The Inspired Room

Refining Your Home for Authentic Living™

Solving Flaws: Creative Concealment June 30, 2008

Filed under: Creative Before & After,Decorating Inspiration — Melissa @ The Inspired Room @ 1:00 am
Tags: ,

Do you ever watch TLC’s What Not To Wear? I got addicted to that show about a year and a half ago and for a few weeks I watched every episode. While I have always tried to look at least somewhat presentable, for awhile my uniform every day was jeans, Keds and white teeshirt. Nothing wrong with that for a busy mom, but from watching that show, I learned so much about how to focus on my better features and hide my figure flaws.

Another creative concealment made with fabric!

Same can be true of how we dress our houses. We don’t all have the luxury of a brand new perfect custom house or the ability to redesign every flaw in our home. Likewise, we don’t all have a perfect bod or the desire or money for plastic surgery — ah, yes, make mine a size two with no cellulite please, and a few inches taller while you are at it?, but we can make the best of what we have, imperfections and all.

I have used this technique to cover furniture more than once!
Even Pottery Barn gets into concealing! It can be a quick and inexpensive solution!

Who doesn’t have a bunch of miscellaneous necessities floating around the house?
If you don’t have enough closed storage, conceal stuff in simple boxes with labels. Bye bye mess!

I do not believe in house perfection or hiding everyday living. Even if it starts out perfect, I fully expect nicks and dings along the way. I am fine with scratches on my furniture, imperfect walls and even crooked floors. Those are what makes life charming, seeing a house is well lived in.

But, sometimes you just don’t want the glaring eyesores to steal the attention from beauty. I don’t think our houses should look unkempt or neglected or have areas that are just plain unattractive (at least permanently!). If we can fix things as an investment in our home, that is great. But sometimes we need to be content with concealing. There are ways around uglies even if you live in a rental or are on a budget.

Stacks of baskets or suitcases can not only hide flaws behind them
(cords, plumbing, old radiators), they can make short things taller,
AND they can hide uglies IN them!

  • Ugly Cords tangling from walls? Hide ’em behind a plant.
  • Old beat up or wimpy moldings? Paint them to match walls.
  • Less than lovely storage area? Hang a curtain!
  • Boring architecture? Hang some shutters for fool the eye substance!
  • Open storage where you need closed storage? Find baskets or shelf shades!
  • Ugly kitchen cabinets? Paint, new cabinet doors (on old cabinet boxes), or fabric can transform cabinetry for much less cost than new.
  • Too small of windows? Hang your curtains higher and wider to fool the eye!
  • Does your floor slope? Put taller things on the sloped end! It helps balance the room visually!
  • Electrical boxes, switches or ugly views from windows in your house where you wish there were none? Hang tapestries or artwork over them! Bye bye!

basement ceiling

Here is a creative concealment. An ugly basement ceiling was concealed with fabric!


Mismatched doors? We had a random oak door in our kitchen that
didn’t match our 1930’s style doors in the rest of the house.
Solution? Hello chalkboard paint!
Chalk board paint is almost the new duct tape.
Hey, yeah, duct tape? Another creative concealer! I’ve even used WHITE OUT as a creative concealer.
Not kidding.


Here is a clever reader’s idea for how to hide an air conditioner in the off season:

Ok, friends, now it is your turn.

I know most of my readers just like to look and not participate, that is OK! Don’t let me pressure you, but IF you are so brave as to show us how you have hidden the uglies around your house, we’d all be forever grateful to see we are not the only ones who conceal.

If you want to share a photo, an idea or suggestion, or a before and after, share in the comments or link up with Mr. Linky! I don’t think any links will show up until you click on Mr. Linky (then the list will appear). My Mr. Linky always lies and says “You’re First” even when you aren’t.

Feel free to check back over the next week to see if there were any brave souls willing to share! Feel free to share ideas in the comments too.

PS. I had to quit working on this post due to thunder and lightening, didn’t want to get electrocuted!



Top photo: Cottage Living
Next photo: Pottery Barn
Next three photos: BHG


Find home office concealments: here.


55 Responses to “Solving Flaws: Creative Concealment”

  1. More great ideas! I got brave and shared mine, though they are very simple.

    Thanks for hosting this. I look forward to finding some new tricks.

  2. Elzie Says:

    Great ideas! I wondered about the fabric in the ceiling. Is fabric cheep in USA? Here it’s very expensive and if we should buy all this it would cost a bit LOL.
    Just wanted to tell you I’m going on a two week vacation now and won’t be able to visit you (sad!). Hope you have a great time.
    Lots of love, Elzie

  3. nel Says:

    I have used quite a few concealing tricks over the years but my favorite are the nice boxes you can buy covered in fabric or nice paper, or the old suitcases. They hold so much and can be so easily stacked or stored in a bookcase or wardrobe… and conceal a multitude of bits and pieces.

    Great post! Love the photos.

  4. likeawarmcupofcoffee Says:

    I love the chalk board paint on the door! Now I want some chalk board paint!!!!

  5. My Mélange Says:

    I would love to participate, but I haven’t done anything other than what you mention. Slipcovers, blackboard paint on our pantry door, storage containers……done that!

    I really like the A/c trick!

    We have one of those huge stainless steel culinary shelves in our kitchen..we talked about putting a curtain over it to *hide* the pots, pans and dishes stacked on it (like in your photo), but we both decided we LIKED the way it looked. Maybe it’s our only connection to a gourmet kitchen. ha! 🙂

    And who doesn’t love Stacey and Clinton 🙂

  6. Pauline Says:

    After seeing my step by step “how I did it”, Melissa asked me to be sure to provide the link to my photobucket album on how I handpainted my cement patio to look like brick, so here it is:

    Also, one trick I learned years ago from military wives who loved to decorate but couldn’t permanently wallpaper, etc. their quarters was to use liquid starch to apply fabric to the walls,–MyHome/?action=view&current=PA290009xx.jpg
    it has been 10 years now since I did this to my Master Bathroom and it is still up there just fine despite lots of showers, humidity, etc. that picture and others (showing my padded fabric wall covering –black toile in upstairs guestroom, are in this album:–MyHome/
    I painted black squares on kitchen floor too, but not for concealment, just to change things a bit in my very small kitchen.

  7. rosieswhimsy Says:

    I’ll be checking in on Mr. Linky. I have lots of spaces I’d like to hide! 🙂

  8. Sandy Says:

    A little surprise awaits you over at my place!

    Miss Sandy

  9. Wonderful post Melissa! I just went to Mr Linky and checked out the other concealements. Just wonderful! Pauline’s “brick” patio is amazing! Does she have a blog that you know about?

  10. Teresa Says:

    I’m excited to see what others do- I shared mine- not sure how creative mine are but shared them anyways :}
    Thanks for a fun post- and great ideas
    Have a great day-

  11. Melissa – I love the idea of this post! I think for the first time ever I’ve added myself to your Mr. Linky (he’s a fairly courteous gentleman, isn’t he?) and have a few creative concealment ideas I found around my house. Enjoy!!

  12. Pauline Says:

    Penny, I do have a blog, but have been very delinquent in posting recently due to my “newest” hobby, —pottery. But if you want to review my past postings they are here:

  13. Françoise Says:

    Fun to see my A/C on your site. Needless to say, with temperatures soaring in Portland, it was on full view on Saturday and Sunday evening.
    Today, we start painting. Expect pictures later this week!

  14. Great ideas. I’ll definitely check back to see what everyone else suggests.


  15. Pauline Says:

    Just posted an entry to my blog (very quickly) showing a concealed “ugly” pedestal in order to keep piece in our current dining room. Table cost quite a bit when I bought it a hundred years or so ago, but I later hated it and it would not have been useful in my current DR without a concealment project.

  16. Claudia Says:

    Great collection of ideas, especially air conditioners. Also LOVE storage boxes, and those are really pretty!

  17. Toys…toys…toys…in public spaces. How to hide them? Here’s what I did:

    Loved the ideas you showed!

  18. Sweet Cottage Dreams Says:

    Love your chalkboard door! What a great idea and fun, too.


  19. I do have one to add! It’s my thermostat that is right in the middle of the wall in my dining room! Oh, I also have a circuit breaker that I covered up in my kitchen. As soon as I get a photo of it I’ll come back to Mr. Linky.

    Thunder and lightening…how cool! We just have smoke filled skies here in California!

  20. Catherine Says:

    Thanks for all the great ideas. I added mine to your Blinky link. Can’t wait to see everyone’s ideas!

  21. please sir Says:

    These are great ideas – thanks for sharing!!

  22. Rhoda Says:

    I still can’t think of anything in particular, but these are all great ideas. Love the fabric concealment thing.


  23. Now that’s advice that is as beautiful as it is practical. That’s what I call an excellent use of my blog time. Thanks, Melissa, for making me feel better about my blogging day!!


  24. […] under Uncategorized | Tags: backsplash, decorating, kitchen, wallpaper |   Melissa over at The Inspired Room asked for examples of creative concealment today. You know….ways to hide all the ugly stuff. […]

  25. Jaime Says:

    Great ideas! Thanks, everyone, for sharing.

  26. Tracy Says:

    I linked to an old post of mine, but it’s relevant none the less.

  27. Are you guys checking out those links? Me oh my I am inspired! You gals know how to conceal! So many great ideas! Keep on adding them, there is no deadline, and I hope you will all come back later and see what is newly added. There really are some impressive concealments on the blogs!

    Happy concealing!

  28. Jen Says:

    WOW!!! Great post!!! I love alll of the concealing ideas!! I LOVE the chalkboard door idea!!

  29. Heather Says:

    I linked up my Ugly Blinds “Mistreatment” post. Can’t wait to see everyone else’s ideas!


  30. Hi Melissa!
    I’m catching up with you over here and enjoying my visit, as usual, and all of your fun and inspiring posts! Hmmm – the photo that I shared a couple of days ago of my office with a white cabinet in the corner and striped fabric – well that is a sheet that is actually hiding my VERY messy stacks of magazines, loose papers, and what-nots. The sheet is draped over a tension rod! 😉

  31. Jrizzo Says:

    Okay Melissa, I’m in.. I’ve bared my junk-hiding soul for all to see 😉 Jen R

  32. WOW, WOW, WOW Melissa! I have been a bit behind in visiting my blog friends and as usual you have so much inspiration! Congrats on your daughter’s upcoming marriage…I hope that you post photos for us. What an incredible beach house your family has! ~XO~Janet
    P.S……office and studio inspiration is so welcome, I am getting ready to relocate mine:-)

  33. amanda Says:

    I’ve just recently found your site… and I’m in love! So inspirational! I’ll have to post about my soon to be concealed laundry room storage… and many, many other projects I have on my list. Love Pauline’s brick too… but I just don’t think I’d have the patience!

    I’ve just started blogging… not to mention decorating my home. I felt for so long that my kids were too young to really have anything out and about… but I’ve given up on that and am actually trying to decorate! Helps that my husband just got a full time job (rather than the year long contract positions that he had been getting – with 100 days in between! PLECK! :P)… more money… and that he works from home!

    Project time! OH YEAH!

  34. Love the red room and the chalk board door! Fabulous! I need one of those!
    Sandra Evertson

  35. Marie Says:

    I don’t have much, but I added myself anyway. I’m going to check out everyone on the list though. I could use a little creative concealment….mostly on my under eye circles, but that’s a whole other post! :o)

  36. Trixi Says:

    I don’t have one to share yet, but I hope to get lots of inspiration. Great ideas!!!

  37. Don’t listen to those folks who say they “don’t have much to share”…they are creative concealing geniuses being too modest! I am really enjoying all the posts…keep ’em coming people!

  38. Kim Says:

    Great ideas as always Melissa! I love the chalk board idea. I have been wanting to do that so badly.

    Just stopping by to wish you a Happy 4th of July week!!


  39. Jen Says:

    Melissa – thanks for stopping by my home on the web and inviting me to participate in your awesome concealments Mr. Linky event. I love all the ideas you shared and can’t wait to read all of the other links. Hope you can stop in often! Love your blog!


  40. Bejeweled Says:

    Awesome ideas! I love it when practicality and beauty meet 🙂

    Very creative idea for hiding that basement ceiling and so affordable too.

  41. mrs. french Says:

    Wonderful solutions! I just love this post! I am working on the suitcase solution right now…I’ll keep you posted!

  42. Oh yes! I hide my TV cellulite (ie the ugly screen) with a lovely oil painting! It is amazing how good it looks!

  43. emilienichole Says:

    Thanks for telling me about this! I added my link to Mr. Linky (Emilie) please, everyone… come tell me what YOU would do with this wall!

  44. Christine Says:

    oh gosh! I know I’ve got uglies places that I’ve hidden… I’ll have to go and see if I can find some!
    Wonderful inspiration dear!

  45. Great ideas! Love this post, Melissa!
    Living in a small house, I’ve definitely used several of these tactics myself.
    Of course, my favorite is hiding unsightly junk with pretty fabric. 🙂

    I’m off to check out some of these links…


  46. abbreviated Says:

    Sorry about the wrong link in the first Mr. Linky.
    *rolls eyes @ self*

    Love your site !

  47. Hi Melissa, How are you? I have a very large picture just sitting on the floor leaning on a wall in our family room to hide a bunch of wires. I like it that way a lot. ~ Lynn

  48. Sandy Says:

    Hi Melissa – I have a lot of flaws in this old, fixer-upper-house! So this resonates w/me – LOL.
    Enjoyed your CWO article.
    And yes, I’ll do a post on the strawberry pies.
    Hope you are enjoying your summer!

  49. I’ve recently found you too!

    This post has really had me thinking today about what I cannot stand but cannot afford to change, or even if I can afford it, what we haven’t gotten around to changing yet – a quick fix for sure is going to take place on the patio doors, they are an eyesore for sure but nothing that some great drapes couldn’t hide, I’m thinking a two layer affair, lots of white and linen, who knows maybe I’ll save the replacement cost after all.

    Great blog, love it, brimming with inspiration for my beach cottage

  50. I just posted mine which I called “Hiding the Ugly”

  51. Trina Says:

    What inspiring ideas. I love seeing what is behind what you see. The chalkboard door is a great idea
    Trina xx

  52. Dena Says:

    What a wonderful post! I’m jotting down notes 🙂


  53. Karen B Says:

    I just posted yesterday something I did to hide a misplaced intercom system. The builder put it in the middle of the biggest wall in my kitchen! UGH! If you’re still checking these, see what you think!

  54. Mrs. Q Says:

    I am SO going to use the chalkboard paint on my kitchen/ entrance to the garage door! What an awesome idea! Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

  55. sorry I am well behind on this, but your post got me thinking about how I could conceal the ugliest garden bench on the plantet – it’s taken a while as I needed to get a few supplies together before I could start concealing. I’m really quite pleased at how it’s turned out, it’s far from perfect but nowwhere near as a monster as it was – i blogged it today…thanks for the inspiration here, I’m loving dipping into your blog

    A beach cottage

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