Ideas you can use to hide unsightly eyesores
Decorating your home can be a time-consuming but rewarding process. Sometimes there are functional elements that get in your way: radiators, air conditioners, and more. Don’t let the frustration defeat your design skills! These necessary bits of equipment and structure can be concealed; your hard work to make your space your own can extend to eliminating the distracting effect of such eyesores.
It’s easier and more effective than you might think to conceal, cover, or deemphasize unsightly necessities that clash with your decorating ideas. Here are some terrific examples.
1. Build your own retro AC cover
Air conditioners play a vital role in keeping your home cool in the summer months. That doesn’t mean you need to spend the whole winter staring at a boxy chunk of cooling equipment that’s not doing anything useful! Window-mounted AC units can be stylishly disguised when not in use with a well-made cover. This example is a simple one, mounting white-painted wood panels in a simple box frame. Stick it over your air conditioner and you have a nice bit of retro flair in place of a naked hunk of equipment.
2. Give your air conditioner a glam makeover
Sometimes the most prosaic, utilitarian parts of your home are the places where you have the greatest opportunity to unleash your creative decorating juices. This blinged-out AC cover expresses a loud designer voice while muting the utilitarian tone of a standard air conditioner. Spray paint and gold disks are used to glam up decorative wood paper, and the final result is a classy look that feels like nailhead trim or hammered metal. To make your AC attractive, is a of Houston AC maintenance.
3. Put some cover between your guests And your outdoor AC condenser
The previous examples showed how to class up window AC units. If your home is blessed with central air, you needn’t worry about those particular eyesores. But your system gives you a whole new challenge out in your yard: That big condenser is a big gray thumb sticking up into your carefully-manicured landscape. There are lots of ways to deal with this outdoor eyesore. We’re big fans of enclosures like the one pictured here. It makes clever use of scrap pieces left over from a picket fence to create attractive concealment for an outdoor AC unit. This kind of construction calls for some intensive carpentry, but it can make a world of difference the next time you invite your neighbors over for a barbecue.
4. Deemphasize your radiator with a strategic shelf
Radiators, like their heat-changing brethren the air conditioners, tend to clash with a lot of home decor ideas. While there are lots of prefab radiator covers on the market, many homeowners see them as parallel moves at best when it comes to eye appeal. Instead of hiding, try distracting! A well-placed shelf situated just over a radiator is a perfect platform for attractive knick knacks that will draw eyes off the appliance below. This example draws its inspiration from classic midcentury design cues. Remember to leave ample separation between the bottom of the shelf and the radiator. Mount it too close and you may be creating a fire hazard.
5. Repurpose other furnishings as radiator covers
If you’re not interested in building your own radiator cover or buying one that doesn’t really match your decor, you have a third option: Create a cover by repurposing another piece of furniture. Use this radiator cover shoe rack as an inspiration and hunt out appropriately-sized furnishings. Dressers are particularly well-suited for this. All you need to do is install a grate on one side and cut a hole for the radiator in the back!
6. Turn your bathroom radiator into a storage solution
In colder regions, you may have to contend with radiators everywhere, not just in bedrooms and living rooms. If you’ve invested a lot of effort in classing up your bathroom, an unsightly radiator need not be a deal-breaker. An artfully-designed radiator cover can significantly enhance the look of a bathroom, and adding shelving as in this example increases your supply of always-appreciated bathroom storage. This cover is painted white to harmonize with the floor’s penny tile.
7. Cover up a fuse box
Fuse boxes are essential parts of the electrical system in your home. They also seem to be placed with an impeccable sense for creating eyesores, particularly in older homes. Getting sick of that utilitarian panel sticking out every time you go past? It’s an easy problem to solve. In this example, all that’s needed to ennoble a humble fuse box is a drop cloth decorated with a few nice stencils. This solution significantly improves the appearance of a fuse box without inhibiting quick access to it in any way.
8. A decorative fuse box cover
This alternative fuse box idea is perfect for boxes that are flat on the wall. A panel quote sign like the one pictured is easy to find at your local craft store. Simply measure your fuse box first and make sure you buy a slightly larger sign. Mount the sign to the wall with a pair of screw-in hinges so that access to the fuse box is still easy. If you’d rather not install any hardware, you could instead simply hang the sign picture-style. In that case, you can simply lift it off the wall when it’s time to get to your fuses.
9. Make a basement pole into a playground centerpiece
Basements are especially challenging areas for decor, and structural bits like poles are often right in the middle of the space. Turn a limitation into a feature! This expertly-designed example uses a support pole as the central branch in a kid-friendly forest playroom. There’s even a rope swing attached!
10. Incorporate poles into design schemes
Admittedly, not every basement plan is amenable to the idea floated above. You can still take steps to camouflage a support post even if you’re not up for designing the whole space around it. Easily-applied contact paper turns a structural necessity into a design element. Match the print you use on the pole to the room’s wallpaper to make it look even more integrated.
11. Clad structural posts in more attractive materials
It’s surprisingly easy to liven up an obtrusive pole by surrounding it with wood or faux-wood. Choose an attractive stain for the new exterior and add a few details like the rubber strapping shown here. No one will ever know there’s a less-appealing pole hidden inside!
12. Wood shielding beneath popcorn ceilings
Lots of older homes have popcorn ceilings that modern homeowners don’t want to look at. It can take a lot of time and expense to remove the finish, though. Instead, consider a drop ceiling that puts a more attractive face on that old rough ceiling. The tongue-and-groove planking shown here takes a full weekend to put up, but the results speak for themselves. You can even extend the effect with new crown moldings.
13. “Replace” popcorn with Classy tin tiles
When it comes to retro finishes, nobody is eager to see the dreaded popcorn ceiling make a comeback. But one ceiling finish from even earlier is back in fashion today: The tin-tiled ceiling. Today, faux-tin tiles are cheap and do a great job of covering up popcorn ceilings or other unfashionable ceiling sins.