Tips to Creating Some Privacy in a Small Space

When it comes to small spaces, there’s only so much you can do to define separate areas and create a little privacy. Having all sorts of different rooms and living areas can be really challenging if your home’s size doesn’t allow for it.

That said, there are still plenty of creative ways to gain a sense of privacy from one part of a room to another, despite the lack of square footage.

One of the easiest ways to create privacy in a small space is by dividing it in creative ways. While you don’t necessarily want to put up a wall – which would make the area seem even smaller and tighter than it already is – there are savvy ways to create division and privacy while still keeping the space open. Here are a few clever ideas to help you do just that.


An easy way to divide up a space and create a sense of privacy from one area to the next is to hang curtains. Whether sheer or opaque, curtains provide a simple and effective way to ‘hide’ certain parts of a small space without having to compartmentalize the room with walls. Simply suspend a pole from the ceiling, add a few hooks, and hang some drapery to both create some division in the room as well as add a decorative statement. You can easily open and close the curtains as you please, making this addition highly versatile.

Folding Screens

Another obvious way to seclude certain areas of a space is to use a folding screen. They’ve been used for decades for the specific purpose of dividing rooms in two, and now come in all sorts of decorative styles to suit your particular style and decor. They’re just as versatile as curtains and can be easily moved around to change things up.


An oversized bookshelf can be the perfect element to incorporate into a small space to create some division and privacy. You’d likely have a bookshelf in a living space anyway, but rather than putting it against the wall, you can use it to separate the space. The key to creating the perfect look is to carefully consider where you place the bookshelf, how the items on the shelves are arranged, and if the back is open or closed.

Tall Plants and Trees

Use all those tall indoor houseplants to create some privacy in your home, such as ficus, palm, or Norfolk pine. Plants have a way of softening up modern spaces and infusing nature with man-made materials, so using them as a space divider can give them double duty.

Mirrored Wall

If you are considering something a little more permanent, adding a wall might work, but not necessarily the traditional type. When it comes to small spaces, walls can make the area seem much more cramped, which is why putting up walls is typically not recommended.

But by adding a full-length and width mirror on each side, the area can still feel light and open thanks to the reflective properties of the mirror. If you’re handy, you might want to build one yourself; or else, you can always call upon the pros to tackle this job for you.


If the privacy you seek is for your bedroom (in a studio apartment, for instance), an oversized headboard might just do the trick. A headboard can effectively turn one open space into two when the bed is positioned in the proper way. Ideally, the headboard should be completely opaque and extra solid for added privacy.

Pony Wall

A pony wall is a half wall that extends only part of the way from the floor to the ceiling. It helps add some division and privacy without completely cutting off the space and making it feel crowded.

Slatted Screen

If you’re the DIY type, you might want to consider taking on a little project. A slatted screen – which has space in between each layer of material, such as wood – is perfect for creating just enough privacy without entirely barricading the space. It can easily be made with a few pieces of framing lumber added on top of each other with until you’ve achieved the ideal height.

The Bottom Line

When it comes to having well-defined areas in a home that offer specific functions and even provide some degree of privacy, size doesn’t necessarily always matter. In fact, by implementing certain tactics, you can create perfectly separated areas – even in the same room – without having to close in the space with a bunch of drywall. Consider any one of the above suggestions to help create some division and privacy in your home, no matter how small it may be.