Furniture That You Never Thought You Need: 10 Contemporary Folding Screens

Folding screen is certainly not something new. Originated from ancient China, it has been featured in houses and interiors around the world for centuries. Both decorative and functional, it divides space and provides privacy where you need it; and at the same time provides a stunning backdrop to highlight other furniture of objects. 

Today, folding screens are not only limited to the traditional designs such as Chinese paintings or wood carving, and it is no longer exclusive to vintage or shabby chic styles. The modern interpretations are bold, imaginative, yet remain timeless and functional. They once again become relevant to contemporary living and ready to meet our demand for multi-functional spaces. Many of them are more than just furniture. They become a contemporary piece of art.

Here's my round up of 10 stunning designs that can totally take the centre stage given any day. Think folding screens are always the bridesmaid, never the bride? Think again.

EMPIRE SCREEN by Munna - inspired by Art Deco & 20th century architecture, what's not to love about this sexy combination of velvet and brass?

DELPHI SCREEN by Brabbu - another successful creation of mixed materials, this time with brass (both smooth and hammered) and bird’s eye root veneer and the richer elm root veneer. Inspired by the Oracle of Delphi, does this piece take you back to the glorious and mysterious Ancient Greece?

HYPERNATURE by Else-Rikke Bruun and Pernille Snedker Hansen - when Japanese tradition meets Danish design. Inspired by Japanese folding screens and their scenic landscapes, the marbling decoration on ‘Pleated Wood’ is distilled to two colours meeting in a horizontal line, moving across the pleated surface. This asymmetrical panel is an absolute beauty.

TOTEM by DimoreStudio - DimoreStudio is one of today's most influential names in the design world with their exciting creations combining different eras, colours and textures. If you love geometric patterns, sculptural forms and palettes from Mid-Century Modern, this piece would certainly be up your street.

EAMES MOLDED PLYWOOD FOLDING SCREEN manufactured by Herman Miller - this 70-year-old design is one of the oldest creations by the legendary duo. The sculptural form of waves still look contemporary and fresh to this date. Who would have thought plywood could be dynamic and interesting?

CREDENZA SCREEN by Patricia Urquiola + Federico Pepe for Spazio Pontaccio - the perfect marriage of the old and new. It is inspired by the stained glass in cathedrals while reinterpreted in a modern design.

SHADE by MAKRO - for those who are after sleek, discreet designs yet multi-functional and customisable, these Japanese-inspired screens would work perfectly in smaller bedrooms and bathrooms.

GOLD by Boca Do Lobo - I love Boca do Lobo's luxurious yet fun and edgy designs. This folding screen is made of giant pieces fibreglass 'pebbles 'finished with gold leaf. Isn't it just like putting on a statement piece of jewellery in the room?

BRICK SCREEN by Eileen Gray - another modern icon that remains absolutely relevant and sought-after today. The Brick Screen was originally designed in 1920s. Each panel receives a detailed hand-lacquered process to achieve the high glossy result. Don't they look like a modern take on window shutters?

ARA SCREEN by Grégoire de Lafforest - ok this is not a folding screen but it's the one that totally blew me away. Inspired by tropical macaws, Laforrest used the stunning lacquered tiles (in collaboration with lacquer specialist Mireille Herbst) in different shades of velvety blue that resembles roof tiles and the feathers of the bird. It's so mesmerising as you look at the pattern and the shades, the glossy finish like varnish dripping down the surface. Now THAT is what I call TROPICAL GLAM.

So what do you think? Will you consider getting a folding screen for your home? Let us know in the comment box below!


image source: manufacturers / designers' own