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Home Improvement

5 ways to use steel partitions for zoning

Homeowners and designers finally want the same thing – spacious, light-filled spaces. Open floor plan has become a global trend in recent years. Large spaces look attractive. But is it always comfortable to live in an apartment resembling an office open space? Probably not. That is why the Crittall doors, which the London bourgeoisie once fell in love with, is experiencing a rebirth.

Every time I go to the old neighborhoods in Europe, I look for the original Crittall frames and almost always find them. Especially if we are talking about old buildings in industrial districts or expensive houses in London or Paris – their owners loved windows and doors in strict steel frames. They were an indicator of status and style, not everyone could afford them.

Crittall is a direct reference to the industrial style that is popular today

The production technology appeared in the 19th century when the process of hot rolling of steel was developed. It was in 1884 that Francis Henry Crittall, an iron merchant in Essex, first used this method to create steel-framed windows.

Crittall became a popular brand in Europe and later in the United States.

Today, Crittall has become a household name, the so-called strict black steel frames from different manufacturers. Inspired by the original brand, young companies offer the same quality and durability of frames, but made them more affordable.

History of Crittall style

The brand is more than 130 years old, but products based on it look super modern today: Pintrest is filled with photogenic interiors with frames in the Crittall style,” says Andrey. – Steel is a very charismatic material, such an effect cannot be achieved with plastic, wooden or aluminum frames.

Due to their thin profile frames, Crittall products do not weigh down the interior and are ideal, for example, for zoning spaces. Partitions in this style fit into the design of almost any room, and are suitable not only for housing, but also for offices, restaurants, hotels, shops.

1. Equip a workplace at home

On the one hand, you separate the space, but by making the partitions light and inclusive, you don’t block the light. When curtains hang on them, you can create a room for yourself to study or work. But it is enough to move them apart – you again get one large space.

Personally, I prefer the classic Crittall – black steel and clear glass, when scuffs and drops from welding are visible on the frames – this is very authentic.

But frames and glass can be completely different colors and textures: matte, reinforced, tinted, aged, and so on. At Black Owl, we make the steel frames collapsible so the glass can be replaced if needed.

2. Separate the hallway and living room

Sliding interior partitions can divide any room you like. One of the options is the hallway and living room. On the one hand, you have a fenced-off place to hang your outerwear and put away your shoes, but you still feel like you are entering one whole space. Especially when a large doorway is made – thin profile frames look very sophisticated. The fashionable term for such layouts is “broken plan”: not open, but still segmented.

3. Separate the dining room

This is a good solution for large lofts or studio apartments. You are left with one large space, but at the same time, you allocate a place where the whole family can gather for dinners and holidays.

What I like about steel partitions is that, due to their minimalism, they organically fit into almost any style, from modern to Scandinavian, and even complement them. At the same time, they look very modern, although the original Crittall was used on the Titanic more than a hundred years ago.

4. Separate the dressing room from the bedroom

Steel-framed glazing can separate the walk-in closet from the bedroom, instead of turning it into a large closet out of habit. During the day it will look like one room, but at night the dressing room doors can be closed and the curtains drawn to make the bedroom cozy.

5. Zoning office space

“Steel partitions with vintage frosted glass are popular in office open spaces – they give employees a much more sense of privacy and comfort than ordinary panels. Partitions can be made mobile, on legs, and move them like a screen.

All in all

Crittall’s style is not only practical, but also looks great. He finally became popular again and is not going to leave. So far, he is more in demand in Europe and the USA, but in Belarus and Russia he already has a lot of fans – in the coming years we will see him more and more.


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