There are some pieces of home decor that seem to make their way into every era of design. With each new decade or aesthetic trend, these pieces get new life, and such is the story with folding screens.
Invented during the Han Dynasty around 206 BC, folding screens were used in homes not for decoration, but rather to prevent drafts (the two characters that make up the Chinese words—ping and feng—literally mean "blocking" and "breeze"). Then, in the Middle Ages when they were introduced to Europe, they found a new use (one we're quite familiar with now): dressing screens for ladies. Eventually though, people would start to use them as room partitions, as well. Now, we use folding screens in all the ways mentioned above, as well as for purely decorative, artistic expressions. No matter which way you choose, though, you can't go wrong in bringing one of these multi-taskers into your home. Read on for a plethora of inspiration from these 11 spaces.
At last year's spring High Point Market, Rachel from Pencil Shavings Studio came back with this image from CR Laine's showroom, featuring an upholstered and studded folding screen.
The home of blogger and editor Nancy Berendsen, featured on Decor8, is a gorgeous mix of boho-Scandi style, full of thrifted treasures. This marvelous folding screen in a dressing area is functional in that it provides privacy from the window, but still lets light in.
From House & Garden, a black folding screen with a sprawling floral pattern adds an entirely new layer of style to a rattan sofa.
Similar in feel to the House & Garden one from above, this DIYed floral folding screen from Little Green Notebook uses bi-fold doors, a few yards of fabric and some Mod Podge to get the job done.
Yet another amazing do-it-yourself option, this time with added molding! From Martha Stewart, the project specifically calls for blush pink linen for the backdrop and real vines topped with plexiglass for the greenery pattern (though we think pink paint and a vine stencil would also do the trick).
Once upon a time, Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow lived in the Brentwood home that decor magazine Veranda previously used for a designer showhouse. Seen here is a super luxe sitting area of the master bedroom, complete with antiqued mirror folding screen.
As if the chinoiserie print on the folding screen of this home from AD Espana wasn't beautiful enough, the mirror that's hung on it adds even more visual interest (and would be a great solution for someone who didn't want to add holes to their walls).
Designed by Joseph Minton, an antique Chinese screen (seen via Luxe Interiors + Design) is used purely as art in this posh Texas home.
And finally, one of our own DIYs by Projects Editor Dabney Frake, all you need to make this fantastic folding screen is some removable wallpaper, hollow core doors and narrow brass hinges (that, and a little patience to line up the wallpaper!). You can find the DIY here.