published about 7 hours ago
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Whenever I’m looking for a new place to live, there are two words that are guaranteed to grab my attention: open floorplan. I grew up in a Colonial-style house, so the concept of being able to cook in the kitchen while hanging out with family and friends in the living room still gives me a thrill. But as our homes have had to work overtime as schools, offices, gyms, conference rooms, and everything else over the past couple of years, that coveted open layout doesn’t seem so great anymore. Raise your hand if you’ve had to lock yourself in the bathroom to take a Zoom call in private sometime over the past two years. Yeah, me too.
Short of a demo and remodel (and I live in a rental, so… no) or getting one of those folding screens (not my style), I didn’t think I had many options other than to find a camera angle that didn’t show toilet paper. But happily, I was very wrong! The Anywhere Blind Room Divider from editor-favorite brand Umbra is my simple, stylish solution to the privacy problem.
We’ve long sung the praises of Umbra for their game-changing solutions to pesky household issues, and they’ve done it again with this room divider. It’s designed with two vertical tension rods that you install (no tools needed!) from floor to ceiling, 4′ apart. (If you can grab some help, it’s much easier as a two-person job.) Since the rods are adjustable between 7′ and 10′ high, they can work for nearly any room. Next, easily attach the opaque, polyester curtain between them. Once it’s all assembled, you can create a window on the top or bottom, or extend it to its full length for complete privacy.
The genius of this divider is in its versatility. Use it in place of a window shade to block the bright afternoon sun. Put it in a dorm room to create a place to change clothes in private. “Install” it next to your desk to keep the distractions at bay during the workday. It’s called the Anywhere Divider for a reason! And if you decide you want to move it to another spot (or a new apartment), just turn the tension rods counterclockwise, and they’ll loosen right up — with no damage to your ceilings or floors.
And here’s my absolute favorite part: While the divider succeeds beautifully at creating a separate space when you need it, it’s very easy to keep out of the way when you don’t. Just push the curtain accordion-style all the way to the top, and in a couple of seconds, the room opens up again. I was nervous that the tension rods would seem awkward with nothing between them, but after a day of getting used to it, I barely notice them.
At first, $110 might seem like a lot to spend on a nice-to-have like a room divider. But trust me, after a few days of experiencing its benefits, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.