminishing popularity. However, unlike trends in past decades, today’s wood panelling is sleek, stylish, fine and very well finished – no more panelling from cheap Pine – today expensive woods such as Cherry, Beech, Mahogany and Teak woods are preferred. Wood panelling can create a very contemporary, yet organic feel to an interior space, and makes for the perfect material to create a feature wall in a room.
Due to its diversity, wood can be used in a number of various ways to divide interior spaces. Chic wooden room divider trends include the use of wooden shutters or antique-looking, concertina French doors as room dividers. These function in much the same way as their glass counterparts; however, they let less light in and offer additional security. These wooden shutters and doors can add a certain mystique to an interior space and be a feature in their own right.
Apart from walling and room dividers, wood can be used for a number of other structural applications – it can be used as a floor, as a roof and as stairs. It is probably one of the most diverse structural building materials around.
Dry walling
For many years, dry walling has been used in various office and retail spaces. Unlike America Australia and Europe however, only relatively recently has it become a popular choice for home interiors as well.

Dry walling is a simple way of redefining interior spaces – it is strong, durable and is easy to install – without any dust and rubble that is conventionally associated with redesigning and renovating internal spaces. Dry walling has other benefits too – it can offer sound and thermal insulation, as well as being fire and moisture resistant – making it ideal for kitchens and bathrooms too.
One of the major benefits of dry walling however, is the fact that it offers amazing flexibility with regards to design, and as such, it is often used to create interior walls with built-in niches, curves and recesses. Dry walling gives homeowners, designers and architects alike, the means to move away from flat and tired walls, and create truly character-rich walls that will add texture, dimension and interest to any given area.
For added interest, dry walling can also be used to create uniquely shaped bulkheads that can be used to hide pipes, wires or to house ambience lighting.

Other interesting options
Partitioning comes in many materials, shapes and sizes – and with the help of a little imagination – interesting partitions can genuinely add interest to any interior. Other materials that can be used as room dividers include, curtaining, blinds and various pieces of large furniture, such as bookcases and wall units. – Antonella Dési

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