Half-walls can help you divide a large room into multiple spaces without losing the open feel. They can also help children who share a room gain a little bit of privacy without losing the overall space. The top of the half wall can become a useful shelf for decor, potted plants or other items you wish to display.
Use half-walls in the bathroom to create a bit of privacy around the toilet area in an all-in-one bath. A structure about 3 1/2 feet high works well for half-walls in this area. You can also create a European-style open shower if you have a large area at one end of your bath, and use a tiled half-wall to keep the water spray contained. The additional storage space on top of bathroom half-walls is excellent for toiletries, especially if you place them in designer bottles on a mirror-bottom tray. For thick half-walls, make the wall shorter and top it with an aquarium full of live fish. Tile, paint, faux stone and vinyl finishes all work well for half-walls in bathrooms. Add storage space by designing the half-wall with inset shelves for soap or toilet paper.
Divide a large living space with a half-wall that doubles as a book or media shelf. Frame the overall shape of the half-wall as you normally would, but make sure it is at least 6 inches deep for videos or 8 inches for books, then place shelves instead of framing inside the back wall. You can leave it accessible from both sides as an open frame, or close off one side so the wall appears solid from that direction. If your half wall separates a living room from a dining room, place the openings on the dining room side and use inset cabinets to hold wine glasses and bottles. You can use solid doors on the cabinets for discrete storage or glass doors to show off your collection.
Whether you want to divide a shared room or create a dressing area in a large master suite, a half-wall can help you do it. Choose a wall height that is a bit higher than a simple divider wall, then have the wall angle or step down to the standard height of 3 1/2 feet. For kids' rooms, add a fun feature by cutting a window into the higher portion of your half-wall, then placing shutters on each side. Your children can let each other know they're feeling social by opening the shutters on their own side. If both sides are open they can chat through their own private window, but if one child has the shutters closed, the other will know to leave her alone. Add bookshelves or storage cabinets to both sides of the wall, staggering them to allow each child equal space. The top of the wall can be used as storage for stuffed animals and other toys that are not often used.
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