Tips for Camouflaging Thermostats, Radiators & Air Conditioners

Weather in the Northeast being what it is, our in-wall thermostats, radiators and air conditioners are usually only used for a fraction of the year and the rest of the time they serve as unsightly additions to our décor. Here are a few ideas ideas for hiding or disguising the offending boxes and we want to hear your tips as well.

Hide it in plain sight: We love how the thermostat blends perfectly into Chancie’s family photo wall (image 1). As part of the composition of frames it doesn’t stand out — past house sitters have even had trouble finding it.

Decorate it: The previous owner of Chris and Hannah’s loft decorated an electrical panel in the front hallway by placing a shelf below and painting stencils on it (image 2) and the in-wall air conditioner in this child’s bedroom is turned into a truck thanks to some chalkboard paint (image 3). As long as it’s smack dab in the middle of the wall, why not have fun with it? A contrasting paint or wallpaper could also add a playful touch an ordinary air conditioner.

Paint it the same color as the wall: Though it won’t disappear completely, painting a thermostat, radiator or air conditioner the same color as the wall as Maxime did in this rental apartment will keep it from sticking out like a sore thumb (image 4).

Box it up: There are a million possibilities for custom-made shelves or boxes that can hide in-wall monstrosities. Check out this DIY hinged mirror on unpluggd (image 5) or simply find a shelf that will do the trick—like this table over a radiator in Maxime’s apartment (image 6). Wall mounted cabinets are another possibility or find a local carpenter to help you design a one-of-a-kind solution. An Apartment Therapy reader created this unique landing strip (image 7) using IKEA flooring.

Cover it: Curtains or a screen are a perfect way to hide anything unsightly and are especially easy to move around as necessary. The fabric screens from Cassandra’s house tour cover air conditioners on the floor (image 8), but could be made taller to hide wall units as well. Or buy an extra deep canvas from an art supply store and either create your own artwork from scratch or stretch a decorative fabric over the canvas. Be careful to only hang fabric over a radiator that isn’t being used, otherwise it’s a possible fire hazard.

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