For better or worse, technology has become a part of our everyday lives. Our homes are filled with electronics—from televisions, stereos, and game consoles to computers and WIFI routers. While these devices have become staples of modern homes, they pose a major problem when it comes to design. Not only are some of these devices flat-out unattractive, almost all of them come with an abundance of cords and cables that are major eyesores in an otherwise beautiful room. But with these creative ideas for hiding clumsy cords and cables, you won’t have to sacrifice look for function ever again.
When it comes to hiding TV cords and gaming system attachments, the most obvious solution is a custom console or entertainment system that integrates wires into the design from the very beginning. Recessed televisions are becoming increasingly popular as they create a simplistic and uncluttered look by nestling right into the wall. To accommodate things like routers, cable boxes, DVD players, and gaming systems, designers will include a hidden cabinet with wires running right through the walls to connect devices behind the scenes.
While custom, built-in solutions are ideal, you can also find great options in pre-made, freestanding entertainment centers. These pieces are designed with back panels and small cutout holes that allow you to feed the wires invisibly through the back of the furniture to connect to the power source while the paneling hides them from view.
In-Wall Power Cords and Cables
Of course, a TV console or entertainment center isn’t the best option if you have a wall-mounted television or speaker system. In these cases, the most efficient way to handle the problem of unappealing cords and wires is to actually thread them through the wall. You can find affordable kits with step-by-step instructions for how to do this at home, but the basic principle is to create a small hole behind your television, wall-mounted speaker, or light fixture, and a second hole at the bottom of the wall where the device needs to connect to a power source. Simply thread the wires through the wall and hide the outlet at the bottom behind a piece of furniture.
Bundle Cords Together
If you aren’t able to take the built-in route, then the first step to managing cords and cables is to make sure they are taking up as little space as possible. By bundling them together, you can immediately minimize the chaotic appearance of wires sticking out in every direction. A cord sleeve is a specialized product designed to consolidate cables by wrapping them in a tube of foam or fabric. Another simple option is to bind them together using plain black twist ties or binder clips.
Secure Cords Against Solid Objects
Once you’ve got all of your wires in one place, you can use tape, glue, staples, or hooks to secure them to solid objects like the wall, the back or underside of a piece of a furniture, the leg of a desk or table, or even the floor. This will keep your cords from getting tangled together or hanging loosely in plain view.
Maybe you’re looking for an even simpler solution for disguising your unattractive electronics. Wireless routers are one of the ugliest devices around, but they often need to be out in the open in order to work effectively. Try laying your router inside a decorative box, then incorporating the box as part of your décor. You can even cut a small hole for the router’s antenna to poke out through if necessary. Add a stack of books, a picture frame, or other knickknacks to distract attention from what’s inside.
You can also use stylish boxes or baskets to hold your cable box or power strips. Keep your cords bundled together and tuck the entire thing into the box or basket on the floor or bottom shelf of your entertainment system. If you’re using a box with a top, cut holes in the back large enough to thread the cords through.
Most computers come with a small army of peripherals, each with their own set of connections. Attaching small wire baskets to the underside of an open desk provides a place to tuck those easily-tangled cords where they are out of sight, but still convenient to access if necessary.
Incorporating technology into your everyday life means incorporating it into your home design as well. Thankfully, embracing technology doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to a house full of offensive cords and ugly black boxes. We hope these ideas will inspire you with creative ways to manage technology in your home, whether through quick and easy disguises for your electronics or through long-term design solutions.