Living in a small space? This design hack is a game-changer

This clever buy is my secret weapon to storing gym equipment in my kitchen

room divider
(Image credit: Getty Images)

As a child, I grew up in a suburban home with my own room, so I never needed to worry about how to separate or divide my space. But when I moved to New York City (and into a pint-sized one bedroom apartment), I became acutely aware of the fact that most of the rooms in my home would need to be multi-functional.

For a while, I struggled with organization ideas and finding ways to store my home gym equipment without making it the focal point of my living space.

But then, I discovered the room divider. 

A room divider (opens in new tab) — or as New Yorkers call them "flex walls"— are an excellent way to make the most of any space. They're often used to separate the sleeping area in a studio apartment, or turn a one bedroom space into a two-bedroom. As I recently found out, though, they're also incredibly handy for creating separate functional areas in a pint-sized space, or creating extra storage in a home that lacks closet space. 

So how am I using my newly purchased room divider? 

Instead of storage closets, I'm neatly storing baskets and bins safely in the corner. I also recently purchased one to conceal my exercise bike when not in use. 

room divider

(Image credit: Kaiyo)

Scalloped Screen (opens in new tab) for $399 at Wayfair

This scalloped-style upholstered screen is available in a number of different prints and colors at Wayfair. I personally chose a solid color because I have a lot of wallpaper in my apartment, but if you have mostly solid-colored painted walls, the printed screens are a beautiful choice. 

Now, in place of my bikes taking up space, all you see is a beautiful three-panel scalloped screen. Pretty magical, right?

 It most certainly is, and whether you're like me and looking to organize your small space or trying to navigate working from home (with kids and toys everywhere), the solution is as simple as that: a room divider. 

Unfortunately, the specific one I purchased is out-of-stock, but fear not — but here are five room dividers worth the investment. 

1. A deco wave screen 

room divider

(Image credit: west elm)

Curved Screen, Deco Weave (opens in new tab) starting at $349, at west elm

An artistic resolution for large and small spaces alike, this screen (opens in new tab)does it all: it's a wall, sound-barrier, and decorative backdrop all in one.

2. A straw weave panel

room divider

(Image credit: Target)

4 Panel Paper Straw Weave Screen on 2" Legs Black/White - Ore International (opens in new tab) for $98.99, at Target

Evenly divide and conquer any space with this room divider. (opens in new tab) Ideal for your bedroom, home office, studio space, or an open room in your home, this four-panel divider features durable wood construction.

3. This abstract best-seller

room divider

(Image credit: Walmart)

Roundhill Furniture Giyano 4 Panel Wood Frame Room Divider, 70"Tall, Silver (opens in new tab) for $103.99, at Walmart

Refresh your living area while grouping your space with this four-panel room divider. (opens in new tab)Turn one room into two and enjoy divided space with this folding panel of screens complete with a modern and gentle mosaic design.

4. This wooden display

room divider

(Image credit: Wayfair)

Eloise 50" W x 70" H 3 - Panel Solid Wood Folding Room Divider (opens in new tab) l Was $276, Now $126.99, at Wayfair 

Providing privacy, versatility, and globally-inspired style, this room divider (opens in new tab) is the perfect finishing touch for any combo. 

5. This 8-panel version

room divider

(Image credit: Amazon)

Sorbus Room Divider Folding Privacy Screen (opens in new tab)for $129.99, at Amazon

This partition-style screen (opens in new tab) divides your room for privacy or as a decorative display and is the largest of the bunch. With eight panels in this model, it's perfect for sectioning off larger areas of your home. 

Still, want more? Check out additional room divider suggestions below: 

Brittany Romano is a Shopping Editor, based in New York City. From her start as a fashion market assistant at Marie Claire to building a highly profitable commerce vertical at Us Weekly and AMI brands, Brittany has produced award-winning content covering everything from celebrity beauty hacks to must-have items from online sales. She is a graduate of New England College. When she isn’t writing, you can find Brittany indulging in yet another DIY project or cheering on her beloved Boston Bruins.