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How to hack a renter-friendly room divider

It took me almost a year to figure it out. I sent a help request in 2019 but here is my attempt at a renter-friendly room divider. 

You can get this up by only drilling 4 holes, 2 in the wall and 2 on the ceiling easy to fill up with putty when you are ready to move out.

Here’s how it looks finished.

renter friendly room divider

Disclaimer: I am an adult person, living on my own. I don’t have children in my space ever, also I don’t live in a place prone to earthquakes. So although this is sturdy and remains up with this minimal fastening, you might need something more sturdy depending on your circumstances. 

Materials:
  • 1 IKEA ELVARLI anchor post
  • 5 IKEA IVAR side pieces (this depends on how long and tall you want your divider to be. Mine are 50cm x 226cm) giving me a 250cm long x 226cm tall divider
  • 2 sets of hook and eye screws
  • 1m long heavy-duty Velcro tape 
  • 12 wood screw (7cm long) I wanted something long enough to go through the wood of the ivar put side by side, but not too long it will perforate all the way through.
Optional:

Renter-friendly room divider IKEA hack 

Prep:

1. The IVAR is untreated wood, so I decided to stain them using a dark wood stain (orange-brown) found at my local hardware store.

Let it dry several hours before going to the next step. 

2. This divider is separating my bedroom area from my living room. I wanted something that has a visual interest without being overpowering. So, I chose a textured wallpaper in cream and white tones.

wall paper

I measured each panel, cut it to size and fixed it to the stained IVAR piece using double-sided tape. (As this isn’t permanent I can change the wallpaper if I get bored of it and can use the IVAR piece as a shelving unit later on if I want to.) The staining and wallpapering are easier to do with the piece lying flat and before fastening them together. 

How this comes together:

1. Choose the spot in your room where you want your divider to be. You need a wall as one of your anchor points to install the hook part of the hook and eye screws. (My advice is to measure twice, drill once.)

I put them about 100cm apart using the IVAR 2nd and 4th horizontal drafters as reference.

You can install the eye part to the first IVAR piece and hook it in place.(Congrats, your first panel is up). 

hooking up the first panel

2. Our other anchor point will be the ELVARLI post. This is the perfect moment to put it up. Measure how wide you want your divider to be and install it on your ceilings, using the appropriate fastening. The ELVARLI is telescopic it can go up from 180cm to 350cm high, so it can accommodate different ceilings heights

3. Next IVAR piece up, the ELVARLI has a base about 1cm tall, that will interfere with the IVAR legs. Cut out 1cm of the IVAR leg closer to the ELVARLI post, to ensure that the two can fit together.

aligning posts

I am not comfortable drilling into metal (didn’t want to compromise the integrity of the post either) so I used heavy duty Velcro tape to fasten this IVAR piece to the ELVARLI. I cut the 1m Velcro tape to 4 pieces of 25cm in length and taped them to the IVAR piece equidistant from one another. Then, lined up the ELVARLI and IVAR together and stuck them together. 

4. Line up and drill your remaining IVAR pieces together until you have all of them standing up. I alternated the screws, with 1 and 3 coming from the left and 2 and 4 coming from the right. Just to make sure the fastening is stable.

renter friendly room divider
renter friendly room divider

5. I used a previous divider anchor points to the ceiling to add rope, as an extra measure, but this is purely decorative, the rope isn’t pulling any weight and the divider stand up without them for a week, so I am confident you don’t need this. 

renter friendly room divider

This is definitely a two-person, sometimes even 3 people project. Overall it took us a full day to complete, including the wallpapering, staining and putting down the previous iteration of the divider.

With all set in stone, I spent ca 200 EUR on the whole thing… I think it is worth it, it has made a huge impact on the space.

Happy hacking!

~ by Iweryd