The 10 Best Room Dividers
10. Winsome Wood
9. Oriental Furniture
8. Acme 02277 Naomi
7. Oriental Furniture Wave Screen
6. Path of Life
5. Legacy Decor Screen
4. Home Decorators Collection
3. Cotton Craft Rajasthan
2. Coaster Oriental Floral
1. MyGift Deluxe
Divide And Conquer
If you're short on space, your first instinct might not be to put a wall up. You might think that another wall, or a room divider in this case, would do nothing but reduce the limited room you already have.
Well, space is often a matter of perception.
I don't know if you've ever dieted seriously before, or at least tried to cut down on your portion size, but I know I'm a hound for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
They've torpedoed more of my diet plans than any other food. I make them with different kinds of jelly, often in triple-decker form with an additional piece of bread.
Sometimes I sprinkle cocoa powder on them for added health and joy.
When I wanted to cut back on these monstrosities, I started making simple, two-slice versions, but I would cut them twice instead of once, creating four little triangles of sandwich like a turkey club.
It was the same amount of sandwich, even less than I was used to, really, but in its subdivision lay the illusion of bounty.
A room works much the same way in our heads; the division of a space creates the illusion that it has effectively increased.
Most of the room dividers we cover here do a great job of this, and you can customize the way they fit in your space by bending and shaping them along the hinges installed between the panels.
So, in addition to simply cordoning off an unsightly space, or serving as a makeshift headboard in the bedroom, a good room divider can actually make your living space more accommodating.
Is It Gonna Be Bamboo?
One of the ready ways you can divide your list of options before going ahead with dividing your room is to ask yourself if you like the idea of working with something in bamboo.
Bamboo is a sturdy product. Samurai used to test the mettle of their swords by the ease with which the blade cut through a stalk of bamboo.
It's often farmed and harvested in pretty sustainable ways, too, so it ought to pacify any environmentally conscious inhabitants.
One thing I can say about bamboo from personal experience is that it requires a little more attention in cleaning and maintenance. Bamboo often arrives with a strong aroma to it, and if you're using this divider to amplify a smaller space (as described above), you might be stuck in that small space with some bamboo-heavy air for a few weeks.
Bamboo, especially cheaper, unfinished bamboo, has a tendency to flake and create, as well as attract, dust.
The upshot is that, should you be willing to spend an extra two minutes each month cleaning it, the bamboo dividers on our list will probably outlast anything else up there save the 1000 lb. divider at number five, which is apparently designed to withstand a nuclear holocaust.
Made In China, But 1400 Years Ago
There's a good reason that so many room dividers on the market today bear a strikingly Asian style: that's where they were invented.
In Japan, the design was made much more lightweight and mobile, as it was incorporated into their theater and tea ceremony, which you can see in the picture.
Even before Japan opened its doors to more of the West than just the Dutch, European explorers and traders brought examples back home with them, which were promptly recreated to suit the needs of the Western lifestyle.
Often, this meant that the room divider was placed near a corner in which a woman could change her clothes without being seen.
In the US, the image of an actress disappearing behind an ornate room divider and then draping her freshly removed garments over the top for an actor in the room (and the audience in the theater) to see became one of the great tropes of early American cinema.
Whatever you wind up using it for, whether it's to make a small space seem bigger, to improve the flow of energy through a large room, or to tantalize your suitors, your room divider should be as much an extension of your personal style as it can be.