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Screens and Room Dividers

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Wall dividers and decorative room dividers serve many purposes — they can act as a room partition, privacy screen, window covering or merely just a decorative element. Many partitions are mobile, especially folding screens, which allows one piece to serve multiple functions. While they are above all practical, they are also beautiful, with ornate details, delicate materials and bold colors. If you’re on the hunt for a new wall divider, keep in mind the following while you shop:

What style wall divider should I consider?

There are endless options of screens available for you to choose from. To help with your decision, begin by analyzing your current decor to determine what styles will complement your current theme. If your space is a more casual or eclectic, a rattan-style divider may add an interesting touch. If you have a more contemporary space, consider a faux leather or one covered in a bold fabric. A Japanese-style shoji screen will lend a traditional appeal and also allow sunlight to filter through. You may even be interested in special purpose floor screens: those made of cork bulletin or chalkboard, or one that includes photo frames built into the panels for a personalized touch.

How tall and wide should my room partitions be?

To determine size, consider how much privacy you'd like, the use of your divider and the height of your ceilings. If the unit is to act as a legitimate wall, you'll want it to be as close to the ceiling as possible and include as many panels as it takes to adequately encompass the room. If it's simply going to act as a decorative piece, it only needs to be 4-5 feet tall with minimal panels to create the right impact.

What folding screen materials should I consider?

This is as much of an aesthetic decision as it is a functional one. A lightweight material, such as shoji or canvas, may be more complementary to your decor than something more substantial, like wood or lacquer. However, this may allow for more shadows or light to filter through. If you only want the screen to act as a decorative detail, go for a printed canvas or dyed faux leather instead of a functional piece like white canvas or wood.

Should I use roll-up room dividers?

Roll-up room dividers act similarly to a window blind: they attach to the ceiling via hooks and pull down to reveal a privacy screen. In this case, try to find one that's at least six feet long so it provides ample privacy.