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What to do with this screen?
househaven
February 28, 2013 in Design Dilemma
My husband's grandparents lived in Japan in the '60s, so we've inherited some neat pieces. This wooden screen has an Asian but also sort of midcentury vibe to it. Right now it's just hanging out in the corner of an unfurnished room. I'm tempted to paint it, or somehow add more interest to it, but maybe I'd screw it up. What should I do, or where should I use it?
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lewis + smith
Please don't paint that. It is very nice as it stands. If you are struggling to find a use for it I would wrap it up and save it for another family member. I think painting it would be the begining of the end for it.
February 28, 2013 at 9:59AM     
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hotmholt
send it to me!
February 28, 2013 at 10:01AM     
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Michelle Souther
Sell it to me!!!!! I don't think you should paint it either. I would probably remove (and save) the hardware and hang the pieces as a huge statement in a room with high ceilings. =)
February 28, 2013 at 10:02AM     
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collettec
In my opinion, I think it has a lot of visual interest with the design of the screen itself. I think that with it's natural color it could be really usable in terms of flexibility in a number of different places if it wasn't painted. But of course your decision based on the look you want. This would look great as a backdrop for all sorts of places for visual interest. Behind a couch, in a corner, behind a chair, on one wall - even a room divider. It's a lovely piece!
February 28, 2013 at 10:02AM     
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anne dee
Tthere are a lot of uses for this screen one being as a headboard for a bed.
Look under Houzz Ideabooks and you will see many uses for a screen divider.
February 28, 2013 at 10:05AM     
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PYRAMID DESIGN GROUP
I would not paint it ,but if you do the only color that would probably work would be black, and it should be sprayed on--not brushed. You can get extra interest by getting a solid color fabric and putting it behind each section..
February 28, 2013 at 10:05AM     
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White Van Real Estate Services, Southern CA
We LOVE it! Truly a unique and amazing piece. Our first inclination is to paint it white further enhancing the mid-century modern vibe. But we found a great use for it just as it is. See below.
February 28, 2013 at 10:05AM     
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househaven
Actually, I did at one point try to hang it above our king bed, as a stand-in for a headboard... didn't quite work. I think you are all right, I shouldn't paint it. I am going to experiment with putting it behind a couch... Thanks all!
February 28, 2013 at 10:06AM     
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Aja Mazin
send it to me!
February 28, 2013 at 10:06AM   
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househaven
Oh wow, I just saw the picture of the headboard example. That is a really nice screen. I think it works with the smaller size bed better though than it did with my king... maybe for the guest room...
February 28, 2013 at 10:08AM     
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carole
glad you decided not to dont or stain it!!the pattern is very much back in vogue!!and i am sure you will find a place for it somewhere!!like the guestroom!!!!its something lots of people would just love to have!!
February 28, 2013 at 10:43AM     
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joanorchid
I agree with leaving the screen in its' natural color. It seems to me that it was supposed to have a paper lining, like a shoji (byobu). Use it across a corner of the room to soften the lines. If you might try it, ... use rice paper, and it will be transluscent. I have used liquid starch for attaching the paper to the back. Not sure if it is still available, but it washes off very easily, when you want to do something else with it. Doesn't hurt it.
February 28, 2013 at 1:12PM     
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ASVInteriors
Absolutely stunning! Agree with most commenters a) who want it and b) who say not to touch it
Using uplighters in a corner can create very interesting lights.
February 28, 2013 at 1:27PM     
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cazadora
One of my favorite uses for a screen is in front of a picture window. It let's in light without losing your privacy. Other than that, don't paint it!!! It's beautful as it is.
February 28, 2013 at 1:39PM     
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mpoulsom
agree with ASVInteriors....some lighting would be great with it. btw, I LOVE IT! It's awesome!!!
February 28, 2013 at 1:48PM     
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malese
How about adding cool fabric to the back and using it as a headboard?
February 28, 2013 at 1:50PM     
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Kalee Fuqua Doche
It could be a headboard , pair of shutters , cut legs off/or not and paint it/or not.; put grass cloth behind it or a rough silk in a bright color. Dare to be bold!!!!!!!!!
February 28, 2013 at 1:57PM     
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anne dee
please don't change it. It must have an incredible patina by now due to its age.
Simple and beautiful. Would fit with almost any design concept!!
February 28, 2013 at 2:04PM     
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Eagledzines
It's gorgeous! Glad you decided not to paint it.
February 28, 2013 at 2:16PM     
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Backyard Biosphere
I wish my grandparents had that type of furniture instead of this heavy victorian, dark wood. Beautifully carved, but I like contemporary -- not a good match.
February 28, 2013 at 5:17PM   
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centaurita
If I had something like that, it would end up having something hanging on it; scarves, belts, beads, all sorts of collections. I might even put it near my desk and put wall containers on it and calenders, photos, etc. Decorate it with ornaments and baubles for the seasons and holidays?

Mounting it on a brightly colored accent wall might look really nice. Or maybe add a pretty sheer material on one side and use it in front of a window to allow light to shine through but still give some privacy.


February 28, 2013 at 7:24PM     
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jariley
I have the same screen that I inherited from my parents that they bought on their travels in Asia in the 60's. I used it as a headboard for a full size bed. I sold the house and am waiting to find a new location for it in my next home. Be sure to oil it to keep it from drying out.Every Spring I use spray-on "Liquid Gold" polish (outside of course) after dusting it.
February 28, 2013 at 9:22PM     
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chester888
I would paint it gold separate the panels and hand on a texture black background, I would also add lights for interest and to create shadows, would be great for an entry if you place an entry table in front and put asian flowers or peach blosoms on the table.
February 28, 2013 at 10:19PM     
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OnePlan
I'd weave ribbons through it ! Carefully chosen to bring in the colours of the other pieces in the room ?!?
March 1, 2013 at 5:01AM   
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househaven
Great advice. Thanks everyone. Jariley, that is so funny that we have the same screen! Thanks for the helpful tip. It has been in storage forever and has not been treated. I will look for that spray on oil. I can't wait to see how it restores the luster!
March 1, 2013 at 5:08AM     
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The Creative Man
Hi, I love it too!. I agree with others. Don't paint it. Use it as a head board for a bed or recently I have seen them dissembled and use as individual panel. The reference I am thinking of use a panel on each side of their bed.
March 1, 2013 at 10:34AM   
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Cathy Welman_Nolan
Have you thought about splitting it into two sections and using them to flank a fireplace, door, window or something similar? Even using the sections in two corners of a room can bring symmetry and help to break up strong angles.
March 1, 2013 at 10:56AM     
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grandlady
give it a place of prominence in your home, and love it just as it is
March 1, 2013 at 1:54PM     
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lionnessone
Give it a good cleaning and hang on a wall in a room where you will be able to enjoy it at all times. :)
March 1, 2013 at 1:59PM   
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diane16
It would make a beautiful canopy suspended above the bed, maybe add some light fabric draping from the corners? Or suspended above a dining table?
March 1, 2013 at 2:11PM     
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househaven
Wow, these ideas of dissembling/splitting certainly give me more ideas... I like the idea of hanging them to flank a door, like perhaps leading in to our master suite ... Some cool lighting like one would put on top of a painting could add a lot of drama.
March 1, 2013 at 3:16PM     
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jennathefirst
Hang a few family pictures from it
March 1, 2013 at 4:45PM   
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Flying Dormer
My wife and I lived in Japan and have several antique Japanese pieces we brought back to Seattle with us. This is such a versatile screen- amazing lines that will work in with many types of design. As a headboard was my first idea, and my next was behind the sofa which I see you are going to try.

I also think it could work well in a corner of a room with the middle folding joint tucked in the corner so the screen hugs the wall evenly. A medium to tall round side table would then look good placed in the corner in front of it. I would definately not paint the screen, but the table could be a bright color that really drew the eye to that corner- such as a red-orange, turquoise blue, or whatever might go with the rest of your decor. Don't be afraid to mix and match styles!

Another idea would be in an entryway, behind a glass topped table with bright accessories or flowers.

Good luck!
March 2, 2013 at 8:35AM     
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Sheila
please don't paint it , paint the wall behind it, or store it until an idea comes to you
March 2, 2013 at 4:58PM     
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Kerrie Hubener
Turn it sideways and hang it on a way it,s really nice architectural detail, hang it from a ceiling. I like the paint the wall behind it too... Use it as a headboard.
March 2, 2013 at 6:53PM   
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Unique & Chic Interiors
I would NOT paint it but use it either hung on a wall behind a sofa or as a headboard. It is beautiful and should be used!
Darla Blake, ASID, CID
Unique & Chic Interiors
March 2, 2013 at 7:21PM   
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genghismom
Line with rice paper, add rope lighting & suspend from ceiling
March 3, 2013 at 7:03AM     
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vxmann
I agree, don't paint it. I once had a similar screen and just happened to have a large picture window with a private view out to the garden and I built a little sill like shelf below the window and covered the window with the screen. Because the screen was about 2 feet wider than the window, I attached mirror strips on each side of the window, so the screen covered the window and the two mirror strips. It was magical.
March 3, 2013 at 9:40AM     
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klmt
depending on dimensions, you could also suspend it above a dining table (same as you might use a rug under a dining area, it would define the area) and let the wire/chain for the light fixture come through it

another idea would be to build a cabinet the exact size of the screen, separate the two halves of the screen and secure the right side of the screen to the left side of the cabinet and vice versa (so that you're using the same hinges and not having to drill holes in the sides of the screen) to make see-through doors for the cabinet - the cabinet can be whatever depth suits your purpose: a simple bookcase, a freestanding coat closet for the entry, electronic components (no problem with your remotes working!) - best for an application where the screen will get as little handling/opening & closing as possible so that it can be handed down in mint condition to your grandchildren!

i wouldn't hang things from it as some people have suggested - in no time you'll have scratched up a gorgeous mid-century treasure and part of your in-law's interesting legacy

to backyard biosphere...asian and contemporary are a match made in heaven!
March 3, 2013 at 10:23AM   
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theresa48
Dont Paint!!! I agree with the rest. How about hanging it on a big wall with a light underneath off to the side. Or on the wall when you enter the doorway. Paint the wall and hang the screen.
March 3, 2013 at 11:41AM   
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Vacation Homes of Key West
I would use this as a head board in a master or guest bedroom to create an instant 'show-case' wall.
March 3, 2013 at 11:45AM   
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charlee
I can hardly believe it. I had one just like this which I bought in the 1970's in Japan when we lived there. I have given it away a very long time ago. Seeing this again, I am wishing I had it back. Furthermore, I have just purchased a folding screen with a piece of wood about 8 inches down. It is fiberboard and pine. The panels are canvas or duck fabric. I bought it to separate my little office from the laundry room. Love it.
March 3, 2013 at 11:56AM   
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Jeffrey Brooks Interior Design
Hi, don't paint it! I spotted your page here and ironically, I just began working with a client who has a similar screen with no place to go! I'm going to have a simple parson's style console table built (9' Long x 18" D x 30" H) and stand the screen on it. The table will be painted in a deep moss green. The screen is already stained in dark brown. We'll anchor the screen to the top of the new console table and place this in front of a wall in the high-ceilinged Family room. A long sofa will then be placed in front so you'll see some of the table and all of the screen. A pair of tall slender bronze lamps with small bronze shades will stand on the table in front of the screen so the lamps will throw shadows on the wall and light the screen. Walls to be venetian plastered in cool grey.
March 3, 2013 at 12:02PM     
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7768
I love your screens! I also saved another designers post in my idea book of a cut work panel he mounted in an outdoor area on the ceiling. I would not put your special piece outdoors though. His name is posted as Mr. Mitchell. Click the picture to see the ceiling.
March 3, 2013 at 12:19PM     
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Sara Parker
Love the screen as it is! You might try suspending it as a room divider, with tension above and below.I've seen this done to create some division between an entrance and living area.
March 3, 2013 at 12:28PM   
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jean609210
I would differently buy this from you just tell me how much money you want for it, if it is reasonable and you have done nothing to i, I will buy it. Okay?
March 3, 2013 at 2:28PM   
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cernest
Well, I can hear the screams, but I would paint it or, at the least, stain it a darker stain. The light wood isn't rich enough for the design I think. I can also see it sprayed a bold happy color as a statement screen in a large bedroom or family room where you need a bold statement. The color would draw attention to the detail. It just seems a bit boring the color it is. Love the artistic design tho.
March 3, 2013 at 2:54PM   
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dgilomen
My husband brought back a similar screen with a little more intricate design. He bought it in the 60s in okinawa. Ours I believe to be teak. I take linseed oil and brush it on every couple of years to keep it moist. I have a different home now after my son had it in his house for 12 years while we traveled in a motorhome. He wants it when we are tired of it or when we die!! I definitely appreciate all the comments as it has given me ideas to think about for the placement of it in this home. Enjoy it as they definitely are somewhat rare.
joyce
March 3, 2013 at 3:03PM   
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kayxwilliams
Use as a headboard
March 3, 2013 at 5:58PM   
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3144123456
That is beautiful!! Please do not change a thing!
March 9, 2013 at 6:22PM   
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14eighth
You must have hundreds of photos that should be on display, like all of us do. Choose some of your favourites and display them. You can change them up as your mood or age changes. Place it as a room divider or fill a corner or spread out as a photo wall.
March 9, 2013 at 6:30PM   
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mammyt
Line each panel with a beautiful fabric
April 1, 2013 at 3:04PM   
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