From an Open Concept Space to Closed Concept- Building a Wall

5 Materials
2 Days

When I purchased my home a few years ago I was excited for the large open space that the room offered for entertaining. The wall between the dining room and living room had been removed many years ago by a previous owner. Shortly after moving in, we removed the awkward cabinets that were dangling from the ceiling between the kitchen and dining room. The kitchen, dining room, and living room were all one big open space. Time and again I told my self that this layout was PERFECT for entertaining. Fast forward 3 years and only once have I had a large group over to my house. Time and again I found the open concept to be a hindrance to my day-to-day life rather than a help. Because of the open concept of this space, there was nowhere in the house that you could go (even with the bedroom doors shut) and not hear the television. If a person was relaxing on the couch trying to watch TV, they are in turn disturbed by the pots and pans clanging in the kitchen, or noise from someone's smartphone/tablet as they casually sit snacking at the table. The other issue is furniture placement. I had tried every configuration possible, and nothing seemed to fit the space quite right. I finally decided that the solution would be to build a wall to clearly define the spaces. My material list consisted of 2x4 boards, 3" screws, 4x8 sheets of drywall, 1" drywall screws, drywall tape, and joint compound. The following are the steps that I took to build a wall.

The before....

The before... (standing in the kitchen looking into the living room).

For creating the frame of the wall, you will need 2x4's and 3" screws/nails. A few of the studs that I am using are black because they are recycled from another project. I started by pulling back the carpet and placing the 2x4's on the floor to get a feel for where the wall would sit.

I then went along the 2x4's that were going to be the top and bottom plates of the wall (the horizontal boards of a wall), and marked them with painter's tape every 16". This is where I will attach my vertical 2x4 studs.

Because I was doing this project by myself, I chose to only put a few studs into place before I stood the wall up so that it would not be too heavy/awkward for me to lift.

Once I stood up the wall, I drove the 3" screws through the top and bottom plates into the floor and ceiling joists. I also drove screws into the adjacent wall that my new wall was butted up against. Once the wall with the 3 vertical studs was in place I went back and added the remaining studs to complete the frame.

At this point you can finish the wall with drywall, shiplap or paneling....

And just like that, framing is done!!

I chose to finish my wall with drywall. There are hundreds of tutorials online with tips and tricks on finishing drywall, but in effect you screw the boards to the studs, put tape over the seams and cover the tape and screw heads with joint compound.

After the first coat of joint compound...

From this stage you add additional coats of mud to create a seamless line between the boards. Once the mud has been applied and dried you will need to sand the mud to ensure that everything is seamless.

Not shown in the last picture, I added drywall to the "end" of the wall as well to create a cohesive look.

After priming the wall, I could hardly wait to put my pantry in front of it to see how it looked!


To finish it off, I chose to add some paintable wallpaper and a chair rail to my wall..... DONE!

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  • Jlnatty Jlnatty on Dec 04, 2020

    It looks great and very impressive that you did this yourself with no helper. I love the navy color and the texture on the wallpaper. Why did you put the wall in that place (walling off the dining room area from part of the living room) rather than walling off the kitchen and leaving the dining area open to the living room, since you mentioned that kitchen noise would interfere with watching TV?

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  • NQ. NQ. on Jan 27, 2021

    Some times they do, they are in their

    music world. Good idea Thanks

  • Lily Schlender Lily Schlender on Dec 21, 2021

    Nicole, you are awesome. i just commented on the wood trim you did in the other post. i love this wall. you did a great job. open concept is overrated sometimes. been there and done that. i think that you should do the same wallpaper and moldings to the left side of the doorway too so that when you look at it the whole wall is the same. compliments the shiplap in the kitchen. it's nice to see this project and i love your kitchen.