Skip to content
home | our house | a problem spot

a problem spot

    I have a problem.

    It is not particularly big or of great importance, but it has bothered me for, oh, six years now.

    Here it is:

    What were our builders thinking putting all of these switches, thermostats, outlets on one wall with such random placement?

    From the front door, this is what you see going into the living room. Not really enough space to put a piece of furniture on the wall.

    And from the living room looking toward the dining/entry. The wall sits at the foot of the stairs.

    What in the world do you do with a wall like this?¬† I’d love any suggestions!

    And while we’re at it, please share any problem spots that you have in your own home. Maybe we can brainstorm together to find a simple solution.

    195 thoughts on “a problem spot”

    1. The thermostat and carbon monoxide detectors serve important functions in your home, whatever you do – do not cover them or they may fail you. Adding more clutter to a wall when your objective is to remove visual clutter seems counter-intuitive. You have a nice area above the thermostat and switch plate — and another one below the switch plate to the left of the CO detector. Use these spaces to hang something you find interesting like a nicely framed print or painting above the switch plate and perhaps a small bookcase or narrow table below it. Don’t clutter up the table or bookcase, just books and no more than a few decorative objects will keep this wall looking clean and sophisticated. This will draw attention to your art and away from the utility boxes.

    2. We have a similar wall just to the right of the…fireplace? What were they thinking? So I flanked the fireplace with Ikea Billy bookshelves whose backs I popped off. I can still access the doo-dads as needed, but the stuff on the shelves hides and camouflages the awkwardness.

    3. This too may have already been mentioned but why not do here the same concept as with the childrens books? The narrow photo shelves. This way you can display lots of pictures and still access the controls you need and use the outlets. You’ll remember that the thermostat is behind the picture of Grandma and the outlet behind Uncle Bob.

    4. Sorry, but I could not read all the comments, so my suggestions might be dupilicates. First, you can buy a (rectangular) outlet plug in carbon monoxide detector, making the two lower white boxes into one streamlined unit. How about a gallery wall – pictures, mirrors, open frames, and then actually put an open frame around the thermostat and light switch so it blends into the whole design. Looking forward to seeing what you choose.

    5. You could put a gallery wall there and those would blend right in

      My problem spot is the corner fireplace we have. I cannot for the life of me figure out how to arrange my furniture

    6. I think there are so many great ideas already here… I’m sure you will take one and make it ten times better! I would love to know where you got your curtains I can sort of see.. are they leopard print? Also, Is that a “barn door” style mirror that moves on a track? I would love to know how you did that. Thanks for all your inspiration and ideas.

    7. My first thought is expensive and impractical ;)….I am a sucker for the barn door craze right now so I thought of a large barn door that could slide over the opening of the dining room (which might look odd with the other opening in the entry). Obviously, the door would be opened most, if not all, of the time so it would cover up your problem area. Like I said, pricey and impractical;).
      My second thought is a mini “mud room” effect with some hooks/shelf and a very slender bench. I know you already have a functional area for this so this one could just be staged with cute bags on the hooks (thus covering thermostat) or scarves or other accessories. Good luck!
      My problem areas in my house are the architectural nooks that builders put in for I don’t know what reason. I have two of them in the entryway and I never know what to put in them!!!

    8. Hi
      i was thinking mirror wall stickers. I found some at hobby lobby that are circular, which would work around your annoying “decor” and would reflect light. I’m sure you could do something similar with whatever you find. Good luck!

    9. What about some sort of tapestry on a wooden dowel. It would cover, but not hang flesh with the wall, allowing access if needed.

    10. Didn’t read through comments but you can paint the light switch and outlet cover with your wall color to make that disappear and then a tall narrow bookcase would fit on the wall which you can decorate with objects and still leave access to the thermostat and carbon monoxide detector. Since you would have an outlet access you would have the opportunity to incorporate a small lamp on one of the shelves.

    11. A large mirror or piece of artwork set on the floor and leaning against the wall at a slight angle. Not sure how it would affect the detector or thermostat though.

    12. Ok, So I have 2 great ideas: 1: cover the entire wall and header with wood strips (I used a sheet 8×6 of thin plywood cut into 6″strips x 8ft long glued and nailed on and painted white) just like Tracery Interiors Southern LIving Idea home. Those switches etc will blend right in you will never even see them. Plus Everyone LOVES the wood on the walls! 2: Paint the wall in the giant Buffalo Check pattern tan and white Lovely and they will camoflage right in. quite possibly those things will be smack dab in the middle of a white square! perfect!

    13. In the background in the room next door you have a grid effect black and glass door. Copy this onto the wall – mirror 50% radomly then leave yourself with 50% free for some random art pieces childrens art, a wreath around a switch, an ornate vintage mini frame “within a frame” around the carbon monoxide detector – you cannot I assume cover them as you use them – covering a carbon monoxide detector is not an option/ Pick up all the colours in the matching area’s so it becomes work of art that you can have fun with change at whim. If the grid is done with a enough of a lipping small vases of flowers, sea shells collected on holidays etc Memory wall. Art Wall Fun Wall instead of Problem wall.

      Lisa xoxo

    14. We have a similar wall and so I hung a row of baskets (with the underside facing out) from top to bottom. Easy to move a switch around :)

    15. I was thinking maybe a tapestry that comes off the wall a little from a rod. It would cover the switches and since a tapestry could have any design, pattern, material, or style, it would be a good conversation piece to walk into from the front door and easily changeable with season.

    16. I recently saw a Pin for a project using an antique door with an inexpensive full length mirror attached to the front (liquid nails and half round trim?). It’s difficult to tell the scale of the spot, but a casually propped mirror might work if you don’t need to access the thermostat or outlets frequently (the switches might stick out just to the left side).

    17. How about a wall of photos, and to cover the switches, and thermostats place hinges on the back of a framed photo or canvas so you can still get to thermostats.

    18. Lol, I have the same problem, in the same spot, with the same views; from the front door to the entry way. You just forgot one extra view, coming down the stairs. ;)

    19. Since everything “essential” is so randomly anchored, I would make it an eclectic gallery wall! Lots of family photos and memory pieces to blend in with what you have to work with.

      My biggest pet peeve with our house is that all of our smoke alarms are hard wired,(which means it’s stuck there….) and the builder put one just a few feet away from the oven. Every time we open it, it goes off. I’m sure all our neighbors think I am a terrible cook.

    20. Yikes! I don’t have any bright ideas for you, but I do wonder if covering the thermostat and carbon monoxide detector would affect their accuracy…

      By the way, another blogger friend had an interesting carbon monoxide detector adventure earlier this week. It seems that the detector expired (who knew!) and somehow the local fire department was notified. They showed up just in time for breakfast — with my friend in jammies and all! Just a tip for those of you who might have a carbon monoxide detector wired into your home security system…

    21. I didn’t read all of the other comments, so I don’t know if this has been suggested, but I have a similar thermostat in the center of my living room wall. I put an old barn window (no glass) that I had painted with a wreath on it over the thermostat. The thermostat fits nicely in one bottom pane of the window, which is just where it ended up based on where I wanted the window, and the wreath disguises it, but we can still easily get to it. Good luck!

    22. I haven’t read all of the comments, so I’m sure my idea has been mentioned several times already. I think I’d curtain the entire area with a curtain rod spanning the entire wall, from the left side by the dining room opening to the right corner. I’d casually open the curtain on the left side, maybe a swag or maybe just pull it open to the side, and leave the right side “closed” so that it covers the apparatus on the wall. It would be asymmetrical, but I like that look. I’m sure you could do asymmetrical right!

    23. I read quickly through the comments….there are a lot of great ideas! The only other thought I had was that you could do wainscoting up half the wall–maybe just above the light switch (or if that’s too high you could do it right underneath and then paint that switch cover to match the wall). If the wainscoting was painted white the outlets and switches would blend in. That still leave the thermostat….but maybe you could disguise it with a gallery like many other suggested.

    24. Def. a wall of framed photos & art!!! I picture all different sizes & styles of frames in one color….then you won’t even notice the “extra”!
      Good Luck! Whatever you choose I am sure it will look great!

    25. I haven’t read all the comments so not sure if I am repeating a suggestion. My first thought was to do a gallery wall to distract the eye. You could even put interesting empty frames around the thermostat and so on. Maybe with a little shaker style bench at the bottom? I remember seeing something similar in a Pottery Barn catalog awhile ago and it looked beautiful.

    26. ~ Hi, Emily~ Here’s what I would do with that wall: Match paint to the problem spots on the wall and paint small squares around each one. Get frames and paint them the same color in a high gloss, then find different shapes and sizes of mirrors and paint them in the high gloss and fill the wall, floor to ceiling. Maybe cover the light switch with a neutral pattern fabric or wallpaper with a frame around it too. The mirrors would create so much interest, no one would even notice that you were trying to hide something. Looks like you’ve got lots of great ideas to start your creativity flowing, can’t wait to see what you do. Good Luck!!

    27. I haven’t read all of the responses, so maybe this has been suggested already……….how about hanging up a tapestry of some sort. Perhaps a hand-me-down quilt/blanket/afghan?

    28. I would get a shelf with a rod underneath it. I would hang it right above your thermostat. Than I would find some fabric that goes with your decor and fold it over the rod to hid it. I wouldn’t hid your light switches, I would paint it the same color as your wall…if it turns out ugly you can buy another one for 20 cents at lowes, I’d also paint the outlet, as well as your carbon reader. I hang your new painting (on instagram ;D) above the shelf, and add finishing touches.

    29. I think black leaning shelves would be a good option, you could still access your thermostat and carbon monoxide detector. They are available from Crate and Barrel in many sizes and configurations, Target, Amazon and many others also have many options. I have two pair that I was able to find black leather boxes that fit perfectly on the bottom shelf where I keep magazines etc. out of sight and family pictures (black and white) in assorted silver frames on the other shelves. Look forward to seeing your solution!

    30. I think it might annoy you later to cover all this up. I’d MOVE the carbon monoxide detector. It’s battery operated and can go some place else. Then, I’d cover the 2 outlets with wallpaper. You can find designs for this all over the web. You cut out the design from some cute (say, light blue/turquoise paisley) wallpaper, and tape it around the outlet covers. Then screw them back in. Don’t forget to turn off the electricity first :)
      *highlight them!*

    31. I would prime and paint the light switch cover, outlet, and if possible the detector the same color of your wall. This will at least blend three out of the four into the wall. This would not take too much time and you probably still have paint. You could hang maybe a group of three big pictures above thermostat that are the same size to draw your eye up away from what is happening below. I think those big pictures will make the thermostat look like its in a good place and not just floating on the wall. :)

    32. Hi Emily!
      I was wondering…if the thermostat is covered will it function properly if covered? I guess an HVAC person should weigh in. And…is it wise to cover up to CO detector? What does your fireman say?
      If possible….I’d create a huge canvas picture and hang it there on some sort of easily movable something…I’d just worry about how to keep it square on the wall.

      My question….has your dining room always had that huge sliding window divider? That is amazing. I’d love to see you post about it, if you haven’t already. I’m guessing it works like the barn door idea?

    33. we have a VERY well placed AC vent right by the back door–we have panels hanging on either side of the windows and the one above the vent is puffed up like a balloon half the time! such a nice view! any ideas??

    34. Love the framing idea – wood or just painted on the wall. My August giveaway is for a great family rules subway art print – stop over and enter.

      Can’t wait to see what you decide – it’s sure to be great!

    35. Maybe cover the 3 switches on the right with a large (nearly floor to ceiling) piece of graphic art, like a black/white subway lettering sign or favorite family quote, painted on a gallery frame deep enough to fit over the switches. If the thermostat and detector need to be exposed, cut appropriate holes in the canvas (and tape back the edges to the underside), allowing the switches to look like graphics in the painting.

    36. Gallery Wall! I agree with amall narrow bench so you don’t have two consoles in adjacent spaces. Leaning mirror would be my next go to solution.

    37. I think this ” you are my sunshine” picture is a good idea. Making something similar in your own style not necessarily the same thing. Only make a hinge so it opens and closes like a door or a hinge like the barn door. Keeping the light switch on the outside so maybe a 3′ or 4′ by 6 ‘ sign or mirror.


    38. How about jumping on eBay and finding an antique entry way piece. You know the one that has a hat rack, mirror and umbrella holder. They are usually skinny pieces so would fit along the wall nicely. Just an idea. I love the twisted barley ones. Have a great day!

    39. I haven’t read all the other post so someone may have already suggested this. You could get a large picture and be sure it’s deep enough to go over your thermostat. Hinge it on one side so you can swing it open and change the temp, etc without having to take the frame down.And I guess you’d just have to live with the others since you say there isn’t room for a piece of furniture to cover the two items close to the baseboard.

    40. I haven’t read all of the comments, so I may be repeating an idea, but I would use it as a “museum” wall to display both your children’s and your gorgeous artwork. I’d grab a ton of random frames (Goodwill and garage sales, eBay), paint them all the same color, and hang your favorite drawings, book pages, printables, etc. in them. Then cover your light switch in coordinating paper (like you’ve done before) and put a frame around it! It needs to be accessible and functional, so why not include it in your “art?” You could do the same with the CM detector, outlet and thermostat. Plus, you can change out the artwork yearly, monthly, seasonally…

    41. Hi Emily…so funny that you posted about this problem. As so many have commented on prior, our house is full of similar problems, alarms, thermostats, switches etc at awful places! If I ever build a house, oh my am I going to be so annoying to the builder! I will check and recheck the placement of everything!

    42. It looks like an area where you wouldn’t really want to put any furniture, and if you covered it up with a big picture or piece of fabric then you wouldn’t be able to access the switches that easily. For these reasons I’d paint a wall friez on the area and incorporate the switches into the frieze. There are also some companies which produce funky covers for light switches so you could incorporate that into the frieze. you could do something quite traditional and paint a hall table around the lower two switches, and paint some wicker baskets below the table and around the switches. Then frame the upper switches- one frame could be “resting” on the hall table, and add some other real art in frames around it.
      Another idea is to paint a frieze of flowers or some such thing, incorporating the switches into the frieze, and you could even paint the switches so they blend in. The switches could be the centres of the flowers, so you’d paint a circle around them and then paint them in the same yellow, then paint the petals out from there.

    43. I have the same problem in an upstairs hallway and I bought a few of the frames from Michael’s with no glass or backing, made to create your own frame, and ‘framed’ my thermostat, carbon detector, etc, then built a gallery wall around it with family photos, old antique keys, etc., all painted white. The control panels just fade right into the gallery!

    44. I think a bench to conceal the two below; above the thermostat hang a matching shelf with hooks (Pottery Barn has this combo). If your family’s like mine, the thermostat gets used often, so you could hang a pretty scarf or hat from the hook above the thermostat so it can easily be reached. Then all that would show is the light switch on the left, which is probably also going to be used and won’t look bad on its own.

    45. My suggestion is a large (VERY large) fabric covered frame (like a thick artist’s canvas, but with pretty fabric or even wallpaper) on a hidden hinge that you can open to adjust the thermostat. However, I like the frame idea mentioned above, too.

    46. How about adding architectural interest with a sliding barn door? That way you can get to the switches if you need too, add texture and interest and can actually shut off the dining area if you want.

    47. I like things a bit more simple in my home. I had the same problem with those eyesores in my house. Pinterest had the best ideas to cover with canvas wall art. I picked up a couple of stretched canvases from Michaels and made my own art. You can even hinge the piece so it opens to reveal the gadgets. It’s fun, functional, and best of all, easy on the eyes.

    48. Frame them…seriously. Get a bunch of like frame from the dollar store, paint them all the same color..frame the switches, outlets, etc. Then surround them with all kinds of framed pictures, monograms, kids art, things that compliment each other. I did it to mine, people love my framed thermostat. It all blends in, you dont even notice.

    49. katherine Landreneau

      I haven’t read all the comments but my first thought is a lovely drape that covers the entire wall. Maybe? Hung on a decorative rod?
      I have too many problem spots to share! Lol

    50. I have a wall with a thermostat and it bugged me. I saw an idea on pinterest to frame it with a nice picture frame and surround it with a photo montage. I chose several different black frames and the thermostat seems to disappear within the collage that surrounds it.. I figure if it has to be there, then why not elevate its status!

    51. You could always hang a painting over the thermostat. I think taking that one out of the visual “mix” would help a lot. It seems to be the outlier, whereas the carbon monoxide detector and outlet are below eye level so they’d probably fade away with something above to distract from them. And covering the light switches just wouldn’t make sense, but if they’re hung in line with the frame/canvas/whatever they’ll fade away as well. OR you could do a crazy fun gallery wall and then all those switches would disappear among the art!

      1. Iagree with jess. that’s exactly what I was going to say. go for and eclectic mix gallery wall- console or no console. ;-) you have good instincts go with your gut.

    52. I would paint frames to ‘frame’ the various outlets…..and then add art work or family photo’s to make this a gallery wall. I would also add some other dimensional items (framed) scattered between the pictures. Just my thoughts… I will read what everyone else had to say. Good luck, and I’m looking forward to seeing the end result of your dilemma.

    53. You could put some sort of small storage unit there! Make it look decorative but efficient.
      You could also turn it into a faux shelving unit. Put a sturdy board on the left (if your looking directly at the wall) edge of the wall, secure the right side & put shelves in. You could strategicly design & decorate the shelves to hide (but still access) the switches, and you would have extra storage, and/or a place to decorate however you wish.
      It would be stylish & effective.

    54. Could you hang a pretty decorative patterned curtain panel? Then once the rod is up you could have some fun switching out the fabrics every once in a while.

    55. You had a post on covering your switchplates, so you could paint your switchplates to match the walls. That would eliminate at least 2 “white” rectangles. The CO2 sensor needs to be exposed for safety. As for the thermastate. I would find an ornate frame and put a frame around it. Embrace it as an design eliminate. At least it would draw the eye up and away from the CO2 sensor

      1. If possible, you could relocate your carbon monoxide detector to a more inconspicuous location. Then cover your plates as you did in the living room. That would at least buy you time to think about the prospect of adding something else to hide/cover the switches entirely. You might find that blending the plates in is easier on the eyes and that’s all you’ll have to do.

    56. I have not read through all the comments so I am not sure if I am repeating…I am sure I am since it not that genius of an idea..but how about a large leaning mirror? Home goods has several and Ikea also has one that I know of. It might be nice to have there to check yourself out before answering the door and coming down the stairs. Good luck. I have a wall just like that and it’s bare. Ugh!

    57. Well, that’s just crazy. I have two suggestions.

      1. Relocate the switch and the thermostat closer to the edge of the wall and have them placed over each other…the larger one on the bottom. Then just patch the sheetrock with a patch kit from Lowes/Home Depot. Relocating isn’t really that big of a deal though you may want to have a handyman do it for you. Then you will have more flexibility to “do something” with the space.

      2. Hang display shelves on the upper part of the wall with the thermostat and light switch placed strategically between the shelfs. Add a few items to the shelves so the thermostat and switch blend in. I think the detector and plug might be okay as is wouldn’t be so blatant if the eye was drawn to the display shelves.

      I’m not a big fan of covering them as you need access and there are sensors involved that need open air.

    58. We have the same thing in our dining area of our kitchen. A HUGE intercom system thing. Right in the middle of the wall. I tried to ignore it and hung a shelf about it but that wasn’t right. I recently moved a chest to the lower part of the wall and did a gallery wall type effect. I’ve hung plates, pictures, etc. around it. I am probably a little more eclectic than you so it has a lot of fun colors. It is still obviously there, but there is no way around it. I’m not interested in paying to have it moved since this isn’t our “forever’ home. My gallery is sort of a rectangle that goes up on one side and has “stuff” hung that leads into plate above the door next to it. I have no idea how to explain it! I just thought the more quirky the better since the intercom is in a quirky spot!

    59. I think what I would do (have not read previous comments) is a tallish (but shallow) bookcase with an open back that is tall enough to go over the top of the thermostat, but you can access it from the front of the shelving. You can fill it up with whatever and make it look nice, would fill up the wall, and then put a painting or whatever on the wall above.

    60. I’d suggest a demi lune table, or even a shallow floating shelf. That will allow you to place a small lamp or plant and some wall art to help distract the eye from the utilities. As to builders–they don’t think about things like this.

    61. My parents have the same problem wall in their house. Our solution was to hang an iron planter frame over the switch and thermostat. So, they are disguised by plants, but you air can still circulate and you can reach through to the switches.

      I found the same planter frame here: (Note: I’m not sure why they call this a 1940s antique, because I’m sure we found ours for cheap at Home Goods or a similar place).

    62. Perhaps you could do an open-backed, narrow bookshelf/display case. Slightly more whimsical idea: you could do those shelves that mount to the wall, but don’t have under-structure (just look like molding), then mount curtains above/around them. The sides would need to be pulled around and attached to the wall, but it would be a good narrow space solution… though might look a little overdone with the curtain idea, since you already used it for your front entry.

    63. what about a narrow console table? i think you have something similar on your bookpage wall close by, but on a console table with some pretty baskets below would cover the lower outlets & a leaning mirror & artwork above might cover/distract from the upper ones!

    64. hmm, that is tricky. Why do so many builders do things like that? I see it all the time in client’s homes. Have you ever thought about a tall, leaning mirror? West Elm has some great, affordable ones right now. Or you could always do a thin console table or bench.. it would just need to be really narrow. then you could hang art above to distract from the switches

    65. I get a catalog in the mail from a company called Country Door. They have a website at They have a neat cover for your central heat and air control housed in a little box with a hinged lid and it goes onto the wall to cover the unsightly thing. However… your home decor may not fit that type of design, since their website/catalog caters more toward the country and primative country decor. So….. I agree with everyone else…use a console table to cover the outlet and carbon monoxide detector and let the others just go seen. You have to be able to have access to the central heat and air control and the light switch. Hiding them would be aggravating when you need to use them!

    66. I think a basket on the floor might nicely cover the carbon monoxide an outlet. The thermostat is an easy cover. Buy a canvas picture/portrait that you like and place two hinges on the inside left frame. Attach the hinge to the wall. Then the canvas picture on the wall looks nice and you just have to swing it open to adjust the temp. I saw this in Pinterest.

    67. I have seen artwork on pinterest, that they use to cover up thermostats and whatnot. They use a canvas, so it has space for the thermostat to fit neatly behind it and then put them on hinges do they can open and close it. It could atleast cover up the thermostat and give your eye something to distract it from the light switch and plug.

    68. 1. Cover your light switch and electrical outlet with scrapbook paper or fabric that will coordinate or match your wall color. I think you’ve even blogged about this!

      2. Decorate a canvas (Hobby Lobby has 2 16×20 for sale for $8) and put it over thermostat. We just have ours on a nail, but I’ll soon be covering our alarm pad and use hinges.

      3. A small shelf with some pretties would also look nice there, but I’m not sure how the sensor would do with that.

    69. I think like someone mentioned see if you can move any of those objects its probably the best idea. My second thought is to paint them the color of the wall like someone also said. I think like you said a table is too big to fit there unless itis super thin. You already have that other table close by and it might be too much stuff in a small space. If you write on the wall I think it will look super busy in that space. If you put frames I think it will draw attention to the objects. When in doubt wait.

    70. I had a friend who had a similar problem. To start we painted all the switch and outlet covers the same color as the wall. It helped disguise them a bit then we added some art work to the wall to draw your eye away from all the “stuff” on the wall. Hope that helps.

    71. I have this exact wall (also by my entry at the bottom of my stairs) –except instead of the co2 detector at the bottom, I have a giant ugly doorbell deal at the top. Every time I walk by that wall (about 100 times a day), I growl at whoever put all those things there!

      I’m thinking of getting a family photo on canvas, and hanging it from one of those big picture hangers from Pottery Barn ( so that I can hang the canvas over the thermostat (but still out from the wall a bit, so the air can flow by the thermostat for accurate readings).

      I’ve also thought about a very shallow shelf/photo ledge, so I could rest a frame over the thermostat…

      I’m actually a little jealous of the nook you have there (my problem spot is in the hallway, so I can’t have anything that sticks out more than a few inches). Can’t wait to see what you figure out!

    72. My hubby is an electrician and moves outlets and such around all the time because they are eyesores! That would be what I would suggest – then you don’t have awkward placement of decorations just for the sake of covering up a nuisance! :)

    73. To disguise the items without moving them – Install gallery ledges on the wall from above to below the trouble areas. Then you could put books, artwork, small decorative items around them to make them not stand out so much from the wall.

    74. A small table that is only as deep as the indent on the wall will help to cover the lower wall. You can even sit a small statue under the table and other items. Add some stacked books and other tiems to the table top. For the wall add some pictures all over the wall in one color of frame, frame the thermostat and change the light plate out for something decorative.

    75. I haven’t lived in a home that DIDN’T have an awkward spot somewhere in it. More women should become contractors so that they can be on the spot when these kinds of things arise. ha
      I vote for a gallery wall. :) Put a cute frame around the thermostat and leave the other two objects alone since they are on the ‘fringe’ of the space. (But I really can’t wait to see what YOU will do with it!)
      Good luck!

    76. I do not have time to read all the comments…but if you want a low cost solution, lover than getting an electrician in, then I would hang a large black & white family photo. Simple, but ppl will look at the beautiful family photo and not notice all the other stuff. Whatever you hang will become the focal point if it is a real eye catcher!

      (AND, instead of blaiming the builder, blame the electrician.)

    77. One more thing… frame risers. Pottery Barn used to have them and maybe still does. I have thought of using them to create a layered look with frames and hanging one in front of the thermostat.

      I’m sure my husband would have something to say about having to unhook a frame everytime he wanted to change the temp, but I suppose I could smile nicely and ask him to use his electrician skills to move the darn thing. :)

    78. I think a curtain could work, and it could be used functionally to “close” the dining room if you ever wanted to do so. Long curtain road across the top of the problem wall and across the lip in front of the dining room (wall to wall). Thinking a thick, textured heavy curtain that typically stays pulled back and spread only across the problem wall but that can be pulled all the way across to block the dining room. A bold contrast color adds interest, and b/c it can be utilized, it doesn’t look like you are just hiding something. Happy hiding

    79. I would try putting up a very slim open-back bookcase and place books, baskets or photos in certain areas to disguise the switches. By doing this, you could still access the switches by reaching through to get to them. Not the best solution, but just an idea. Also, I would move the carbon monoxide detector somewhere else because it should not be blocked by anything.

    80. Shallow whole-wall shelving! Customize the size of the shelves to accommodate the random switches, still leaving them accessible, but camouflaged.

    81. Oh my word. We have a wall like that too. The worst part about it is that my builder husband made it that way. :) I keep having visions of using some moulding to trim out a nice tall rectangle and painting magnetic chalkboard paint inside, then using it for notes, lists and maybe hanging a few small frames in a grouping near the light switch and thermostat in an attempt to blend them in.

      I think I’ll use some painters tape and craft paper squares and test it all out before I get started.

      Looking forward to seeing what you do!

    82. Take the same paint color as the wall and paint over the items you want to be hidden (carbon monoxide detector and possibly the thermostat and outlet) then place a skinny table in that area. That will quickly make the detector and outlet “disappear.” As for the pesky thermostat put a LARGE painting or mirror and instead of hanging it on the wall, rest it on table. This way you have easy access to the thermostat yet its still hidden.

    83. What about picture rails? You could lean the pictures up against the walls in front of the outlets and the rails don’t stick out too much so they shouldn’t interfere with the traffic that I’m sure that area gets a lot of. It would be a fun place to display the kids artwork as well as seasonal printables and they would be easy to change out (no holes!).

    84. Alas, a dilemma I see all too frequently as a Realtor. You *probably* don’t want to make the thermostat and light switch part of your wall decor (sorry, wouldn’t try to make them part of a wall gallery), but you also NEED them somewhere! I agree a small demilune table to the RIGHT of the light switch, to obscure the outlet & CO2 detector. Then try open shelving above with something you can place in front of the thermostat on the shelf beneath it (could be just leaning a framed print or placing a small fern). Problem solved. Can’t wait to see what you do there!

    85. Reading all these ideas is so fun! I have a ‘spot’ like this too! In the entry, too narrow to put a table without making it too crowded. I never considered covering the thermostat, since the thermometer inside controls my heat and air. I took one panel area of an old three paneled door, left the hinge on it, painted and distressed it, (olive green, black and gold, my favs!)and put a verse decal that I had recieved from a womens retreat on it (I go to prepare a place for you. John 14:2) along with the words “There is no place like Home”. A nice greeting to our guests, and great reminder to me too. takes the eye away from the wierd things the builder (oops, that would be my husband) placed together on the wall that is the entry to our home! Make sure and show us what you do!


      I found this tutorial on Pinterest (of course) and I think it’s brilliant for problem walls. You may not be able to tell just from the “pin” picture, but the thermostat has actually been framed so that it blends into the gallery. Maybe if you used a long frame that would reach the carbon monoxide detector you could create a stylish gallery wall that would liven up the space while covering all of your problematic devices :)

    87. Have you seen the paintings and artwork that is on a hinge so that you can hang right over the thermostat and other unsightly plugs? This way you can hang anything wherever you want and just open the art whenever you need to get to it!! I’ve seen it on pinterest. Good luck!!!

    88. That space is pretty narrow, but you might be able to fit a leaning book shelf like this Sloane from C & B in (they’re only 18″ deep). Because they’re totally open behind, you’ll still get airflow around your important smoke/co stuff, but you can also hide them a bit by decorating the shelves. We the wine rack version in our dining room. The shelf hit at the right spot to leave our switches perfectly exposed and easy to get to. Customer service should be able to tell you what the heights of the shelves are! They have good service there…and no…they didn’t pay me to say that! =)

    89. Hire a contractor to move your thermostat above the switches. Even if you had to have a dummy plate where the low-voltage splice is, you could easily hang artwork over it.

    90. This will either work (even with minimal success) or look really strange, but my first thought was to do a picture frame wall (think Young House Love) that could maybe disguise the odd placement of objects. True, it’s weird to think of a picture wall incorporating a thermostat, light switches, an outlet and a carbon monoxide detector–i.e. where the idea might not work at all–but the extra distraction of framed pictures/prints/cherished notes or other meaningful items *might* hide the other things….even if only temporarily.

      As a side note: could the detector be easily moved somewhere else to have one less thing to deal with? Unless it is wired into a system with other detectors that might be an additional option…

    91. You’re right, the placement is random, and they’re not the prettiest, but people expect to see them in homes. Plus, your home is so beautifully decorated, I’m sure people’s eyes quickly move to more interesting things.

      However, the easiest fix might be to paint the outlet and light switch the same color as the wall. And could you move the detector?

      My big eye sore is the wall air conditioning unit in our family room addition. At one point, I draped a pretty piece of fabric over it, but that got old. Since we don’t use it, removing it would be the best solution, but would require the most work and money. Oh, well. There are more pressing matters in life.

    92. A small, but narrow seated, wood bench running the length would be perect. You can add height to balance it out with a tall lamp, or even a small chandlier hangining in the corner… ohh! and some great pillows to soften up the wood.

    93. I think I’d stick a skinny black piece of furniture there ( a solid one since you’ve got the glass metal piece around the corner) and try to prop and layer pictures/artwork and accessories to distract from that other stuff. Might check out HomeGoods, if you have them up there or TJMaxx.

    94. I like the console table with maybe a picture wall above. I always love seeing a family picture wall and I know yours would be done in a very tasteful way.

    95. I have a wall like that in my house and I made it my gallery/frame wall. I started by “framing” the thermostat and other things that couldn’t be moved (empty frame with no glass) and then added around those. It was the best, and easiest way to deal with the situation ;)

    96. How about some shallow, floating shelves? To soften the mass, you could stagger the lengths of the shelves. Then put pretty objects, a stack of small books, etc. in front of the “offensive” stuff on the wall, while still leaving room for the necessary air circulation around them.

    97. How about leaning a large framed mirror against the wall.
      You could easily get to the switches when needed, but hide them as well.

    98. I would do a picture frame wall of random frames and nick nacks on the wall. Like pottery barn. Clocks would be really cool too.

    99. We have a similar eyesore visible from the front door. I framed the thermostat with an overly ornate gold picture frame, and I’m amazed at how long it takes for most people to realize it’s a thermostat!
      I think a gallery wall is just what your space needs! Use an eclectic mix of frames and artwork and all the “problems” will blend right in!

    100. My only thought is a gallery wall made of primarily OPEN frames (no glass or image in it). You could put an open frame around each of those objects (example here – then mix in more open frames with a couple of framed prints or objects. Maybe even a small shadow box or two? Just to add some depth? You could do all white OR perhaps a mix of silver and gold!

      I’m sure whatever you decide to do will be lovely – can’t wait to see it!

    101. I think a darker narrow sofa table with a shelf below would look wonderful. and maybe some sort of “floral/stick/grass” arrangement that kinda covers the thermostat, but not really. I know that if I had to open something every time I need to adjust the temp, I would get really irritated, and as someone else said, it really needs to read the air temp if it is going to work properly.

      Or even a lamp (more of a decorative piece than functional) with a larger flat rectangle shade would “cover” the thermostat.

      I am sure whatever you do will turn out fabulous.

    102. The first super simple thing I’ve done on a dark colored wall, is use paintable switch/outlet covers, and paint them to match the wall color. They disappear completely. Is your CO detector hardwired?–if not, you could easily move it to another wall. If your were to add your own lovely graphic/typography work of art to the wall, it would not only camoflage the ‘eyesores’, but would make your very visible wall into a thing of beauty!

    103. One thought: my husband installed our carbon monoxide monitor in the basement because (apparently) it’s a heavy gas and would be easily caught in the basement. SO … if that was something you could do, then you’d get back all that space above it (since you’re currently not using that other outlet)!

      AND I’ve seen people create a small art installation/cover for the thermostat and incorporated that piece into the rest of the wall art.

      Whew … ! Can’t wait to see what you end up doing!

    104. Hi Emily!,
      I love Melissa’s suggestion of hiring an electrician to work some magic in combining all those gadgets into one compact space. Maybe your light switch and thermostat could be placed together (thermostat on top of switch) closer to the edge of your wall. It looks like the switch is so far over to the right, which looks odd. As far as the outlet goes, do you even use or need it there? Can the carbon monoxide detector go somewhere else that isn’t a main wall? I would love to see some texture on that wall, like some wide, white planks. Planking the wall would also solve the problem of having to have drywall repair done after moving so many of the gadgets. And, you could just cover up the outlet and forget it was even there! Can’t wait to see how you solve that problem spot! We all have them……

    105. I do like the idea of a big stencil and having the boxes fade into it a bit. i meant something you’d have to stand there and read by decorative painting…

    106. I would do a very large mirror that can stand up against the wall (you can anchor the top corners if worried about safety). The slant against the wall would probably allow you room to reach your hand in and still use the light switch; yet all the extra switches/monitors would no longer be visible. I’m not sure if it would interfere with the carbon monoxide detection, but worth checking out! :) If you wanted better access to the thermostat as well, you could try doing some sort of mount from the ceiling so that the mirror was hanging from it and you could easily sway it fwd/side to get to what’s behind it? Anyways, we have one in our entry hall and I LOVE it! Opens up the room so much, too.

    107. I know you write that the spot is too small for anything to be there, but it does not look to be so by the pics so…I’d put a rectangular table there with a small lamp and a big vase full of flowers and above that I’d hang some of your fantastic print stuff. I think decorative painting is not quite right for this space, but again, I’m not seeing in there either.

    108. The only item really preventing you from putting a piece of furniture there is the carbon monoxide detector. If it is hard-wired, it might be harder to move. But if it’s battery operated, move it somewhere else nearby. Then you could more easily put a narrow piece of furniture there.

    109. You could add canvas artwork (that is hollow on the back) to the walls covering the thermostat, etc. Put them on hinges, so you can open them from the side, much like cabinet doors or a medicine cabinet, in order to access the switches. Plus, at the Hotel Zaza in Houston, I remember that they hung a series of three prints, almost to the floor in one of their rooms. It looked amazing – so that would solve covering the bottom two!

      1. This is exactly what I have done with a problem wall in my home. I was going through Pinterest one day and saw the idea and thought it was so great. I would recommed a tall, skinny art piece that just covers the termostat, CO dectector, and outlet. Since this is probably a light switch you use often it is not necessary to cover it up.

    110. Hmmm… maybe a few ideas would work together to balance all those random things.

      I like the idea of a gallery wall on the top half of the wall. Maybe upgrade the switch plate to something like brushed nickel and put an empty frame around it? Same with the thermostat. I love the idea of placing a hinged picture over it, but that might impede it’s functionality.

      For the bottom half of the wall, I think a narrow table would detract from the carbon monoxide detector and the outlet. If you can’t find something narrow enough, what about creating a “table” out of some brackets and a shelf? Or maybe instead of brackets, just two legs in the front, but really it’s built more like a shelf and the two legs act like brackets. Does that make sense? Or perhaps a backless bookcase and leave the space by those two objects empty so that they can get air flow?

      Can’t wait to see what you come up with, I’m sure it will be amazing. :)

    111. We have the same problem… our thermostat, doorbell, alarm keypad and outlet and the big air intake vent all on one slanted stair wall that is in our entry. I have changed stuff around, but I have never been really happy with the way it looks. Right now, I have a table with a mirror and a collection of pretty photos and frames. I still see those things. I wonder if it is because I live here…. maybe they aren’t as noticeable to others as they are to us?

    112. I have 2 thoughts: possibly a good wall for painting something on to like a tree with birds or a cool design or use some fun 3d objects that lift it off the wall so you can mount away from the wall so that they are strategiclly camouflaged. Keep me posted because I have this same problem in my house so I feel like I am losing wall space. No bueno.

    113. Why not put a narrow console table there? Try You can Google around using words like skinny, minimalist, thin, narrow and lots of console tables will pop up that are less than 12″ deep…many just 8 or 10″ deep. That would give you a focal point on the wall and an anchor for a grouping of photos, a large painting or something more sculpural.

    114. My brother is an electrician and we had a similar situation to this and he fixed it by compiling all of the switches, plugs…etc. TOGETHER in one spot. If it bugs you enough fix it by calling your local electrician and paying the money to solve the problem. It will be well worth the money down the road!

      1. Melissa’s option is the best!!! Your CO2 is too low on the wall, CO2 needs to be up higher anyway so you need to move it for it to work properly – anyway, I’d corral all of them into one area in and then do a gallery wall above a small table, DON’T cover the thermostat unless you create something with vents or else you’ll wonder why your house is always too hot/cold. BUT I think the best solution is always to lead the eye away from the problem (kind of like using clothing do accentuate our positives and draw the eye away from our problem areas) so honestly if you’re going to do anything DON’T do empty frames or a wall vinyl or anything like that – it will just accentuate the problem. DO use a big mirror and perhaps several smaller accent pictures over a table to draw the eye away from the issue.

    115. My parents had a similar wall at their house. My very handy dad dug into the wall halfway down and made a darling built in shelf between the studs. Painted white and adorned with cute objects, you don’t notice the thermostat etc. anymore.

    116. I saw a cute thing on Pinterest where someone painted a small accent wall like that in a bold chevron print. That’d be a fun way to distract from all of the outlets/switches. :)

    117. How about something similar to those subways signs (long and narrow) and canvas, so there is enough room behind the canvas and the devices attached to the wall. Or a long canvas art piece. Something that is not flushed to the wall.

    118. The first thing I thought of was a long, recangular (or oval) mirror or picture to hang over the thermostat, possibly a gallery, like others mentioned.. Maybe a sofa/console table there, but you already have something similar across the way. So then I thought using a tall decorative vase to place on the floor near the corner and put a pretty artifical branch-like arrangement in it. I think that would take the attention off the CM detector and outlet. Also maybe a neat basket that you could roll up and stick a couple of throws in.
      When you decide, I hope you will post after photos! :)

    119. I had a wall like that and I did a decal verse…stencil thing. BUT I got sick of it and am now going to put scrabble pieces up that i ordered from Etsy. It has our four names, and blessed. I thought of putting a tapestry on that wall, but I can’t cover the thermostat! My mom has a wall with switches and an old intercom system on it. Instead of dealing with pulling it out of the wall and fixing the hole she hung the most beautiful tapestry! Covered it right up!

    120. I see a collection of ornate empty frames around those outlets, then a bunch more around the wall to turn it into a collage. Maybe some of the other frames can have something in them as well. I cool feather, a special spoon, etc. The frames could be the same color (hello white!) or a collection of colors.

    121. So, I have a similar problem spot. It’s in my kitchen and the wall is actually curved. You can’t hang anything on it without it sticking out (the other side of the wall/curve is the laundry room and I’ve had to hang individual hooks in there b/c you can’t hang a shelf).

      I’m thinking the only thing I could put there would be a vinyl graphic or something…but what kind of graphic would I put in a kitchen????? Aye

      You could always make a gallery wall there with tons of frames and actually frame the switches. ha!

    122. What about baskets? I think I saw at centsational girl or maybe it was funky junk interiors where she used lots of shallow varied random baskets in a grouping to remedy the problem. I’ve also seen this in the Pottery Barn catalog a number of times and I think it is quite pretty.

    123. We have a room that we call our “panic room”. It’s in the basement and it has power outlets halfway up the wall spaced about 5 feet apart around the whole room and it has a triple sink. The crazier thing is that every other room has a drastic shortage of outlets!

    124. Two words: GALLERY WALL

      Just put up a random assortment of all things special and meaningful to you and your family. Here is an example of mine.

      I put up a thrift store seaside oil painting, my beloved papa’s old pocket watch, an “&” letter from hobby lobby, white plates, silhouettes from my twin boys and a book page wreath that should look very familiar to you (I used your tutorial)!!! It was right above my desk and it made me smile every time I sat down to work.

      My motto is, if you can’t beat it, decorate around it. I did this in my own home with an arrangement of botanical prints. The builder put our thermostat directly in the center of the wall, so I just put up 8 prints around it. You can still see the thermostat, but I think it is less obvious because the botanicals (scored cheap on ebay and put in $10 diploma frames from Michael’s) are much more interesting to look at.

      Whatever you decide to do, it will look beautiful!

    125. I would hide them with pieces of artwork mounted with piano hinges so that they would swing open for easy access. Covers the eye-sore, but still allows access, and would still have enough air flow for your thermostat and carbon monoxide detector to work.

    126. I also thought a gallery wall, but with empty frames around the thermostat and light switch, so you still have easy access to them. I don’t think it needs to go as low as the CO detector and outlet. I also like the console table idea that Bre suggested . . . maybe a combination of adding some furniture and frames?

    127. I thought this would be worth checking into…different manufacturers may have different recommendations for carbon monoxide detector placement but it is usually at least five feet off the ground I think.

      What about painting the them the same color as the wall?

    128. I’ll send you an email with what we did at the end of our hall with the new thermostat that not only is HUGE but terribly off center as well. :) I also used your decoupage trick for the switch. I agree that a narrow table (perhaps with a basket or two underneath) to hide the outlet and carbon monoxide detector.

    129. I’ve heard that it’s not very expensive to move those things to a different spot on the wall. Maybe if they were all closer together or along the edge of the wall rather than right in the middle they would be easier to work around. Might be worth checking on it if it’s bothered you for six years! :) Would an open backed bookshelf that isn’t very deep fit there? You could leave openings on the shelves around your various switches but that would totally help disguise everything. My problem spot is a built in boxy niche in a wall. There are cabinets at the base and the whole thing has a trapezoid shaped footprint because it’s on an angled wall. Can’t seem to find the right balance of how to accessorize that spot. BTW, your gigantic hanging window in your entry is one of my favorite things about your house!

    130. How about a series of floating shelves along the wall – very thin ones, maybe just wide enough for art to prop against, or wide enough to hold small items to display. Then you could arrange your do-dahs or art around the various switches to help take your eye away from them. Regardless of what you decide, your home is beautiful!

    131. I like the above suggestions, but would definitely move the thermostat over above the light switch. That won’t make much if any difference in functionality, but will open up the space.

    132. I’m horrible at solutions but try to not do the covered frames that are all over Pinterest.

      Each of these outlets/switches needs the air around it to function properly. It is common sense (which I’m sure you’ve considered) that the thermostat needs to read the air temp and the CO2 detector needs to sense the air.

      Can’t wait to see what you do!

    133. I would do a cool stencil on the wall! maybe some of those “problems” will fade into the pattern and not stand out as much. I have a problem “nook” in our house- I feel your pain.

    134. I would frame the top two (maybe just the thermostat and put one of those neat light switch covers that you’ve made in the past on the light switch.. ) turn them both into focal points.. maybe another picture too, something up there with them to draw your eye around.. and then i would put a narrow bench there to hide to bottom two – with a metal tin on it to throw randoms in… just some ideas!

    135. They are very clearly men who think only utilitarian thoughts – as most men do.

      I vote for a very skinny little table with a skirt or back to hide the bottom and a colorful canvas which swings out (hinges) to hide yet easily provide access to your thermostat. Just my .02

    136. ok solution :) Just a thought not sure if it would work.. because I’m not there in person :) BUT I would move the glass console table you have up against the stairs into the spot, with everything on it (0r mostly). but the stuff on the shelved would cover the lower outlets, and then with a lamp and/or artwork that might help distract the eye from the light switch and thermostat. Then with where the table was up against the stairs, If it’s available I would bring in the white dresser you had (it was up against the windows before) and use it in that spot. With the idea that it fits in that spot and isn’t too big. If not, then maybe a smaller more simpler bench, possible extra seating, or stack large coffee table books on them? Just a few thoughts.. if you don’t want a piece of furniture up against that wall, then I would do a gallery wall :) ok sorry for the length, have fun, and look forward to seeing what you do ! ~Bre

      1. Ok.. I am with everyone who mentioned a narrow table, with a lamp.. i think it would break up the wall & while you may still see a plug, or the co2 detector, it wouldn’t be like, oh hi – here we are – it would be more subtle. i am not sure what type of space you’re needing in that area, but i was also thinking you could find a black, narrow armoire,or piece that allows you to put dishes, or whatever extra in it.. i think it being bare is what’s probably driving you crazy.

    137. mm can you move the carbon monoxide detector to the little side wall or is it wired.Then a thin tall vase could sit in front of it.Plus Ive seen a hinged picture placed over the thermostat before,on pinterest i think.

    138. Courtney from A Thoughtful Place wrote the lyrics to her wedding song on a problem wall very similar to yours. With your fabulous handwriting, that could be gorgeous. She used a white sharpie so it was very subtle.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *