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Important Terms Defined for Partitions and Dividers
Partitions and dividers can help organize office space, break up a room, or add additional space. Adding a set of cubicles to an office can quickly and cheaply create several working spaces for employees, which can later be moved quite easily. Other forms of dividers, like portable ones, can be added to a living room to break up the space temporarily, rather than adding a permanent wall. If you are considering any of these options, the following terms can help you gain a better understanding of the industry and product options available to you.
Shoji Screen - This screen is very common in traditional Japanese architecture. This structure can form a room divider, window, or even serve as a door or wall. Structurally, it is formed out of bamboo and paper. It is a staple among interior designers trying to merge Western and Eastern design aesthetics.
Pipe and Drape Screen - This phrase is used to describe the structure of the screen. In this method, an aluminum or steel pipe is fixed to a strong base to support draped panels. This is very temporary, and is used to separate rooms for television, to decorate a home in home staging, and other similar tasks.
Home Staging - This term refers to temporary decoration of homes that are about to be sold to demonstrate different architectural benefits. This can include draping the windows, setting up partitions, bringing in furniture and more.
Acoustical Portable Walls - These are partitions that are specifically designed to muffle sounds between rooms, but can later be removed, and the rooms merged into one large one. They are commonly used in restaurants.
Privacy Screen - These are usually portable screens. They are used to create a changing area within a room, or to section off a sleeping area.
Sometimes partitions are beautifully decorated but mostly these dividers are for utilitarian use. Most are plain and in neutral tones. Others are in bright colors to indicate that it is a place to take care of first aid or it is colored in primary colors for a child-friendly setting. Small boutiques may not have changing rooms by a corner of the one room retail store may have a temporary screen as a changing space. Schools may buy portable panels for the nurse's office so that students can have privacy while waiting. Offices use cubicles to give workers a sense of privacy and quiet. Partitions can also be used by nursing mothers or children that need a time-out. Music rooms may have dividers for noise reduction so students can concentrate.
What size partition will you need? Ask the professionals that you find in your phone book. Do you need soundproofing or merely a privacy screen? Depending on how often you plan to merge and divide the rooms, you may want to have wheeled models. These partitions may be washable with soap and water. You can also choose dividers that are wrapped in noise-dampening fabric. Other dividers are covered with a fabric that invites work to be tacked up by push pins. You can ask for custom facings for your panels. Some models are part of a sliding partition system.
Mesh partitions are often used in higher security areas. They can enclose personal belongings as a secure storage space. These same dividers can be used as security gates. They are coated with an anti-corrosion material.