I have a love hate relationship with power cords – I love that they power our lives, but I hate looking at them. They just are not pretty. And no matter how well designed our interiors are, at some point we all have to deal with them. How we deal with them is a simple matter of whether you want to spend time or spend money; either way, good planning is essential.
Few of us are lucky enough to build custom homes with outlets placed exactly where we need them for every possible application. And even if we did, there’d be the added challenge of being able to move things around without sacrificing all that pre-planning and custom building.
Here are a few creative (and some basic) ideas of how to hide those pesky cords:
- Curtain call/fabric panels. A desk can use a curtain (or any fabric) draped over a tension rod or wrapped on a moveable panel to hide ANYthing.
- Decorator tables that require covers (and some accent tables that do not) are also a great opportunity – you can hide ANYthing under those table covers (not just cords, but storage, books, etc).
- Blend in. There are several ways to do this; get extension cords that matchyour decor and/or wall color (black, white, brown, beige, green, and orange are pretty readily available). Another option – paint the cord to match the decor (or cover it with some colorful duct tape – that’d be especially cool in a kid’s space). Last suggestion here – use a cord cover. They are usually made for pendant lights, but can easily be used for this purpose as well.
- Strategic furniture placement. Of course this is the easiest and most obvious solution, however, it may not be the most flexible. Used in conjunction with other methods, it can be a wonderful thing. Take a step back and look – I mean really look – at the space. Chances are it could be used better; there’s always more than 1 way to skin a cat. Something as simple as placing a pair of lamps where the cords can be routed behind the sofa (or bed or desk) goes a long way toward keeping a clean look. Placing TV and AV wiring in the wall or making holes in the back of furniture is not as hard as you think –all strategic placement usually takes is a little planning and the ability to see things differently.
- Clip it, contain it. In this case you could end up spending lots of money, but the possibilities are seemingly endless. Hit up the Container Store or Ikea for all sorts of cord management gadgets. You could get items that cover the cord and stick to a surface (like along baseboards) or desktop organizers that keep things all neat.
BONUS TIP #1:
For a frugal solution to those items you need to keep close at hand (usb cords, headphones, etc), you can use binder clips to corral those cords and then hang the clips from hooks, pegs, or even pushpins on the backside of wooden desks or decorative cork boards. The best thing about this is that you won’t always have to remove the clips when using the cords.
BONUS TIP #2:
Don’t hide them. Make them stand out instead. In rooms meant to be fun & lighthearted, you can wrap cords in funky duct tape or fabric that fits the room. Even the outlet cover can be wrapped to match.
I have used all of these tricks in different ways. I know there are more ways to avoid looking at a mess of cords, so tell me….. how do you hide your cords?