Screen Play

Sometimes a beautiful object calls out to us, but we can’t quite hear what it’s saying. we’d love to ask an interior designer: What would you do with this?

Photograph: Shemek Drabio
Illustration: Tony Stavish

We found this vintage wooden grille that once screened the pipes of a church organ tucked in a corner of the high-end salvage store Revival (19 E. 21st St.; 312-842-4002) and thought the piece had loads of promise. We asked interior designers to inspire us with their ideas for using it.

1. Garden Trellis
Duplicate the original design and use several panels to create a garden trellis wall. “It would be perfect for bougainvillea,” says interior designer Dale Carol Anderson (773-348-5200; www.dalecarolandersonltd.com).

2. Table
Remove the cornice from the top of the screen and have a carpenter build two X-shaped supports out of a dark, refined wood to create a table, then top it with a piece of glass, suggests Melissa Lewis of Jamesthomas (312-738-7300; www.jtliving.com/). “By using the repetition of the geometric X shape to your advantage, you will have a modern and unique piece.”

3. Chair
Put fabric behind the screen and mount it to a wall. Then build a freestanding bench with a coordinating upholstered cushion, says Johnene Adams of AHA Designs (312-225-9294; www.ahadesigns.com/). “This creates the illusion that the two objects are a large-scale, dramatic chair.”

4. Mirror
Set the screen into vestibule paneling with a mirror behind it so it becomes a focal point at the end of a hall (see sketch) says Tony Stavish of A. W. Stavish Designs (773-227-0117). “The crisp, painted paneling and trim with the distressed wood of the screen over the mirror would create an exciting combination.”

5. Headboard
Remove the cornice, turn the piece sideways, and center it above a bed as a headboard, says interior designer Thomas Fitzgerald (773-384-1111; www.thomasfitzgeraldinteriors.com).

6. Door
Trim the cornice off the top of the screen and set the rectangular panel into a doorway-size frame, suggests Jennifer Rossignuolo, co-owner of Urban Source (312-455-0505; www.urbansourcechicago.com/). Add a layer of translucent acrylic behind the screen for privacy. “This will create a backlit effect when the room beyond is lit-a dramatic feature in a highly visible part of the house.”

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