Dividing screens were historically used in Asia and Europe for modesty or privacy purposes in indoor spaces. Today, they’re often used to separate rooms into different spaces, for example dividing the kitchen from the living room or defining a work area.
It may be that you want to divide your workspace from your living area if you’re a home worker or a student or even divide the children’s play area from your tidy living room. Using a planter box as the divider offers the home decorator many design possibilities.
Read on for ideas for room divider planter boxes such as a growing wall divider, ideas to upcycle an old chest of drawers and a K-drama inspired fish tank divider with foliage.
Dividing a room with an exterior entrance
A planter box for a space that contains an exterior door needs to be filled with dense foliage to help keep draughts at bay when the door is open. You can buy a suitable planter or DIY your own box from upcycled wood to suit the dimensions of the space.
Any plants in a hallway will get chilly at times so make sure you choose evergreen and hardy plants for these spaces. If your door opens into a living room, then making a divider screen will definitely help to keep the chill outside.
You could re-fashion a clothes rail (preferably with wheels for easy movement) into an attractive addition to your living space. Remember that any room divider has two sides and that you can change the view and the atmosphere depending on where you place it.
- On one side of the clothes rail, add some wire or decorative string from the base to the top of the rail. These vertical lines can become the guide for the divider planter box. These clothes rails usually have metal supports and you can easily add a piece of wood, the same length as the rail for the planter box to sit on.
- Add a vertical board at right angles behind this planter box holder, making an L shape, to make it more secure and you can paint this to match your decor. If you want to make it completely secure from knocks by pets or children, add a second board on the other side.
- Do you have old containers and jars lying around? These make perfect plant holders and can be painted, decoupaged or decorated with shells or anything you like.
- Now comes the fun! Try adding some climbing plants, which flower at different times so you’re always greeted by a wall of flowering blooms. You could include eye-catching succulent foliage too.
Consider both viewing points of your new planter box. From one side you will have a visible shelf and you may like to stain, varnish or paint this to suit your décor. From the other side, you will have a green, living wall that you can move around from time to time if the plants need more sunlight.
Keep reading for more creative living wall planter room divider ideas.
Hook in the ceiling ideas
These ideas will help to separate a space using hooks secured in the ceiling.
- Place 2 or 3 hooks in the ceiling to support a horizontal wire or metal pole.
- Measure up the space below this wire and make a planter box to fit.
- Then fix 6-8 vertical wires to the top, trailing down to the ground and fix these vertical supports to the base of your planter box.
- Now you have an empty planter box, with wire support for your plants. You can also add any decorations you like to these wires. Some macramé or beads will also add colour. Choose your plants carefully. If you want complete cover, choose a dense foliage arrangement. If you are happy to have the odd view of the other side of the divider, use plants with less foliage.
- Place your plant pots in front of the vertical wires and plant climbing plants such as clematis or gourds. The vibrant, lipstick red blooms of a Mandevilla sanderi will look fantastic and you can complement it with a tall, leafy Swiss cheese plant (Monstera Deliciosa). The fantastic thing about this living wall of colour is that you can replace the flowering plant as soon as it flowers. If you have small, light flowering plants, you could attach the pots anywhere along the wires. Black-eyed Susan (Thunbergia) will provide dense summer foliage while the trailing Christmas Cactus provides gorgeous pink blooms in December.
A more solid room divider planter box
If you have high ceilings or a lot of space to fill and you want a solid room divider then you can also use ceiling hooks. 3 or 4 hooks may be advisable for heavy material, you may want to consult a DIY expert before you start. Bulky, natural material such as tree branches can be leaned against the wire supports. For extra support, add corner braces where they meet the floor and secure more wire around the trunks to attach them to the structure. The wood will fill your room with interest for many years.
Once the trunks are in place, add planter boxes, at the base. Choose planters of varying heights, taller ones will help to stabilise the whole structure. You could place planter boxes on both sides of the divider so that it looks completely different from both angles. Choose various plants to complement the tones of drying wood. Ferns would be a fabulous choice for the shadier side and bamboo would provide a striking contrast against the trunks.
This room divider will help to keep heat in so place it in an area where you want to enjoy cosy warmth!
Chinese, Japanese and Korean style screen dividers
These screens are classics in Asian films and are usually made from local wood. They often consist of a wooden frame with decorative painted panels inserted.
You could design your own wooden divider using these types of screens as a pattern and hinges to separate the three parts. I have seen DIY enthusiasts use three old doors to make these dividers and then make shelves across each “screen” area. These tiny shelves can hold small plant pots, trinkets or photos.
If you are worried about stability, fix one side of the first screen to a wall and also to the floor using L-shaped corner braces and screws. If you want to move the divider later, just remove the plants and the screws.
Include light plants such as small succulents or herbs that won’t grow too heavy over time. Plants can easily be replaced if they grow too large. They’ll also need regular watering. To avoid leakages, ensure that each plant sits on a saucer or tray.
Good shelf lighting will show fabulous shadows of the plants, helping your divider to closely resemble the Asian screens. Use lights that will aid the plant’s growth.
This thick screen will completely block off the view of another room. If you’re happy with the location, you can add a more permanent planter box at the base to increase the stability of the whole divider. Fill it with light-loving plants on the side that has bright light and keep low light tolerant plants on shelves with artificial lighting. Voila! Two separate room environments with one divider.
A box planter to divide a bedroom from a living room
A fish tank bookshelf room divider.
Many students and flat dwellers live in spaces where the bedroom and living areas aren’t completely separate. I’m a big fan of Korean dramas and those inspire this next idea. You often see wonderful fish tank room dividers through which you can view the room behind. The fish make wonderful company and you can place reeds and fern-like plants in the aquarium, a floating accompaniment to your dreams! The swaying of the greenery and the colours of the fish create a wonderfully calming environment.
To achieve this, use a free-standing bookshelf and remove shelves as necessary to make room for your chosen tank. It is a good idea to secure the whole bookshelf to the ground using a drill and nails so it’s secure.
- Place the fish tank on the empty shelf and use books to add weight above and below. You might want to secure the tank with an extra strip of wood if there are pets or little ones in the environment.
- Add your chosen fish and plants. Ask your pet shop for advice on this.
- You can place photos and other plants such as succulents and trailing plants on the other shelves.
- The artificial light from the fish tank will help the plants next to it and you can even time it to coincide with the fish sleep time! This way, the plants gain light every day but also have a dark phase. Sweet dreams!
Recycle old furniture as a room divider planter box
If you have a chest of drawers you no longer use, then this can be transformed into a small room divider planter.
- You can place several tall potted plants on top of the chest.
- Try removing the drawers and using them as planter boxes placed on top of or beside the chest. You may want to line them with plastic so they’re waterproof.
- If you choose tall plants like bamboo palm or areca palm, you can effectively block the view of the other side.
- Each of the drawers can hold a different plant and you can sand down the wood and then re-paint, stain or varnish it as you please.
- If you remove the drawers, you could even create a cosy space for a pet to curl up and sleep in the empty space.
Remember that one side of a room dividing planter box will tend to have lower natural light. Place evergreen plants on this side. You may be able to use artificial lighting in this area.
Put light-loving plants like herbs, geraniums, begonias, cacti and lilies on the natural light side of the divider.
Hopefully, you’re now itching to change something in that big room of yours by bringing in a dividing planter box. Have fun!