Projects & Improvements

Before & After: Reducing the Visual Noise of a DVD Cabinet

published Feb 18, 2011
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

When I was growing up, this glass door bookcase lived in the home of an elderly neighbor housing a collection of beautiful hardcover books. My sister and I always considered Miss Matthews a surrogate grandmother, and I was delighted to inherit this and some other furniture pieces when she passed away a few years ago. Though this bookcase wouldn’t work in my library, I knew it would be perfect to house my DVD collection. Unfortunately, over time I came to hate the visual noise of the DVDs on display; this weekend I finally decided to do something about it.

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Love the cabinet, hate the visual noise of all those DVDs (Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

For months I toyed with the idea of backing the glass doors with fabric to help eliminate the visual noise of all those DVD spines, but couldn’t make up my mind about a color or pattern so I did nothing. This morning I was cleaning out the hall closet and discovered a sheet of poster-sized parchment paper I bought for a DIY lighting project I ultimately abandoned. The moment I saw the paper, I knew it would provide just the solution I needed for my DVD cabinet dilemma.

I cut the sheet of paper in half and trimmed a couple of inches off the bottom before installing it behind the glass. Because I don’t want to put unnecessary holes in the wood of the door, I used packing tape to secure the paper rather than staples or tacks. After taping the paper to the doors, I closed them over and took a step away to check the results.

Though I liked the idea overall, I felt like the paper alone was too large an expanse of plain white for my taste. I debated different solutions, then remembered a roll of silver wrapping paper left over from the holidays. The paper was too shiny to use alone in the cabinet, but filtered through the parchment paper, the subtle design adds just enough pattern to the glass to make it work for me. Admittedly the soft silver shine is hard to see in the pictures above, but I promise it glows ever so slightly in person.

Since this solution cost me nothing because I shopped from my own hall closet, I may still keep my eyes open for a graphic fabric to use instead of the paper in the future. That said, I am pleased with the results of this quick and easy DIY that has eliminated a design dilemma that has been nagging at me for months. Sometimes it is good to remember that it is often the little changes and projects that have the most impact on how I enjoy my home.

Images: Colleen Quinn