Tuesday, May 25, 2010

What's in a screen?

It all began with an estate sale. I was in a lovely, older section of town, right on the Lake Erie shore, and was excited just to be in one of the gorgeous mansions. I continued to tour the house, ending up in the fourth floor attic, when I spotted these old panels. They were part of a school play set. The panels contained all of my favorite colors, I loved the scene and I knew I was sunk when I saw them! Needless to say, they have traveled with me for the past 20 years!

Here is the entire screen of three panels. They are made of felt and are very fragile. Somehow, they've made it through 3 children and four dogs!

I usually show it like this, as only 2 panels fit at once.

I have always loved screens, not only as room dividers, but as design elements. 
Here are screens, some antique and some new, that have been embellished with gilding. Either for the background or as part of the actual design, gold and silver leaf add their own special beauty.

Photo by Gordon Beall in Country French Decorating

Photo by Gordon Beall in Traditional Home

These screens are created using wallpaper. I love this idea! Lisa, of Hamptontoes, are you listening? With your great wallpaper finds, they would be perfect!

Photo by Stephen Clement in Maisons de Campagne

Essentially French


I think that this "screen", which is actually etched pattern glass, is stunning. Of course, the whole photo is!

And if you are in a funky, Miami state of mind, here is a fun, contemporary screen:



  1. Ann, I love screens, and I have a set I am thinking of painting a different lighter design. I have four panels and they have a dark backgound, florals and then gold leaf edging. I just want a fresher look!

    Great examples!

    Art by Karena

  2. Just found your blog. I'm crazy about plaster and special finishes. I was reading several of your posts. I am also very fond of zinc. Just bought a zinc table for my covered porch. Do you know if it stains easily? Do I have to be concerned about red wine spills or anything?

  3. Hi Ann,
    The screens are wonderful! I would love to have one as you have found there at the attic!! Hmmmm so beautiful! The patina is gorgeous!
    Ann, thank you so much for stopping by the other day! The BBç was nice! Thank you! We served steak, chicken, patatoes,... even french fries for the BBç!

  4. Hi Ann, love the Essentially French photo. Love screens from wallpaper, old theater sets. Yours is marvelous! Merci! Trish

  5. Karena- Have you figured out a design for the screen? Slightly more contemporary? Should be fun to do- and you'll do a gorgeous job, I am sure!

    Hi Mona- I am not sure about the zinc staining, but I'll find out for you. Thanks for stopping in!

    Greet- I am sure the barbeque was not only tasty, but a setting to behold in your new area. We plan on serving ribs (baby back pork ribs in the US) and potato salad (boiled potatoes, mayonnaise, onion, cornichons). When it is in season, we'll also serve fresh corn on the cob and tomatoes.

    Trish- You're right- I can totally see you in that room!

  6. That screen is wonderful!! It's displayed beautifully though seeing all three panels makes me wish you could keep it that way all the time. Gorgeous!

    And I like how you put that : "a miami state of mind"! I could stand to have a "miami state of mind" sometimes!

  7. Here I am...it's Hamptontoes...and yes I'm listening! I have never thought to wallpaper a screen...what a great idea! Hmmm...now, I have another project on my hands. Great post!

  8. This is a fantastic post and just an amazing collection of images!

    And your screen...well let's just say I'm suffering from a bit of envy!!!

  9. Your screen is amazing. If it were a little heartier (since you mentioned that it's fragile) it would make an inspired headboard!