How to increase privacy in your home to embrace the trend
If you’ve watched a single episode of “House Hunters,” you’re probably familiar with “open concept” homes — homes with floor plans where one room flows seamlessly into the next, and you get a direct line of sight from the kitchen to the dining room to the living room and so on.

Open-concept floor plans have been all the rage for the last couple of decades. But are they on the way out? Some home design and trend experts say yes, and once you hear the reason, you probably won’t be surprised.

How open floor plans dominated design
It all started in the ’80s and ’90s, with the suburban construction boom of the types of homes we now know as “McMansions.” They were built for families, and many designers thought (and still think) that open floor plans gave families space to connect.

“The idea of everyone in a household coming together to prepare meals, watch television, and engage with one another in the living room promotes the feeling of connectivity and closeness that I don’t think people would choose to go without,” Gioi Tran, co-founder and principal designer of San Francisco-based firm Applegate Tran, told

But it was the steady increase in home sizes that started to inspire a shift in thinking about open floor plans.

“People who grew up in (constrained spaces) wanted a more open, casual feeling as they created their own homes,” New York-based designer Madeline Merin explained in the same story. “(But) home sizes have continued to grow ever larger — the average size of homes (in the United States) has more than doubled from 1,000 square feet in 1950 to 2,300 square feet in 2020 — and people are seeing a need for greater definition of the increased space they have to work with.”

Then came the COVID-19 pandemic
The shift toward wanting more walls might have happened more gradually were it not for COVID. When the pandemic forced so many people to start spending more time at home — living and working in shared spaces — they began to want more definition and privacy.

“The adjustment for many of us to work and oversee our children going to school from home has brought to light a need for separated spaces, where we can head to another room and close the door,” Tran said.

4 ways to create privacy in your open-concept home
If you have an open floor plan, there’s no need to call a contractor and start putting up walls. These products are great ways to create the illusion of separate spaces and rooms without committing to a complete remodel.

a wooden room divider with 5 panels
Artoria Five-Panel Room Divider with Shelves

This room divider is crafted from solid paulownia wood that lends a beachy feel to any room. At 67 inches high and 79 inches wide, it provides plenty of privacy, plus some storage with built-in shelves.

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a large plant stand with multiple shelves. It looks almost like a bookshelf but with hooks for hanging plants.
Pacificas Plant Stand

The ladder design of this plant stand places your greenery at different heights, guaranteeing maximum privacy. Hooks for hanging plants create a more vertical display, making this a decor piece that will also help create boundaries in your home.

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a black book case with various square sections
Mercury Row Sullins Geometric Bookcase

With a modern style and open, architectural look, this bookcase is perfect for creating division in a bedroom, living room or home office.

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a canvas room divider with 4 panels, depicting cherry blossoms and birds
Red Barrel Studio Floribel Four-panel Canvas Folding Room Divider

For a softer aesthetic, this canvas room divider features a bird-and-flower design in classical Chinese art style — a great way to dress up a bedroom or office.