8 Genius, Budget-Friendly Ways to Conceal Eyesore Spots in Your Home
Every house and apartment has ’em: those out-in-the-open details you wish were out of sight. Routers! Thermostats! TV cables! The list goes on. Sure, they’re all practical must-haves but also major eyesores and decorating buzzkills, especially so in small spaces. I mean, what can you do with a giant fuse box holding court in your entryway — or even exposed cracks and noticeable wall damage from previous tenant wear and tear?
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That’s where these eight creative camouflaging ideas come in to play, from DIY projects to art hanging hacks and zero-dollar styling tips. If you’re someone who takes pride in the appearance of every inch of your home or just can’t stand how the modem looks in your WFH space, think of this list as the next best thing to a one-size-fits-all eyesore invisibility blanket. Count on each of these budget-friendly design tricks to help any conventionally “blah” home spot fade into the background — all without compromising functionality or connectivity, to boot.
The Strategic Gallery Wall
Thanks to a variety of different prints, shapes, and proportions, this colorful gallery wall works around a built-in telephone, practically incorporating it into the art collection itself. Note the placement in this space, too: Everything’s aligned on a diagonal, which draws your eye upward and even frames the door nicely for a welcoming entryway design. Moral of the story: Don’t be afraid to play with your unsightly fixtures (rather than entirely against them).
Statement Art Coverage
On the other hand, you’d never be able to tell that the green chinoiserie diptych in this New York City rental is concealing built-in electrical wall panels. This may feel like a no-brainer coverup idea, but I love the use of two big matching styles — especially considering there’s minimal disruption involved in removing the pair versus a gallery wall, which has more moving parts. If you don’t already own a sizable set of pieces, get the look for less by shopping affordable thrifted or IKEA frames then combining them with a favorite poster or Etsy digital download that you can print to scale. Seize the opportunity to DIY your own piece, too!
Hang aTapestry from a Curtain Rod
While the above image from a Toronto house tour isn’t masking anything specific from what I can tell, it’s a prime example of how a wall hanging can be used to shroud certain not-so-easy-on-the-eyes spots, like apartment intercoms, non-functioning light switches, or even a permanent wall stain. Here, using a curtain rod to hang the tapestry out from the wall means there’s a few inches of clearance behind it. This allows for easy, instant access should you need whatever is behind it.
Faux Thermostat Frames
When it comes to stylishly concealing a thermostat, DIYer and blogger Cass Smith of Cass Makes Home constructed a “cover” that resembles framed artwork, which she details step-by-step in the above video. You’ll need a few power tools to customize your own museum-worthy, easily-openable piece and you can personalize the design with a mini print inlay, either installed as a standalone style or using multiple lookalike frames to hang nearby. Either way, it’s safe on your device; the original poster clarifies in the comments that she left the top and bottom open for air flow exposure, plus, has used this setup in her home for three years, issue-free.
Bold Monochromatic Paint
An all-over coat of red paint already disguises the peephole in this New York City apartment, but two small prints hung directly below honestly make it look like a third piece of art mixed in. The silver “hello” inscription directly above also helps bookend and balance out the once-clunky attachment for a fun, unique statement door — no installations needed!
Fine (Fridge) Art
Upgrade even the most old-school-looking of refrigerators (or dishwashers!) by adding a small piece of art to the top or bottom door, as seen in the home of TikToker and Instagrammer Sourya Venumbaka of Sové Home. Attached using Command Strips and a lightweight frame, this is a genius, renter-friendly hack for cooking up more decorative personality in the kitchen overall — not to mention it’s also doable on non-magnetic fridges. Because who says standard appliances can’t be transformed into an objet d’art of sorts?
Stacks on Stacks
It’s the easiest, eyesore-eliminating styling trick in the book (pun intended): piling some of your favorite titles on top of your media console to draw attention away from the TV cords and cables that come with mounting a flatscreen. Think coffee table books and magazines for your stacks as well as adding decorative touches like vintage luggage or boxes for extra height. Oh, and this works just as well at ground level, blocking extension cords, chipped paint, you name it. Any bibliophiles with an overflowing reading collection can thank me later.
DIY Cane Cover
Courtesy of U.K.-based DIYer Robyn Stanley (@the_house_acc), this five-step craft uses an IKEA frame and cane backing to create a small, stylish screen that’s intended to camouflage routers (although it’s perfect for less-than-glamorous outlets, mini speakers, etc.). The finished product almost resembles the top of a decorative box, which makes the (zero-dollar!) case for propping up any other pretty woven lids you might have lying around, too.