Folding screens, also called room dividers, are a non-permanent way of separating living spaces or of concealing things and they’re actually more versatile than that. They can also be used in a variety of other ways, including as decorative elements or headboard alternatives. Because of their incredible versatility, folding screens are an interior designer’s secret weapon which they use in a lot of creative and inspiring ways. Perhaps you could do the same. You just have to find the right design to work with.
Made of metal and pleated fabric, the Minima Moralia room dividers designed by Christophe de la Fontaine come in five different color options: powder-coated steel, black, white, bordeaux and champagne. Each divider is made of three symmetrical modules.
Glas Italia has some interesting designs too. The Haiku space divider is very chic and stylish, featuring a carved out pattern and a sleek and simple design able to adapt to a variety of settings and decors.
The role of the Painting divider is a multifunctional one. Its main function is that of a folding screen meant to offer privacy or to organize spaces. However, the artistic nature of this accent piece allows it to double as a decorative element and even as a mirror.
The Monocles folding screen is made from a combination of wood and brass. It features this quirky pattern on all of the three walnut panels. They have brass holes which inspired the name of the product. Overall, the design is refined, elegant and surprisingly versatile.
Another very artistic and eye-catching design from an aesthetic point of view is that displayed by the Hissan Arabi folding screen from Alma de Luce. Its charm and beauty come from the juxtaposition of materials, textures and colors.
Customizable and modular, the Shade folding screen from Makro offers a variety of options. Its panels come in various colors and can be equipped with a variety of different accessories including mirrors. It can be a useful and practical addition to spaces such as the bathroom or the bedroom.
This is the Apparel divider, a folding screen/ coat rack which doesn’t really ensure privacy on either side but rather separates the spaces without visually dividing them. It features attached hangers for clothes and it also has a built-in mirror. The design is simple and a bit unusual but also very practical.
There’s something very comforting and soothing about this room divider. It must be the woven pattern and the warmth of the wood. The design seems airy and sleek despite how robust the product really is. The screen is handcrafted of cedar wood and has stainless steel joints. It’s called the Zen Screen.
The Levante room divider has a design that makes it particularly suitable for bedrooms, although it can look chic in other settings as well. It features a solid wood frame upholstered in fabric. A lot of different colors and patterns are available and the screen can either have three, four or six doors. They’re connected by magnets and the covers are removable.
The Anodine folding screen is more than just a privacy accessory. It’s also a beautiful decorative element, one which can enhance the decor of a room while also organizing it into different zones. It’s a practical strategy often used in open spaces to divide the living room from the dining area for instance.
You can also surely find some great folding screens at IKEA. This one, for example, is the RISÖR divider. It has a frame made of solid wood with screens featuring a modern geometric pattern. It’s a lightweight accessory which you can easily fold and store away when not needed.
There’s even a room divider designed by Charles & Ray Eames. It has this gorgeous undulating form and it’s made of molded plywood. Like most of their products, the Eames screen has a timeless and versatile look worthy of any classic piece, the type of thing you pass on from generation to generation, that looks exquisite even after decades.
DIY folding screens
Some of the designs described above may inspire you to create your own version of your favorite folding screen. A really simple idea is to make a woven room divider. You could use a bunch of wooden rods and some rope or string. Customize the design however you want. You can make the screens as big or as small as you want, you can paint them or you can use colored string to give it a special look. Check out Sugarandcloth for more inspiration.
If you prefer something a bit more solid, you could build yourself a folding screen using wooden boards. There’s a detailed tutorial about this very project on Makemylemonade. You’ll need 5 wooden boards, 12 hinges, a screwdriver and screws, felt pads and, if you also want to replicate the color, a small paint roller, white paint and also some white spray paint.