Partition Magic: Space-Saving Mobile Interior Room Dividers


Ever find yourself fascinated with the bone-crushing efficiency of library stack systems? Flip a switch and an entire isle disappears, while another appears to reveal a hidden series of volumes. A similar principle is at work here, but in a dynamic (and domestic) fashion.

Yuko Shibata is the Japanese designer behind this modest-but-effective interior design intervention. The use of two very simple non-structural wall elements turns a small apartment into a superb multi-functional set of living, working and sleeping areas.

One floating partition wall effectively ‘cabs’ the built-in bookcases along the side of an office-and-living-room space. A bleached-wood finish sets it apart from the surrounding static white surfaces, calling it out as a fundamentally different kind of mobile divider.

Another fold-open wall creates a separation between a small reading-and-study-space and the larger zone of a surrounding bedroom. In this case, the clear visual difference (once opened) comes in the form of brightly-colored paint. Swinging open the movable portion of the wall not only reveals shelving and seating, but opens up the connection between sleeping and living spaces (also, conversely, allowing them to be divided as needed, too). When shut, the shelves blend like built-ins and keep the secret of the other space.

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