We all have one, and we most likely all hate the look of it - I'm talking about the ugly, yet necessary, cable box. While it serves a solid purpose, it does so in a terribly unattractive manner. If only it looked like a cut crystal vase, or an artistic coffee table book, we'd be welcoming to placing it atop our lovely furniture - unfortunately it doesn't! In an effort to help beautify our clients homes, I've created a list of 4 innovative ways to hide this common eyesore (and other electronic boxes, e.g. printers, routers, modems, etc.):
- Hide it in a Drawer/Transform the Drawer Front: Shown in Photo 1 below, this concept is a fabulous way to hide electronics of various sizes (even printers). Simply drill a hole in the back of your sideboard/dresser/etc. and pop your device inside running the cords out the back. Carefully saw the drawer front apart from its interior sides & add hinges; this will turn your drawer front into a pull-down cabinet front. Based upon personal experience, piano hinges or 175 degree spring hinges work best in this application. Often times when using a piano hinge, a magnetic catch latch may be required to keep the cabinet front from falling.
- Create a Custom Cover for the Box: Shown in Photo 2 below, this concept is not for those faint of a D.I.Y. challenge. Head to your local hardware store & pick-up wood to create a 4 sided box frame (3/4x3/4" wood is ideal), wood saw, decorative metal sheeting, tin shears, regular & liquid nails. If you're bold enough, pickup a mitering box too. Create the wood frame by hammering your wood pieces together (leaving the bottom & back open), then cut the decorative metal sheeting to the size of your frame. If you have a miter box, mitering the corners of the wood will help to align the corners together ensuring a clean edge. Next, glue the metal sheeting to the 4 visible sides of the box (wipe away any excess glue so it doesn't ball up, thus causing another eyesore). Since decorative sheeting is generally silver, a coat of spray paint may be necessary to match it to your room decor. Slide the cable box within the designed box and whala, you're eyesore is now a beautiful conversation piece.
- Infrared Receiver Extender: One of my favorite finds in the recent year is the Infrared Receiver Extender. This tiny item eliminates the need for your cable box to sit near the TV. To implement this item in your home, simply hop online & search "infrared receiver extender" + "your cable box make & model number". Once you've found & received a compatible model, stick the bubble/dome-like end onto your TV front while plugging the opposite end into your cable box (which you've strategically hidden out-of-view). Now, your TV remote will work when aiming it at the sensor vs. the cable box itself. Isn't this device pure genius?! I think so. . .
- Hardback Book Covers to Hide Electronics: Believe it or not, most TV & Internet signals are strong enough to carry their signal through thin blockages. Shown in Picture 4, a hardback book cover casing was created to disguise a cable modem or box. In order to achieve this look in your home, gather up unused/unwanted books & create a nice looking grouping (standing side-by-side). With a razor blade, cut along the interior corner of each book allowing for the shell of the book to fall loose from its pages. Next, cut along the side edges of each book's spine, thus leaving the spine as a single entity. Be sure to save 1 right-side edge & 1 left-side edge, so your cable-box cover has sides. Now, with your spines laid out side by side, apply a layer of Liquid Nails to the meeting point of each spine. Before you know it, you will have created a one-of-a-kind 3-way cover for your electronics.