Not so sure on the permanence of a shelf, partition or built-in wall? Curtains will do the trick. Pull them back when you want open space, pull them closed for privacy. You've achieved the best of both worlds.
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Interior designer Tracy Murdock says: "I love to display plates and china collections prominently when they are available to me on a project. It is a good way to incorporate personal items into a home." She recommends starting out the arrangement with a symmetrical base and then randomly dropping in odd pieces that don't have a mate. She also recommends making these arrangements a focal point,and utilizing art lights to enhance the display.
Rod pocket. The rod pocket is the simplest and most cost-effective heading treatment. The drapery fabric is folded over and attached to itself, creating a pocket for the drapery rod to slip through. Tip: Sew a seam across the very top edge of the pocket. You will get a distinctive gathering of fabric at the top of the header.
A dining room that says "Ta-da!" The curtains set apart the space like a stage. Creates a striking focal point, adds the visual width needed for these widely spaced cabinets. Colors are lovely using an adjacent (related) color scheme. Very creative.