Five ways with…room divider screens

We love open-plan living – large, airy, light-filled spaces that combine a variety of functions, such as living/dining/kitchen. Despite the many advantages, though, one obvious disadvantage of open-plan living is that it can be hard to hide clutter, or create an intimate feel on demand.

That’s one reason why we love room screens – they’re an easy, portable way of dividing a room, and can be very versatile. Here’s our guide to how to use them in your home.

1. Screens in children’s rooms

Relatives visiting? Simply shovel all the clutter behind this screen, et voila! A tidy room. Screens in children’s rooms are also great for creating ‘dens’ or partitioning some individual space in a spared room. We love this bright printed screen from Arthouse, as the colourful design will suit a range of ages.

Priced at £75, for more details and a list of stockists visit the Arthouse website.

2. Bedroom screens

Create your own dressing room with this mirrored bedroom screen. It doubles as a full-length mirror, so you just need to add a corner hanging rail and a chair, both hidden by the screen. When placed opposite a window, it’s also great for reflecting light back into the room to brighten up a dark area. Priced at £399, for more information visit the Newton’s Furniture website.

3. Outdoor screens

Yes, really! This lovely screen, also from Arthouse, isn’t weatherproof but is ideal for short term use hiding a shed, compost heap or bins ready for you to hold the perfect garden party. Arthouse also do rose trellis and beach designs.

Alternatively, you could make your own all-weather version with some garden centre trellising and hinges, and, if you’re planning for your screen to be a fairly static addition to your garden, position some pots of climbing roses in front of it.

4. Living/dining room screen

Although it’s designed as a dressing screen, we think this solid carved wood screen from the French Bedroom would work equally well in a living room. In the winter, use it to create an intimate dining or sitting area, and help reduce draughts.

It would also be great for screening off the kitchen area to create a little privacy while you’re cooking, if you don’t want your guests to see the work in progress. Was £495, now reduced to £395.

5. Other uses and DIY screens

Screens around the home are always useful – you can use them as draught excluders, to temporarily divide a shared bedroom for guests, to block off an unused doorway or screen a pile of untidy belongings.

If you want to be sure of finding a screen to tie in with your décor, you can always customise your own. Start with a cheap screen, or if you really want to do it from scratch, create your own using a wooden frame filled with hardboard panels. Make at least three panels for stability, and four if you want a bigger screen. Next, you can customise it, and this is where you can really give your creative side free rein.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Paint your screen a suitable colour, and add a mural, stick on decals or use a stencil.
  • Using a staple gun, attach sheets of curtain interlining all over the screen. Staple the fabric of your choice over it, attaching it only around the edges, and glue some braid over to hide the staples. This will give a slightly padded screen that you can use as a pinboard if you like.
  • Use decoupage – cut pictures from magazines, paste them over the screen so that they slightly overlap, and paint the whole thing with varnish.
  • Cover your screen with wallpaper.
  • Get creative, and personalise your screen with sequins, feathers, shells or anything else that takes your fancy.

By Sara Walker

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