Folding screens were very popular last century – they kept out drafts, hid doors that servants used, provided a discreet area for ladies to disrobe…. And they were often beautiful works of art.
Nowadays, we have other methods for keeping out drafts, few of us have servants (although there are days when I could really use one!), and most of us aren’t so shy about getting our kit off…. so what would you do with a screen?
Screens are a stunning way of framing a bed. We’ve had discussions on using large artwork above a bed here – and a screen does it all for you…. You can get them covered in a fabric which tones with your bedroom colours. Or you can go all out, such as the gold screen I used above – which injects real glamour into the boudoir!
You can actually make a screen very easily – just cut plywood to size, and cover each panel with batting and then fabric, and hinge them together. On Wednesday I’ll show you how to recover a screen from scratch.
Screen can be hung on the wall like art – but because they are large, they can fill some of the featureless and huge walls that some houses have. They can imbue a room with such a different character, depending on their look. I love the antique depiction of a river and a city above.
Screens are also great ways of framing a sofa or couch. It feels cosy to sit in front of one, and the seating arrangement looks much more inviting. You can use it to add a sense of grandeur, depending on the style of the screen.
Some can act as room dividers in today’s open plan living – giving you a flexible way of changing your room around.
And because they fold up, you can always pop them up against a wall when you don’t need them.
They come in every conceivable look – from antique wall-papered examples, to the art-deco gold and silver one above. Oriental screens are usually covered in gold or silver leaf and then painted.
Other have a mural-type painting on.
You can create a mood with a delicate filigree Moroccan style:
On Wednesday, I’ll be recovering this mildewed pink taffeta with something much more exciting!
Watch this space!