We’re Inspired: Folding Screens

The hand-painted chinoiserie screen that Mera found last time she visited Eugene got us thinking about what versatile pieces folding screens are.  They can be room dividers, window screens, or headboards.  They can be used to hide something unattractive like a television (years ago when Cameron and Katie lived in a yurt they used a screen to keep cleaning supplies out of sight), or as a backdrop to highlight something beautiful, like a favorite piece of furniture.   Their design is as varied as their function, and they provide a beautiful way to layer texture, pattern, and color into a room.

We haven’t yet seen a space of designer Lili Diallo’s that we don’t love.  Her own dining room includes an old-fashioned floral screen, which adds warmth and softness to the mostly white and modern space.  Picture this room without the screen; we think it would seem cold and industrial.  It’s the depth and femininity of the screen that make this room one of our all time favorites.

Just like the contrast of the sleek Panton S chairs against the screen in the first image, this old-fashioned avian screen is the perfect element to offset the more modern lines of the tulip table.

The three-dimensionality of the screen gives this insane (and, we would argue, insanely beautiful) room another layer of interest.   Without it the crazy-town florals of the wallpaper and rug might fall flat.

We love this use of a screen as a vertical garden!  The peek at the antique faces above the greenery and the way it breaks up the angularity of the bedroom is perfect.  We’d wake up happy.

The face on this screen might be slightly less pleasant to wake up to, but we think the painterly scene gives the room a much needed sense of humor.

This screen is definitely a different, less traditional, style than the others in this post.  We love its gilt edges and that it’s used as a surface for hanging artful plates.

This screen that DIY queen Jenny Komenda made by applying fabric to bi-fold doors has both of us crazy inspired — the painted edges and large scale floral are spot on!

Do you, or would you, use a folding screen in your house?  We love the first one best, though we recognize that a lot of that has to do with how it works in that specific room.  If we could pick one to pluck from a photo and put into our own homes, Katie would choose the plant-covered one, and Mera would choose the golden screen from the room with the overabundant florals.  How about you?

13 responses on “We’re Inspired: Folding Screens

  1. joyce

    I looove the second one. But I would only use it if I had a need – an ugly pipe, a window that looked out in a busty street, etc.

  2. Nina

    Joyce, I have never lived on a busty street, but I can imagine the need to cover it up, for modesty’s sake. 🙂

    I love the 2nd and the penultimate screens. Well, the 2nd one I just love, the next to last works so perfectly in its funky, eclectic space that I’m drawn to it.

    My nephew has an Asian screen for me, a long-term loan. It is too small to use as a room divider or to cover anything but the smallest of busty streets (an alley, perhaps?) so I will definitely need to find a spot to hang it. Its really lovely. And free! Can’t wait to get my hands on it.

  3. Carol Bryner

    I too love the second from last. But all the florals are cheerful too. We have a screen that we bought at an auction up here, but we had to fold it up and secure it against a wall as soon as we had a toddler crawling around.
    I grew up loving a screen that my mother had painted when she was in art school. It had some very beautiful roosters painted on it in a Chinese scroll type design. Seeing a screen in a room always makes me think that someone might be behind there changing into their pj’s.

  4. andrea

    Mera may totally peg me as practical but I just think: “what’s going to happen in an earthquake?” I would enjoy waking up to the plant holding one though, and I did save the bifold doors that I took from my son’s closet.

  5. MC859

    I have a 4 panel wicker folding screen that I used to partition off my home office for about a year, till I was able to have real doors built. Then it was used as a headboard for a few years. Now it’s sitting in the basement since I moved last November, but this post reminds me to dig it out – could be a headboard in the guest room again!
    Mine is similar to this one: http://www.orientalfurniture.com/thumbs/999×999/mm5/imagesource/FB-OPDMND-DBG-4P.jpg

  6. Susanna-Cole King

    I’ve always thought to have a screen to get dressed behind would be somehow so glamorous, despite that I don’t really need the privacy, and waltz about my apartment half naked anyway (ha, perks of living alone). I hadn’t thought of it simply to add texture and color to a room though, or as a backdrop for something else, but I love the idea. I’m really drawn to wallpaper at the moment, I almost wish I could wallpaper my whole place but this would be less permanent and much better as a renter. Thanks for the inspiration!

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