Home Improvement

Carving Out Privacy in a Shared Home


Privacy is incredibly important — online, in public, and, in some situations, even at home. Today, more people are working from home than ever. Others are renting out their basement apartments or spare bedrooms to make some extra income and cover the rising costs of living. This means carving out privacy — and finding a way to retain it — vital for maintaining our sense of self and mental health.

While your bedroom will surely be your sanctuary in a shared living situation, there are other ways to make communal areas a little more segmented. Here’s how.

Install Curtains or Invest in Screens

If living areas are especially airy, strategically hanging curtains or placing accordion screens will immediately block sightlines, thus offering greater privacy. Curtains will be especially beneficial in doorways without doors that lead to halls.

Use Large Furniture as Room Dividers

Open-sided bookshelves or an entertainment unit behind an inward-facing couch are great ways to divide a room. These tactics create the illusion of more space, making shared living areas feel less cramped and claustrophobic.

Shared living spaces may experience higher traffic than traditional homes. For this reason, if you want to use furniture to divide rooms, investing in quality wood furniture is worth serious consideration. Look online for stores that are local to you and boast good reviews and public showrooms. Physically seeing furniture before investing will alleviate any concerns, while bringing your ideas to life. For example, if you’re in southern Ontario, look for ways to buy wood furniture in Mississauga and the surrounding areas — doing so offers you the ability to see pieces in person before making any decisions.

Maximize Outdoor Areas

If you’re fortunate enough to have outdoor space, be it a yard, a balcony, or a deck, optimize this space. Outside areas can be used as workspaces in the summer months with a carefully positioned desk or as a space to sit outside and watch movies at night.

If you’re able to do so, research buying a firepit or a heat lamp so that you can extend the seasons of use in your outdoor area. Check with your city first to see if open fires are allowed. Using Mississauga again as an example, the municipality allows firepits and chimeneas, but you may need a permit.

Reorganize Your Bedroom

If you’re sharing your home with a stranger, you may want to move any personal or expensive items into your room — at least until you know them a little better.

Further, if you work from home or have hobbies requiring a countertop, consider adding a small workstation to the corner of your bedroom. This can be as simple as a space-saving, collapsible desk that you can fold away when it’s not in use, reclaiming valuable bedroom space.


Sharing a living space, either with a loved one, a friend or a stranger, can raise immediate concerns over privacy that may have you craving more ‘me time.’ By carefully reorganizing furniture and repurposing spaces, you’re optimizing your sense of independence in the home and boosting your privacy — creating a long-term and harmonious living situation for all.

Leonard Moore
Leonard Moore mission is to conduct in-depth research that leads to new ideas in creating informative articles. His focus is on innovation in technology and creativity.

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