Several years ago I worked with a young couple who were expecting their first baby; they lived in a large loft style 2 bedroom apartment and with a full-time nanny already on board, they needed an additional bedroom quickly. It was then that I was introduced to the concept of the leased wall! You can rent a wall (generally leases are for 3 years) and have it installed to create a new room. They are customized to whatever the space requires, you can add doorways and windows and cutouts. Since then I’ve noticed several wonderful design companies (for example Loftwall whose booth was a major highlight at ICFF this year) who have expanded on this idea with dividers that come in many varied materials, upholstered panels that inter-connect, transparency, wood laminates… If you don’t renew the lease, the wall(s) are taken down without damage to the existing floors or adjoining walls and ceilings, perfect for a rental or a home you know will eventually return to its original floor plan.
Fast forward to my recent move into a large studio from a one bedroom apartment. I deliberated for less than one minute about adjusting my lifestyle to open plan living! Thankfully my previous bedroom was small and intimate so I already knew I’d be perfectly at home with that. I calculated the exact dimensions that would accommodate the width of my headboard and two side tables on either side of my bed. When I measured I found that with a leased wall dividing the main space I could indeed have a bedroom and a living room as well. On the overall floor plan I liked that the new partition now made the foyer and living room areas more proportionally balanced. Another blessing is that the living room area has two very tall windows with beautiful views and generous north light so it’s not oppressive.
Hadeem from Create A Space was able to work with the painters’ schedule and in a matter of hours I had a brand new wall complete with matching baseboard, it looked as if it had been there all along and I loved that unexpectedly I had more surface space to hang art. Instead of a doorway I opted for drapery panels to close off the new bedroom; this way I wouldn’t feel entombed while tucked away in the room! The draperies are the same pale blue taffeta as the window panels in the living room which adds a sense of continuity throughout the apartment.
It’s cushy and happy and slightly mischievous; when I am tucked away inside the room I am reminded of childhood games – creating tents with blankets over chairs or perhaps Pippi Longstockings’ magical “no grown ups allowed” house from which she ruled the world.