Living Simply

Seven Simple Solutions to Hiding Practical and Ugly Items in Your House

I love looking at model homes! To me, model homes represent possibilities. There are so many ways to use color and style to portray a certain feeling and personality within a building. Possibilities are endless! However, our pocketbook is not endless, and you may find yourself limited on what you can do in your own home. Sometimes the way the designer staged the house is not practical for everyday living. Sometimes those strategies are subtle (like not using trashcan liners) or not-so subtle (like an over-the-top dining arrangement that barely leaves room for plates).

What do you do when you want your house to be pretty, but you’re not willing to sacrifice practicality in everyday life? Do you have a spot in your house that drives you nuts every time you look at it? Creativity can go a long way.

In this post, I share seven simple ways I’ve hidden ugly without sacrificing practicality. Some of these solutions may help spark an idea for that spot in your house.

Hiding an Ugly Router Box

Our home office is styled with a touch of steampunk. Modern electronics looked glaringly obvious with the more vintage style. However, we needed a router for internet, and good options for moving it didn’t exist, so I hid it. In the picture below, the bottom green book is actually not a book. It’s a shell that hides our router.

Solution:

  • Hide a router with a fake book.

Note: If you try this, make sure sufficient space surrounds your router so that it doesn’t overheat. Check with the manufacturer if you’re unsure.

Router Box Front
Router Box Front
Back of Bookstack
Back of Book Stack

Hiding an Ugly Trashcan Liner

Do you use liners in your trashcans? I noticed in model homes we’ve visited, they rarely have trashcans in the room and if they do, they do not have a liner.

Let’s face it, liners are not pretty. But liners make our lives easier! I don’t want to clean out old apples and bubble gum from the bottom of the trashcan! I knew I would be throwing away more than just paper in our home office, so I had to find a way to use a liner without drawing attention to a white plastic bag hanging over the top of a vintage looking trashcan (especially since the trashcan is one of the first things you see when you walk in)!

Solution:

  • Hide a dark colored liner inside the trashcan with magnets.

I bought a metal trash can, a 6-gallon gray and black trash can liner from Ikea (with a coordinating pop of green!), and four neodymium magnets. The trashcan liner sits inside the trash can, held up with the magnets in four spots. Because the liner is a darker color, it’s not as glaringly obvious as a white trash can liner. I was happy!

Trashcan with Liner
Trashcan with Liner
Magnet Holds Trashcan Liner in Place
Magnet Holds Trashcan Liner in Place
Four Magnets at Four Corners
Four Magnets at Four Corners
No White Trash Liners Here!
No White Trash Liners Here!
Trash Bag IUsed
Trash Bag I Used

Hiding Ugly Plugs in a Sit/Stand Desk

We needed to power our sit/stand desk, and we have a wired setup for internet, but we didn’t want a bunch of cords showing when you walk into the room.

Solution:

  • Arrange the desk near an outlet and drill a semicircular hole through the left side of the desk that the wires feed into.
Feed Cords Under Cut Hole in Bottom of Desk
Feed Cords Under Cut Hole in Bottom of Desk

Another thing I’ve seen done is adding a rug under the desk and running the cord beneath the rug.

Hiding Books with Covers that Clash

If you have books that belong in the room, but the colors clash, there are solutions.

Solutions:

  • You can turn the book around so the pages face you.
  • You can cover the books with paper. For added practicality, you could add the title of the book on the spine by hand or use a stamp or sticker alphabet set.
Cover Books to Reduce Clash
Cover Books to Reduce Clash
Books with Spine Showing
Books with Spine Showing
Books with Pages Showing
Books with Pages Showing

Hiding a Cheap Pot

Pots with drainage holes are great for plant health. Saucers are great for catching the extra water from indoor plants, but it can be hard to find saucers that coordinate with the pot, and the clear plastic ones aren’t always the look you’re going for.

Solutions:

  • Use a pot with an attached saucer.
  • Place the pot the plant came in inside a larger pot.
Side View of Plant Pot Inside Larger Pot
Side View of Plant Pot Inside Larger Pot
Top View of Plant Pot Inside Larger Pot
Top View of Plant Pot Inside Larger Pot
Hide Ugly Pot Inside Larger Pot
Hide Ugly Pot Inside Larger Pot
Take Pot Out to Water or Let Water Drain on Clay Pebbles
Take Pot Out to Water or Let Water Drain on Clay Pebbles

I used a pot I made in high school and the bottom looked unfinished to me, so to hide that, I used a piece of coordinating fabric and wrapped it around it.

For the pots I place inside a larger pot, I put clay pebbles on the bottom to raise it up and to absorb any water that drains out. If it’s a smaller plant, I’ll take it out to water and let it drain for a few hours before placing it back in the pot.

Unfinished Bottom of Pot Without Scarf
Unfinished Bottom of Pot Without Scarf
Scarf Covering Unfinished Bottom of Pot
Scarf Covering Unfinished Bottom of Pot

Hiding Lint in the Laundry Room

I didn’t have space in my laundry room for a trash can, but when I’m getting lint out from the dryer, I don’t want to have to go searching for a trash can in another room. Instead, I used an old vintage milk glass cup that was my grandmother’s in my decorating to hold the lint. You can’t see the lint unless the lint gets really high, which takes several weeks. At that point, I find a trash can and toss in there. Instead of having to find a trash can for every load, I only have to find one once every month or two. Way more practical!

Solution:

  • Use a decorative container to hold lint. I didn’t have room for a trashcan, so I used a vintage milk glass.
Laundry Room Counter with Cup for Lint
Laundry Room Counter with Cup for Lint

Hiding an Ugly Whiteboard

I wanted the practicality of a whiteboard, but a whiteboard is not very steampunk, so I needed to hide it. We made a wooden frame and stretched a steampunk mural over it.

Solution:

  • Place a picture over the whiteboard.
Secret Markerboard
Secret Whiteboard
Steampunk Lady Artwork
Steampunk Lady Artwork

Even though we may not have the budget to decorate like a model home, and our house’s design may limit our options, there are simple things we can do to hide ugly without sacrificing practicality. That’s what I call a win-win.

Do you have any practical tricks for hiding ugly in your house? Share your ideas in the comments below!

 

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