Screen creates a great anchor for a love seat

December 17, 2005|By ROSE BENNETT GILBERT

Q: I'm having a problem arranging the furniture in our living room because there's almost no wall space big enough for the love seat. There's a wide arch in from the hallway, another into the dining room, and windows on both the other walls. I guess I can "float" the love seat with its back to the dining room, but that crowds things going in and out. I'd hate to put its back to the windows because we have nice views. What can you recommend?

A: You might create a faux "wall" somewhere else in your living room, against which to anchor your love seat. A narrow etagere or open bookcase would do the trick. Or, as you can see in this room for a Francophile, a standing screen can do the job and take up even less floor space in the process.

Here, the screen stands partway across the doorway leading to the hall, playing backup to the love seat and enhancing the feeling of arrival in the living room itself. The hefty standing lamp and the artworks hung on the screen confirm its new role as a partial "wall."


Hanging pictures on a screen is a very French touch, by the way, and totally keeping with the Franco flavor of this room's furniture and fabrics - they're all authentic, from le plus French of firms, Pierre Deux (

Want to see your furniture in a totally new light? We mean that literally. Thanks to new solid-state technology, you can brighten your interior outlook with AA-battery-powered light-up pillows guaranteed to add a luminescent glow to any sofa or chair.

The pillows start off looking like the ordinary comfy thing, in solid colors (white, pink, blue, yellow and green) and in three different shapes, tubular, heart and l6-inch squares. But touch their hidden buttons and the light show starts. There's even an optional feature that lets them morph from one color to the next. The manufacturer (Cepia LLC) also makes a beanbag chair that lights up on its own accord. See for yourself at, or at your Linens 'n' Things stores (where pillows sell at approximately $l9.99; beanbag chairs, $69.99).

Q: My aunt has photos of her first apartment (in the l960s) that show an enormous photomural on one wall, a great view of mountains and trees. I'd love something like that for our porch. I'm trying to make it into a garden "room for all seasons" but the wallpaper murals I can find today are mostly small and pretty wimpy.

A: Do I have some giant-sized "gardens" for you! Several studios offer wall-to-wall photo murals, however wide it may be on your porch. Graham & Brown, the U.K.-based wall coverings company, recently introduced digitally printed wallpapers with photographic images that include a surrealistically huge pink rose, enormous drops of water and a giant green flower, all mega-larger than life, and just as real. The murals come in four strips that form a scene up to 6 feet wide by 8 1/2 feet high, and you can install them yourself for approximately $130 (

Other sources for room-size garden scenes include and, who promise to adjust any photo - including your own shots - to fit most wall sizes.

Rose Bennett Gilbert is the co-author of "Hampton Style" and associate editor of Country Decorating Ideas. Please send your questions to her at Copley News Service, P.O. Box 120190, San Diego, CA 92112-0190, or online at

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