5 Smart Ways to Hide Unsightly Older Home Details


Older homes are loaded with charm. That, combined with often affordable prices, has brought them to the attention of a new generation of home buyers. However, behind all of that charm, you will often find some pretty unfortunate details. For example, a fuse box might be located right in the living room, or there are only window air conditioners to combat the summer heat.

Luckily, these do not have to keep you from having an attractive home. So, whether you purchased a fixer-upper during the last real estate boom or have been living in an older home for years, these five tips can help you hide outdated and unsightly features for an interior you can be proud of.

1. Incorporate Fixtures Into Built Ins

One way to hide details like a through-the-wall air conditioner or fuse panel is to use them as the starting point for a built-in bookshelf. A quick search online will yield plenty of ideas on how to turn ordinary shelves or IKEA-style bookcases into quasi-built-in furniture.

If your budget allows, now might also be an excellent time to consider scheduling an AC installation in Tampa. Modern units are much more efficient than older ones, so you might be able to recover some of the upfront costs over time. Additionally, it is much easier to build a screen around an outside unit than one that goes through the wall of each room.


2. Create Practical Shelves

If your home has freestanding radiators, then you know how difficult it can be to keep them out of sight. You can’t completely hide them since you want to allow enough airflow for them to be efficient. At the same time, another coat of paint just makes them look even more dated.

Consider using them as the basis for a practical shelf. Simply add some decorative wooden slats slightly above the top or hang a floating shelf above the unit. It will be unrecognizable once you add a few accessories.

3. Embrace The Home’s Retro Look

Many people who have purchased older homes succeed in hiding details by embracing a retro look that mirrors the structure’s original time period. A retro art panel strategically placed over a fuse box is much more attractive than a painted metal door. Pretty carved wood screens and glitzy gold foil covers can do wonders when it comes to hiding unsightly features.

4. Cover Unsightly Popcorn Ceilings

Ceilings have gone through their own style phases. Unfortunately, that includes popcorn texture. Sure, it hides flaws and helps absorb noises, but, well, it’s a popcorn ceiling! If your vintage home has this unfortunate feature — or another, similarly unsightly ceiling faux pas, rest assured there are solutions.

One of the most practical approaches is to use wooden planks or beadboard to cover the offending ceiling. This is not a project for the faint of heart — think hours holding wood overhead while someone attacks it — but it does produce an attractive, period-appropriate look for older homes.

5. Incorporate Support Poles Into Your Decorating

You probably think of metal support poles as a ting relegated to dark, musty basements. However, some older homes use them on the main floors. In other houses, the basement is essential to the finished square footage. Unfortunately, that means finding a way to hide floor-to-ceiling poles in plain sight.

One of the most straightforward approaches is to camouflage them with a pattern. It can trick the eye into seeing them as part of the background. However, if that doesn’t work with your decorating style, you might have better luck encasing them in wood. By using dimensional lumber, you can make them look like wooden posts that are much more attractive than painted metal.

Embrace your older home without sacrificing style by learning to mask its less attractive features. Using decorating finishes, creating built-ins around air conditioners and radiators, and adding creative art panels can turn those dreaded details into key parts of your decorating scheme.