Friday, April 22, 2011

Re-Purposed Japanese Screens

I have had this Japanese screen from my Grandmother for many, many years.  I am lucky to have many family heirlooms.  I also have some of her water colors hanging in my family room.  My Grandmother acquired this screen while living in Japan in the early 1950's.  My brother also has one just like it.  They started out brown.  I painted it black.  I've used them in different rooms in my house, but they never quite worked?  My house has ten foot ceilings and the screens always looked out of scale with the tall ceiling height.  Another problem, (maybe it's just me) I like the top detail of the screen, but not the bottom basket weave portion.  It just seemed too busy together?

Here's what they look like now.

Grandma isn't around anymore to ask if she minds me redoing them.  This is how I re-purposed them.  I removed all the hinges and used my dad's table saw to cut the bottom basket weave and the top wood extension of the screen off.
I hope Grandma doesn't mind?  She was a very stylish woman so I'm hoping she would approve. 
At this point of the project I was liking the screens better already!

I primed them and painted them white.  I used wood glue to repair some of the loose wood detail. 
Here they are primed.

I planned on using the screens in my powder room.  I painted the powder room  like a castle ten years ago.  OK, before you start laughing remember it was ten years ago.  I wanted to re-paint it sooner, but my kids didn't want me to.  My tastes have changed so the castle went bye, bye last year.

It was my "Old World Tuscan"  period.

Last year I painted the bathroom black. No, I haven't transitioned into a "Goth" period.  I just have always loved black and white.  Sorry about the bad pictures.  This room is small and VERY difficult to photograph.  Black rooms are hard to photograph.  Did I mention photography isn't one of my strengths to begin with? 

 I added the Upholstery tacks to the ceiling detail and around the Ikea mirror.  The light fixture is from Habitat for Humanity.  I painted it silver and swagged it from the ceiling.  The room needed something else? 
 I just wasn't sure what?  I was looking for artwork and was considering painting something myself or stenciling a pattern on the walls?

How about Grandma's screens? 
 Re-painted and Re-purposed.

I hung four of them horizontally on the empty black wall next to the sink.

One behind the concrete shelf (another Habitat for Humanity find) above the toilet.

 Thanks Grandma!

I'm liking the added architectural detail and the contrast of more white.

Although the room is painted black it looks much bigger then when it was painted like a castle.  The black makes the walls recede.  To see other back rooms in my house click here.

 This mirror was free and I painted it white many years ago.  It was in my daughter's room in our old house.  I tried to give it away last year because it was sitting unused in my garage.  I found a home for it on the opposite wall from the screens.  It makes the room look larger (just not in pictures).

I would love to hear your thoughts. 
Do you think Grandma might be upset with me redoing her screens? 
Have you been faced with the same dilemma with one of your family heirlooms?

Thanks for checking it out!


  1. This looks so cool! I love the black and white contrast. I'm sure your grandmother would be happy you repurposed those screens to make them fit with your style.

    I'm following, by the way. You've got a lot of great stuff here! :)


  2. SPECTACULAR!! I love the way you reinvented a family heirloom into an on trend treasure that fits your lifestyle! Beautifully done and LOVE the reflction image (in the mirror) of them!!

    :D Lynda

  3. Wow.....just....WOW!!!!!!!!

    No, your Grandmother would _not_ mind, I am positive!!!! She would be so impressed and proud of how you incorporated the element of the screens that you liked into such beautiful accents!!

    And hey, I get the Tuscan thing!! Been there myself!!! LOL!!!! In 10 years all the grey and yellow lovers will be sheepishly apologizing for their chevron striped bedrooms! :) Things change...we's the circle of life! :)

    Okay, I've made this comment _way_ long so let me continue....;).....this room is fantastic!! It looks straight out of a magazine!!!! It must be like living in an upscale hotel, right??!! :)


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