A folding screen is useful for dividing space, but it can do so much more.
“It really is a great way to bring in scale, texture, artistry or a decorative moment,” said Thom Filicia, the New York-based interior designer.
Screens, he noted, are essentially pop-up architecture.
Mr. Filicia uses them to separate various seating areas in one big space, or to soften the corners of a room. He uses them to hide ugly heating and air-conditioning equipment, and to frame or emphasize furniture, mirrors and art. And he has used them to create privacy in glass-walled apartments.
While room dividers were once de rigueur in professionally designed interiors, they are a little less common today. But Mr. Filicia thinks they’re due for a pandemic-driven comeback.
“Now that everyone’s doing home offices, I think screens are really going to go through a renaissance,” he said, because they’re an ideal way to create some physical separation between work and leisure. “Our personal spaces are becoming more multifunctional.”
Betty Room Divider Screen
Upholstered screen with panels of different sizes
$640 at ABC Carpet & Home: 646-602-3101 or abchome.com
Steel screen with mirrored panels by Yabu Pushelberg
$2,200 at Stellar Works: 646-606-3760 or stellarworks.com
Roma Room Divider Screen
Iron screen with woven banana-leaf panels
$349 at Urban Outfitters: 800-282-2200 or urbanoutfitters.com
Anaise Cane Room Divider Screen
Black-stained wood-and-cane screen with arched panels
$549 at Crate & Barrel: 800-967-6696 or crateandbarrel.com