Monday, November 14, 2011

5 ways to use a screen

I'm surprised I don't see more screens used in decorating because they are very versatile and there are so many styles to choose. Have you thought about using a screen in a recent home decorating re do?People have been using them for centuries in their homes beginning in 4th century BC in China.

 Through the centuries Chinese folding screens were ornately decorated with traditional symbols of health, prosperity, and joy and some were  painted with up to 30 layers of lacquer making them appear illuminated from within. In contrast, when screens migrated to Japan they took on a much different look  with their thin wood frames and paper panels. Eventually, the folding screen was imported into the West via European traders. Throughout history, the folding screen has had both decorative and functional uses.  Today the folding screen is still a multi-purpose decorating tool.

Create an accent wall

Large screens can be used as a backdrop along a plain, uninspired wall.  If you use one for this purpose it's important to choose one that fits the scale of the room.

Marcelo Brito - Sao Paulo - Brazil contemporary living room
Marcelo Brito

Often you will see an application that will prompt other ideas.  If I had this beautiful screen to work with I would put a  plain light coloured sofa in front of it.  The clean lines would show up well against the intricate design. Did you notice how the pot lights shine down on the wall behind the screen adding a layer of light? 

 Alessandra Branca

 Chinoiserie Screen are design classics. They add an exotic, dramatic  note to any room.  Since they are often multipanelled and quite striking they work beautifully as a major accent.  They will not be overlooked! Imagine this room without the floor lamps.  Would you like or dislike the effect?


I love the layered look of this room . The screen has been placed on top of a  patterned wall.. Pattern and textures have been employed so well.  The pop of yellow is a masterful finishing touch and it makes the black screen so much more dramatic.. 

This treatment is simple and very effective. I like the way the screen  extends and includes the night tables drawing everything into the largest element.  Keeping all objects close in colour/value makes this small room expand. This  screen would be so easy to construct from plywood or MDF and then cover with wallpaper or metallic fabric.
Use as wall art
Ral99 eclectic entry

Using a bench as a table and then backing it  with this fantastic carved screen is an interesting idea.  This screen would look equally good hung on a wall as a sculpture.

dining room modern dining room
twenty7 design

This  screen is quite stunning and sculptural.  It works so well with the contemporary furnishings. But what is that doll sculpture doing in the corner?

Laight Loft modern bedroom

Everything about this room hangs together.

Pueblo St Master Bedroom mediterranean bedroom
Lori Smyth

I'm not a lover of salmon and blue but it is very effective in this room. This room works because  large amounts of white was used to let the painting shine.

Fill an empty corner 

Breakers Project
 Phoebe Howard

This  screen does more than fill an empty corner.  It adds visual height to the space and draws your eye across the room while providing an additional texture.

Hollywood Residence eclectic living room

You can also use screens effectively to emphasize a symmetrical layout. The vertical flow draws your eye through the room.

 Make a headboard

This is quite an amazing colour! You could also remove one section and hang the two parts horizontally.

Sacha & Johans High Risk / High Reward Home House Call | Apartment Therapy New eclectic bedroom
Apartment Therapy

Who would not like this room?  I love the colour combination in addition to the fantastic headboard.  With the degree of intricacy  in the screen you need to keep everything else simple.


To think I was planning to send my louvered doors to  RESTORE!  This changes my mind totally.  This room works so well because all the elements are similar in colour. Nothing stands out; everything plays a subtle role in creating the whole.

Divide a room

 Downtown penthouse contemporary bedroom
 Amelie de Gaulle Interiors

Do you have a favourite use for folding screens ? Feel free to share.

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