Fresh Ideas for Fixing Funky Features

published Mar 24, 2016
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: Nasozi Kakembo)

Sometimes there’s just something in your home that you just can’t change, but also can’t stand the sight of. These fresh ideas could help you hide, disguise or beautify an element in your home you wish you couldn’t see.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

While the long and narrow piece of storage furniture below the window in this small condo might look like a fancy credenza or storage shelf, it actually has two purposes. It’s a custom-made storage piece that also hides an unsightly radiator!

(Image credit: Nasozi Kakembo)

Lauren found a local woodworker to build the radiator cover and shelves. That would have been enough to dramatically improve the appearance of her small living room, but she also had the woodworker construct sliding doors that match her vintage credenza perfectly. So not only does the new custom radiator cover hide a not-so-attractive home feature, it connects to the rest of her space and complements existing (beloved) furniture.

It’s this key detail that helps this idea feel like it’s a part of the home’s intentional design—and not like something is sticking out. Lauren admits it was an indulgence, but it sounds like it’s worth the investment to have something done so nicely. As Lauren mentions in her survey: “No one can believe they weren’t part of an original matching set!”

(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

These look like awesome bold and graphic tiles in Taylor and Wes’ West Village rental apartment, right? They go great with the other black and white graphic elements in the space (like the rug and the shower curtain). But take a closer look:

(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

These tiles didn’t come black, blue and bold—Taylor added black vinyl sticker dots to each tile! They didn’t love the color of their bathroom’s tiles (in fact it sounds like they hated it), but in a rental there’s only so much one can do to make a dramatic change that isn’t permanent (or expensive). From Taylor:

“I think the cut vinyl circles had the most impact in the bathroom. Made that ugly teal tile a lot more tolerable. People think it’s actual tile.”

The easy DIY black vinyl sticker dots don’t change the blue color in the slightest, but they do disguise these dated blue tiles; the black dots transform them into modern, unique and statement-making squares.

See more of their home → Taylor and Wes’ East Village Eclectic

(Image credit: Ellie Arciaga Lillstrom)

I don’t think there’s a single person who might walk into Derek and Ashley’s Seattle apartment and wonder what that polka dot thing in the corner of their kitchen is. It’s still pretty clearly a giant water heater taking up way more room than anyone would ever want.

But their clever DIY idea—while not hiding or disguising it—certainly did improve it by adding some whimsy and humor. And if you can’t take something out or help make it blend in, you can at the very least make it a little more pleasant to be around. What the creative couple had to say about this project:

“We recently covered the exposed kitchen water heater with a removable clear plastic and then painted it with polka dots, so we get a devil-may-care cooking atmosphere while not compromising our security deposit.”

Even if you don’t have a giant water heater taking up visual residence in the corner of your kitchen, you might have something else in your space you really don’t like (but don’t have the money or the means to remove or disguise). If so, take a page from these two artists and cover that home feature with plastic and paint a pattern on it!