Organizing Around Appliances, Unsightly Equipment, and Other Things that Ruin Decor

After spending time thinking about a cluttered basement, a family room, and a kitchen area with all sorts of appliances, piping, wiring, and other odd shaped things, I thought of how to best cover up some of these items.  When you know you are not in a position to remove needed items, you have to be creative.  Take a moment to think of the theme you are trying to create and the colors you would like to see.

Remove all items that are not being used or are no longer useful.  Do away with rusted, broken or outdated tools and furniture.  Update old shelves and cabinets if necessary since they make the best use of space.  Be sure the items you select will match well with existing items.  Arrange the appliances, equipment and other items that will give you the most room to maneuver. 

1.  Overhead pipes can be covered up with drop-ceiling tiles but if you don't have the money or time, think of making them a part of your design.  Think of restaurants, cafes, and other businesses that have exposed overhead piping.  Consider what they did to make their ceiling areas more artsy.  For creative tips, purchase a book about how to finish ceilings.

2.  Wiring can be tucked away neatly behind or in something.  Look at your atmosphere and consider placing the items behind an appliance, shelf, or purchase decorative cord covers found in most stores' home improvement departments.

3.  Create a wall to store unsightly items.  You can section off an area and place most unsightly items behind a decorative curtain wall or drywall.  You can also use your better looking items to create a wall.  For instance, tall shelf units with backings make great walls.  You can place items you don't want exposed behind them.

4. Compartmentalize small items.  Notice the many lose items that don't have a home yet.  What do you have that is already taking up space that you rarely use?  Get rid of that and use containers to put smaller things in and store on shelves or in cabinets.  Be sure the containers you select capture the style you are trying to create.  There are decorative boxes, old luggage, open bins, small stackable shelves, and other things that make the atmosphere less cluttered and more appealing.  Use the top of existing appliances to stack small shelf units; therefore giving you additional space to store items.

5.  A sink area is usually left open but if you must hide it, then you can use a wood plank and a cloth draped over it.  This area can double as a shelf or workspace if the plank is nicely designed.  You can place pretty items on top.  If you don't want to cover it, you might use it like a planter and keep your beautiful flowers in it while guests are over.  However, if the sink is used to catch the water from a washing machine and you plan on washing, hold off on that idea until your laundry is done.

6.  A refrigerator or freezer can be enhanced by adding hooks with magnets that can hold useful items.  They can be decorated with photos that sit behind magnet frames and other art making them less boring to view.  Cover the appliances up for special occasions with festive table cloths or gift wrap them making them appear like giant gifts.  Of course you will have to design them in such a way that you can open them.

7.  Washing machines and dryers are usually tucked away in their own room, but if you can't do this, try covering them up when not in use with colors that match your atmosphere. 

8.  When a stove isn't in use, burner covers add appeal to it.  Small appliance covers with modern designs look nice as well.  Rather than walking into a kitchen area viewing various gadgets, a person will see artwork.  Don't over do it and do try to make the colors fit together.

9.  Cabinets can also be decorated as well.  But don't use any harsh tape or glue or else the finish will come off.

10.  Ugly floors can be covered with carpeting or throw rugs.

With so many items and possibly so little time, do keep your best items in view and hide the unattractive ones or remove them altogether.  Take some time and view videos that will inspire you to enhance the look of your environment.  There are plenty on this site.  Also, walk the home organization sections of stores to see what the latest inventions are that can help you.  Check out art and craft stores.  Lastly, read books/magazines on home design to enhance your creativity.

Nicholl McGuire

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