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Five ways to divide and conquer

Special to The Times

A century ago, when people ducked behind dressing panels to disrobe, the floor screen was not only an architectural element in the parlor, but a necessity in the boudoir. Times change and so did the screen, which became a room divider in the 1950s. That clever piece of furniture with display shelves and drawers was finished on front and back so that it could float in the center of a room, defining separate areas. The modern version merges the decorative qualities of the earliest screens with functionality. These floating, folding walls, which cordon off a corner for coziness and privacy, can also serve as storage unit, floor mirror or photo gallery.


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