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Decorating Help Needed!

My good friend Amanda @ Serenity Now is having a Decorating Dilemmas party. 
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It’s so much fun to go around and see what people are working on and give advice on their “decorating dilemmas”. I have a big decorating dilemma and it’s smack in the middle of my kitchen – the most used room in my house!
Will you help me?
I’ve tried so many things and nothing has worked so far.
This is the little desk in my kitchen. This is where I keep my phone charger and the big family calendar. Right above the desk are all kinds of plugs, outlets and this big honkin’ intercom system thing. It is an eyesore.
Some of the things I have tried have been — putting a big metal tray in front of the system. The only problem with that? It slips off and anything in front of it gets smashed on the floor. I have lost a few cute bird/decorative objects this way.
The second thing I tried was mounting a shelf underneath the intercom system. I saw the cutest idea over at Pam’s Bibbity Bobbity Beautiful. She mounted a shelf over her desk area and it looked so nice! Ummm, not so nice over mine. One of the problems was the shelf wouldn’t stay in that bracket thing and was hanging at an angle, so anything on it slipped off.
{this is Pam’s charging station}
The third thing I was thinking of was making some sort of screen, maybe out of cardboard and covered with cute fabric — maybe it would look like a bulletin board, but it would be easy enough to take away whenever I wanted to get into the plugs or the intercom.
So — that’s my dilemma. I would LOVE to hear your thoughts and ideas. And once I get it figured out — I will share the solution (if we can come up with one – lol).
Thanks for your help!
Make sure to go over to Serenity Now and see all of the Decorating Dilemmas — and if you have one, go over and join up to get some great advice!



  1. I would make a shadow box to cover the entire area. Frame the front of the box with molding and use the front as a bulletin board-maybe with criss cross ribbon or buy the roll of cork board and adhere it to the box. On one side of the box install hinges, so that you can easily open up the box and get to the outlets or intercom. On the opposite side attach a hook to latch closed-maybe like the old hooks for screen doors with the eye screw attached to the wall?

  2. Melissa says:

    Put it on hinges! Sounds like it would work best if you put hinges on one side so you can easily access the outlets and intercom. Then close it with magnets.

  3. Pink Petunia Designs says:

    I think you should stick with the cute fabric covered bulletin board but attach it from some small eye hooks underneath the cabinet that is out a few inces from the wall so you still have the cords back there and the other unit, but you can't see them. If you use the eye hooks,you can easily remove it or flip it up to access whatever is underneath.

  4. Michele says:

    I'd go for a lazy solution. Screw cup hooks into the bottom of the cabinet and string a line of twine or something. Hang pictures your kids made or something on it with little decorative clothespins. See, lazy, but should cover the offending area and look like you're just displaying the stuff because you want to.

  5. FrouFrouBritches says:

    I don't have a lot of advice as I had to buy an armoire to hold all of my junk that gathers in the kitchen/dining area.

    I do love the idea of the bulletin board thing. I saw somewhere?? where they made one and hung it up, but it had hinges on the side so they just swung it to the side when they needed to get to what was behind it. Does that make sense? Hope this helps!

  6. Oh please find an answer to this one. I checked into moving all my electrical, phone etc into one area and the budget didn't allow for it. Why do all builders think "right in the middle" is the best spot???

  7. I was going to suggest a hinged solution (like the shutter above – great idea!) As for the cords – if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. I'd get a couple of cute small trays and put a vignette on each side with a pretty container (vase, or pitcher) of pencils to camouflage the cords, maybe a plant. Best of luck!

  8. Stephanie Cameron says:

    Hmmm… I was going to say to just rewire the electricity and such below the desk area and have the cords go down. But now that I look at it again, that is a counter top and there would have to be holes to let the cords go down. Hmmm…I guess even lowering the plugs so the wires didn't have to go up your wall would be an improvement.

  9. Hey babe-
    I haven't read all of the comments, so maybe someone has already said this. If so, just ignore me. My kids always do!
    I have a breadbox that I picked up at the di. You can get them in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Paint it up cute-but cut the back out. I would get a taller one-so the intercom would be covered. You can have all of your stuff covered-but still usable. Nothing will fall off and it will look pretty and functionable. Your lamp would look super cute in front of it. I have one that has a roll top lid-I love it-and the size would be perfect. Let me know if you want a pic-I can email it to you!
    Good luck friend!!

  10. The Crandalls says:

    Here is what I am thinking. Have someone or you build like a frame for a cabinet to match your kitchen so I would stick out just past the the intercom maybe with a 2×2 or maybe 3 inches deep. Put your cabinet door on with hinges so that you can open and close it to cover up and open when needed. You could leave the door plain but I would want it to look pretty so I might have the builder of it put a thinner piece of wood in the front panel of the door and add cork covered with a pretty damask fabric or of your choosing to make a bulletin board. Add a handle and then you have a cover for the ugliness and a pretty cork board to display stuff. Does any of that make sense. I can see it very clearly in my head, but sometimes written things don't come out nearly as clear. Then add some accessories. If you wanted you maybe could put cork on both sides of the door with the wood in the middle to hang the calendar on the inside. Hope this helps


  11. MelindaB says:

    I have a ugly phone jack in the middle of a wall – and no house phone. I bought and art canvas at Joanne's and made my own memo board to hang over it. The depth of the canvas covers the outlet and just hangs from 2 small nails in the wall.

  12. Shel at Dreamy Nest says:

    Uhm, I'm completely decorating challenged, but what cool ideas you have and are getting!!

  13. How about putting a very attractive "Black Metal Grate" over the entire space… all the wires, outlets and the intercom will be behind it..you can still plug in and out,, if the squares of the grate are about 3" or 4"'s apart… you can then hang pretty things, kids photos or what ever, here and there on the grate?
    Just an idea… wonder where you would find the grate large enough to cover the entire space? One of light weight metal? At the Home Depot they sell metal closet shelves (grate looking),, spray paint it, put brackets behind to keep it about 2" from the wall?
    Good luck!

  14. I would make a quilt – a wallhanging to fit your space. There are so many awesome fabrics to choose from these days. I make wallhangings to cover all sorts of things – in fact as I type, I am looking at one covering up an old phone jack! It can be held up with quilt hangers which would bump it out from the wall enough that it would hide everything without being bumpy:)

  15. How about custom making an asian inspired (but with a design that fits your decor) screen that you can fold open when you are using the space-and fold closed to hide the space?
    Stopping by from decorating dilemma party.
    -Mama E

  16. I was thinking the screen thing too…after I picked my jaw up off the floor cuz I'm amazed you have a decorating dilemma!!!

  17. shortmama says:

    You have so many great ideas already, a few that were the same ideas I had. Keep us posted on what you come up with!

  18. my first thought as I started reading your post was the same as your last-some kind of memo board type of thing that would be easy to move-another thought was would it be possible to hang a rod from your cabinet or wall and make a curtain to cover it all-I also like the idea about some kind of roller shade. Good Luck! My desk in the kitchen needs some work too!!

  19. ashlina {the decorista} says:

    oh boy. decorating can be so overwhelming sometimes, no?
    i have an idea…enter my giveaway to win and zebra rug and make it the focal point of the room. you can work from there! :)
    enter today! xo

  20. I too have a similar problem, outlets at eye level w/ a million cords, ugh! This past weekend I drilled a grommet hole into the desk top which leads to the desk drawer for all cords and chargers to plug into one power strip in the drawer and OUT OF SIGHT! I just have the power strip cord plugged into the wall now so I'm hoping to get some great ideas from your "fans" as to how to camouflage that. Thanks for sharing.

  21. I vote for the frame idea! You could either add fabric to the middle or take a thin sheet of mdf and paint it with chalkboard paint and use it as a message center. Find a pretty picture stand or easel and use that to hold it up. You could feed all the cords underneath the easel and it would be easy to move! Good luck, can't wait to see what you do!

  22. Miss S hit it with the hinged thingy (picture, chalkboard, whiteboard, whatever!) that you just life up when you need access. Perfect! I just have all kinds of crap piled in front of my outlets and phone cord things :) No intercom to deal with here…

  23. Love Stitched says:

    NO help here…sorry. My mind is blank but you are SO creative I am sure you will come up with SOMETHING fab!

  24. Brittanie says:

    I feel the same way about sockets! I can't stand clutter, so I moved our kitchen "office" into a box into the pantry lol..

    I think the bulletin board would be cute, and if you added hinges to the top you could easily lift it to use the sockets!

  25. I love the idea of a frame with something in it, fabric or turned into a french bulletin board or calendar, whatever you fancy. Attach it to a piano hinge above the large panel and then you just lift the frame to access the panel, but its hidden otherwise. you could use a bit of moulding to make a shelf to hold the chargers, etc.

  26. I love the idea of a frame with something in it, fabric or turned into a french bulletin board or calendar, whatever you fancy. Attach it to a piano hinge above the large panel and then you just lift the frame to access the panel, but its hidden otherwise. you could use a bit of moulding to make a shelf to hold the chargers, etc.

  27. Make a curtian "screen". Ikea sells wire hangers for about 5.00 that you can make a curtian for. It is really easy to slide said curtian back and forth over the wire for when you need to use your items. You don't even have to use the meatal clips that come with it.


  28. Jeremy, Holly, and Haven says:

    I would definitely paint that wall white to conceal all of the white fixtures to start your design and then go from there.

  29. Amanda @ Serenity Now says:

    I wonder if they make some kind of screening material that would be tightly woven enough that you couldn't see through it when spray painted black. You could add a neat monogram or stencil to the center in white and then frame it in aqua and lean it against the wall. If you get some sort of backing for the underside of the frame (maybe a strip from shelf liner??), it could help with the slipping problem.

    You have some good feedback so far!! Thank you SO much for linking up with me. :)

  30. Melissa Miller says:

    Jen how about a flat basket weave tray with handles? You could place it right over it and then hang things on the basket waeave like decorative ribbon, vintage keys or postcards. Good Luck! :)

  31. What about a screen…like a floor divider screen…only smaller. You could make it out of some super cute shutters and use the outside of the shutters as an organizational tool as well with super cute clips. No one would ever know…shhhh!

  32. Miss S. says:

    I would suggest making a picture frame/shadow box with a hinge you can open for access. You could even make the front a message type board.

  33. MeenyMoe says:

    How about cutting down some shutters, attach their hinges to the wall and let them swing over the intercom and plug. If you need the intercom, you could open the shutters. You could run a cord between the slats if you needed to. And just get some of those stick up LED lights for under the cabinet lighting and you can rid yourself of one plug from the lamp. You can also paint or stain the shutter to match your kitchen. Then you can even make it a place to store phone #'s by using adhesive labels inside the slats with name & phone # and then close the shutter so you can't see them. Oh, and you can also use the slats on the shutters to stick notes and reminders! I think this would look very nice for this space. You'd need to finally remove that shelf bracket coz you ain't gonna need it anymore! LOL

  34. Life in Rehab says:

    Foam core board covered in fabric with criss crossed ribbons weighs OUNCES, costs next to nothing, and would have great function in that area as well. I made one, and I LOVE it.

  35. I would suggest cutting 1×2's into a rectangle the size you need to encompass the area to cover and screwing it in to the wall. You can leave gaps for cord management. You can also build up the frame as deep as you need so that the larger plugs have room.

    Then buy a stretched canvas the same size and hang it from the 1×2 frame. You can cover that in fabric, of perhaps you want a large family photo there. Or have a chalkboard, bulletin board, white board or just picture frame there. I did something similar to camouflage the electrical panel smack dab in the middle of my daughter's bedroom wall. I needed 1×2's to build it out from the wall far enough since the electrical panel wasn't exactly flush with the wall. Good luck!


  36. wenderful says:

    I've got nothin. But if you want help with your banner, we can work on it this weekend or you can send me the images and I can work on it for you. Just a thought.

  37. That is a weird space. I initially thought of making some type of cupboard/cabinet over the intercom, but I think that might look odd under a cabinet. Can you mount something to the underside of the upper cabinets to hold a charging station?

  38. what if you put a piece of wood for support right up under the cabinet – (this will also allow space for the outlets and intercom behind)and hung a picture on hinges attached to the piece of wood – the picture would cover all the stuff you don't like yet would be easily assessable by simply lifting up the picture – you could use the kinds of hinges that lock when lifted up so the picture would stay up/open when you needed it to.

  39. Jenglamgirl says:

    mounting it may be tricky but I think it would look great and it would hide everything, but allow you to still get to it too. 😉

  40. Jenglamgirl says:

    YOU WONDER why Builders make those EYES sores in certain spots! Arghh, right!

    get some wood and make a shadow box that sticks out and away from the stuff on the wall. The underneath of the shadow box is open. So it looke like a piece of wood sticking out (like a floating shelf kinda thing) but you can reach underneath it to use the switches and the intercome. You can still set stuff on top of the shadow box ledge, and even put like a vinyl saying on the front of the shadow box. Hope this makes sense. I have it invisioned in my head perfectly. GOOD LUCK, hugs, Jenn

  41. Kelli @ RTSM says:

    My first thought was a rolling curtain or blind of some kind. You could mount it to the cabinet above kind of close to the wall and pull it down when you wanted to cover up the clutter. I know those kinds of shades can be really cheap and ugly sometimes, but you could mod podge some decorative paper on it or paint a cute pattern on it.

  42. southerninspiration says:

    Jenn, what about glamming up a roller shade somehow that you would mount to the underside of the cabinet and you could just pull it down to hide things and roll it up to use them??? I don't know if this would work, but in my mind's eye, I can just see you coming up with something very creative using a roller shade…


  43. Thanks for posting this….I have the same EXACT dilemma! Looking forward to any suggestions you receive.