This wonderful antique wooden screen, made of five panels of very old French boiserie, dominated one side of a living room in Hillsborough, California back in the 1960s.
The carved screen balanced an ornate mantel on the opposite side of the room, as well as making a warm, mellow background for the cool greens and whites in the rest of the room.
Alongside the overstuffed sofa, comfy chairs, the white marble slab coffee table, and a super-thick fake fur rug — like all things that are perfectly cast for their roles, it had a look of inevitability.
Nevertheless, in the event of change, a wood divider screen (like these versions available today) is quite capable of playing other roles just as brilliantly — as the piece de resistance of an entrance foyer, as a handsome stretch of paneling to face the book wall of a study.
If only three panels were needed, the other two could become a double door in a grand manner.