Decorating a screen
Each side of a screen is on show to different sections of a room, so they can be decorated to display a different design style. The frames are more than just supports and form an integral part of the overall design. Timber frames can be stained, painted or polished, shaped across the top like a wooden pelmet or straight. You could commission a wrought-iron frame with splendid curved legs to support the fabric screen off the floor, and with decorative flourishes atop the uprights. Artist’s canvas stretched over a simple wooden frame can be painted directly with abstract or figurative designs.
All kinds of fabric can be used when making a screen; it all depends what kind of style you wish to create and the decorative or functional use the screen may have. Consider a sheer fabric that diffuses light, such as gauze or muslin, or perhaps a rough-textured linen or hessian. Fabric can be quilted or appliqued or you could combine different fabrics ( 298 299).
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To explore further the idea of a screen that allows light to penetrate, consider stretching chicken wire across a rough timber screen. Other metal sheeting can be substituted, from punched brass to galvanized steel. A solid wood screen covered in felt, with ribbons criss-crossing over it and secured with drawing pins, provides the perfect means for displaying cards, notes and other small pictures. Adapted for a children’s room (remove the pins and use stitching instead) it can double up as a room divider and pin-board. Brown parcel paper is surprisingly elegant, and finished off with wonderful domeheaded pins around the edges of the frame makes a handsome screen, sufficiently neutral for all kinds of interiors.
Decoupage ( 286 287) can be exploited to wonderful effect on a flat screen. To use pasted paper to decorate a screen, a solid panel has to be attached to the frame. Use a thin plywood to keep the weight low if the entire panel is to be covered with paper. Alternatively, if the background to the cut-outs is to be painted, use stretched artist’s canvas, primed and painted first.