Choices for folding divider screens have always been absolutely fabulous. It has evolved through the three major cultures beginning with seventh century China where the screens were heavy, very ornate, stationery and reserved for royalty. By the eighth century, 'shōji' (a type of translucent paper framed in wood, such as bamboo) screens were used in Japan. They were lighter in weight, used as room dividers and in tea ceremonies, religious and outdoor events. European travelers to these countries brought back the design with their own cultural modifications, such as the use of silk, leather, mirrors and decoupages. (Wikipedia - Room dividers) Contemporary reinterpretation retains the lightness and mobility of these screens but have expanded designs and constructions to include plastics and large photo prints. Note this modern and eye-catching leather screen here->
You can now find anyone of these options to solve many design challenges. Here are five great uses.
1. Create A Foyer
For apartment dwellers and many small homes, often the entry door opens directly into a living room. Such as layouts have also made me a bit uneasy, particularly when a stranger is at the door. But I also prefer offering guests a warm decor greeting at an entryway or just having a lovely place to set my keys and outwear. Thus, I had one such apartment where I had created a type of foyer with a lovely bamboo screen.
2. Alternative To Window Treatment
With a very sad sigh, one of my neighbors lamented that his bedroom window looked out onto a parking lot. So he kept the blinds closed but this created a rather dark uninviting gloomy bedroom. He really wanted some natural light to flow into the room. Solution: Put a colorful, dramatic folding screen in front of the window! And the beauty of it all, is that he didn't have to drill holes in the wall and could take the screen with him to enjoy in his next apartment.
3. Add art, color and a dramatic design to your decor
If you think your apartment space lacks luster, you can't beat the addition of a dramatic, eye catching folding screen. Whether it plays a supporting role, such as behind a bed or sofa or chair, it can be an unforgettable and definitely a high-style conversation piece.
OMG!! I am soooo in love with that Neidermaier folding screen in the above image--and the room too!
4. Define a Separate sleeping/dressing area In A studio Apartment
This next image takes class, elegance and timelessness all the way to the far end. It's more than just an efficient and great use of space: from furnishings to accessories to organization! I strongly encourage you to visit Maureen Footer's New York studio apartment and view the whole apartment. Yes, it looks expensive but it doesn't have to be for you if you're willing to spend the time to find the right pieces.
5. Hide an unsightly room element
And finally, here is a perfect examples of cover up unsightly room elements such as the pipes in the corner of this room. They're disguised not only by having been painted the same color as the wall but also by a beautiful mirror folding screen framed in gold. This is a fabulous solution in a fabulous transitional style room.
Not convinced a folding screen could be in your decor life? Here's a lovely article by Gail Shields-Miller for Houzz listing 25 great modern folding screens:
Don't let affordability deter a desire to add a mobile folding screen to your decor solution, they fit very well in the realm or a do it yourself project.