Hey guys…Jacqueline here! Do you ever have those spaces in your home that you absolutely hate and can’t seem to work around? The mantle in our living room is one of those spaces. As you can see from the image above, our TV is hung above our marble fireplace (not by choice, but rather, it is the only option in this room). Two of the walls in this room have large windows and the other wall houses both a closet and bathroom door. I’m typically not into the idea of installing a TV above a fireplace – I think the TV is such an eyesore and would much rather style a mantle than hang a TV above it. However, I know sometimes (like in our case) it is unavoidable. Today I’m going to share some of the challenges I encountered with this space, the cords, and how I decided to work around them, making the most of a less thanfavorable design dilemma.
Every good project begins with terrible before photos… am I right? I apologize for the Christmas decor, but wanted to show you what our mantle looked like about six months after we moved in. That was my first attempt at hiding cords, storing ugly electronics and styling around it all (if you can even call it that…yuck). Ha!
Next, we have an image that was taken this summer right after I ripped it all apart – I was seriously SO tired of looking at the media tower! Also…why on earth, in the tech-savy time period we’re living in, is there not totally wireless technology? Am I the only one confused by this?
So what was the solution? First, I removed the old tubing that was hiding the cords. Next, I simplified. There were probably about ten cords coming from the TV and electronics- many of which were way longer than they needed to be. I unhooked each one and measured the lengths of each cord to see if there were any we could replace with shorter cords…and there were! A quick look up on Amazon and a Prime order later, I was on my way to cleaning up the clutter. I also purchased a new cord casing from Amazon. It came with an easy tear off strip and stuck right to the wall. Sarah actually did a tutorial for this earlier in the year- see that here. Basically, I took measurements, cut the piece to size, and painted it the same color as the wall.
I was able to eliminate the blue ray player and the cords that go with it, because let’s be honest…we never use it! Sure, maybe around the holidays to watch our favorite Christmas movies, but any other time of year, my husband and I are watching Netflix, Hulu or renting from our TV. We have an antenna attached to our TV that we use for local channels and we were able to slide that up behind the TV and hide it between the television and wall. I was also able to relocate one of our adapters to the basement and run a cord through the floor. That left us with our internet box and Firestick. Both of those items are neatly hidden behind the planter. When you’re sitting watching TV, you don’t even know they are there! We even had a family member ask where everything was hidden! Mission accomplished.
You might be wondering why we didn’t just drill a hole and hide the cords in the wall behind the TV. Believe me, if that was an option we would have done that a longgggg time ago! This room was actually an add-on to the original home and that wall is made of bricks with plaster on top of it. Not to mention, since the fireplace has two arched doorways on either side of it, it’s impossible to put a media center or larger pieces of furniture next to it to hide cords and electronics. I was stuck with two options…try a small shelf (as seen in the before image) which doesn’t really hide the cords or find something to put in front of the cord casing so you can’t see it at all! I opted for option two, and decided to use a snake plant that was already thriving in the living room. After figuring out all the cords, the only thing left to do was rearrange and style the mantle.
I styled the mantle with books, candles, and some art to hide the rest of the cord casing. One of my favorite styling tricks when it comes to books is turning them backwards on a shelf to show the pages versus the spine for a monochromatic look. After all, I just tamed the cord jungle and the last thing I want is visual clutter or chaos.
I debated including this photo because it still makes me squirm, but wanted to give you a real life representation of what we’re dealing with. This is what the cords look like now – still not perfect by any means but better than they were. Plus, I have to say, not being able to see this mess from the living area sure does help! It’s just such a tricky area to work around. If anyone has other suggestions for how to make this better…please do share!
So, there you have it! Although there are still things I would change about this space, I’m trying to make the best of it and am pretty happy with the results. Have any of you run into a similar dilemma or different design dilemma in a space you didn’t love in your home? I’d love to hear how you worked around it! For similar posts regarding cords, see how Sarah and Emmett hid them in their living room and laundry room.