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7 Design Eyesores and How to Hide Them

By: Sarah Beaumont

August 31, 2017

Image by Minette Hand for Apartment Therapy


It doesn’t matter if you live in a 600-square-foot apartment or a sprawling three-bedroom house. Design eyesores plague nearly all living spaces. Most of us have outlets, cords, and vents that we’d happily banish from our homes. But the unfortunate truth is, we usually have to accept living with them — especially when renting. Thankfully there are ways to conceal these pesky design problems so your eyes don’t have to deal with them. From covering radiators to hiding TVs, these tips will help you disguise your home’s unpleasant features once and for all.


1. Banish the Litter Box

No one wants a litter box in the living room. But if you don’t have a basement, laundry room or closet where your cat’s restroom can hide, you may have to get creative. Try a multi-purpose side table with a built-in space for a litter box. Add curtains to an existing alcove and stash the box behind them. Or, do a quick google search and discover endless attractive litter box options that can double as decor.

2. Disguise Your Radiator

Completely concealing a radiator isn’t always possible. But you can easily lessen the effect one has on your space by turning it into a shelf. A piece of wood was added to the top of the bulky old radiator on the left, making it a functional piece of furniture where decorative items can sit and distract from the appliance underneath. But be aware — wood might warp over time, so try stone if you don’t want to risk heat damage. On the left, built-in shelving provides a perfect case for radiators to be tucked away behind custom grilles.

3. Hide Your TV
Above a chic wooden console is a gallery wall featuring photographs of nature and scenery.

via Samsung

Let’s face it — TV’s aren’t the most aesthetically pleasing device. While most people have them, they tend to take away from a room’s overall design. If you can’t afford one of Samsung’s new incredibly cool frame TVs (it acts as a piece of art when not in use), try one of these TV-hiding tricks.

4. Popcorn Ceilings

Popcorn ceilings are one of those design faux-pas that we constantly question. Why, why, WHY, would anyone think this was a smart idea? If you’re stuck with one, we’re sorry. But if you’re up for a little heavy lifting, you can try concealing that speckled finish with shiplap or wooden planks. Though it’s definitely a renovation, it’s not too pricey and it doesn’t require knocking out the entire ceiling.

5. Electrical Cords & Devices

In this day and age, electrical cords and WiFi modems are undeniable parts of our homes. The good news is, there are endless ways to hide them. For mounted TVs and other electrical devices, you can always pass cords through the wall, but if that’s too much of a mission, try cord concealers, which will blend in well with a white wall. To hide modems and charging devices, consider hollowing out a book or placing them in a small, decorative basket. But we find that the easiest method is to stack books in front of cords or run them underneath a rug.

6. Wall Outlets

Consider using a hinged piece of art to conceal an outlet, a chip on the wall, house alarm, or temperature control panel. It’s easy to put together and easy on the eyes.

7. Exposed Plumbing

Sometimes exposed plumbing can look super cool. Other times, not so much. If you like the industrial look of it but your plumbing doesn’t have the prettiest finish, consider painting it a cool matte black or a funky, bright hue. Or go for a more natural piping finish and give it a copper wash. If you have exposed pipes underneath a sink and you’re not a fan of showing them off, try adding a simple skirt.

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