Hiding cables in plain sight

Unclutterer Forums member mpoush found a creative solution for concealing cables in plain sight:

We just moved our office into a larger room that does not have a phone jack. That means running wire from the other room for the modem and phone. Two ugly black cables hanging down were not the ideal, however. So I painted them dark green, and made some paper flowers on green pipe cleaners, then wrapped them around both cables, so it looks like a flowering vine. It’s still there, but now it’s decoration instead!

While flowers and pipe-cleaners may not be to your liking, this technique demonstrates how sometimes the best way to draw attention away from unsightly things is to draw attention directly to them.

31 Comments for “Hiding cables in plain sight”

  1. Avatar of

    posted by georgetownsandi on

    Very clever and creative! An alternative is to paint the cables white to minimize their appearance…

  2. posted by J F on

    I really wouldn’t recommend the way you ran the wire or the decorating – both are probably violations of local fire code. It is usually the case that any cable or wire coming down from a ceiling on the outside of the wall must be covered and booted with approved materials. In addition, nothing can be within 24″ of the ceiling, which your flowers are. I think you’d be much better off taking some time and learning how to install an outlet in a wall and running the cable down the inside.

    All that said, the flowers are certainly cute and very creative!

  3. posted by chacha1 on

    Cute and creative. I could see using various types of prefab garland (flower, greenery, bead) and for a lot of rooms, string lights might work. Mood lighting and cable camouflage at the same time. :-)

  4. posted by Another Inspired Means of Hiding Cables in Plain Sight [Cable Management] | Computer Tips and Tricks on

    [...] creative cable solution you’ve stumbled upon? Discuss, link, and post photos in the comments. Hiding cables in plain sight [...]

  5. posted by EO on

    JF,
    Incorrect. Those cables are low voltage (they stated phone & modem) and do not require any type of enclosure except passing thru a type of phelnum ceiling (where the space in the ceiling is being used as a return air).

  6. posted by Another Inspired Means Of Hiding Cables In Plain Sight | Lifehacker Australia on

    [...] We took a shine to creatively hiding cables with unique arrangements, and one clever Unclutterer Forums member provides another design inspiration. [...]

  7. posted by mick on

    Why not just use a cordless phone system & a wireless network?

    That way you avoid the wires completely.

  8. posted by Fred E. on

    The cable and telephone companies here routinely run cable and telephone wires along the ceiling, down walls, etc., completely uncovered. I think it is only a concern when it is an electrical cable. The current in a telephone wire is so weak you can hold it on your tongue.

    I agree though with cables it is better just to paint them to match and minimize their appearance rather than celebrating it. If you have a large column in the middle of a room or an odd window or even open ductwork you might try to emphasize it rather than hide it.

  9. posted by Shalin on

    This looks kinda cute…for the room of a small child. It just looks tacky. I’m sure there’s some other way of “dressing it up” that may work okay for a living room or parents bedroom…

    –S

  10. posted by CBennett on

    A piece of cove trim running down the corner (Painted either the color of the wall or the color of other trim in the room) would be a more mature, minimalist look for an adult space.

    Crown molding makes a great speaker wire conduit for surround-sound in the living room, too.

    But personally I’m a fan of through-the-wall wiring with an outlet cover.

  11. posted by chris2 on

    Super cute! Sometimes it’s fun to do something whimsical rather than going with the obvious (painting the cables to match the walls).

  12. posted by Another Inspired Means of Hiding Cables in Plain Sight [Cable Management] on

    [...] cable solution you’ve stumbled upon? Discuss, link, and post photos in the comments. Hiding cables in plain sight [...]

  13. posted by Shana on

    Shalin, you win the prize for tact and diplomacy.

  14. Avatar of

    posted by pkilmain on

    As my brother-in-law says “if you can’t fix it, feature it!” I’d go for the cordless phone and wireless myself, but this works for mpoush, and looks so much better than bare wires…

  15. posted by Alix on

    Not for everyone, perhaps, but cute and clever.

  16. posted by Richard | RichardShelmerdine.com on

    Haha wow that is really great. I love the flower one.

  17. posted by Jaky Astik on

    Feel like you stabbed my idea. ha ha. I do this with all my hanging solar penal wires :) I prefer birds, though.

  18. posted by kate on

    It’s not my style, but I think it’s whimsical and great!

  19. posted by WilliamB on

    I would have expected you to consider this clutter. Particularly as your stated preference in the workplace of the week items is for very little decoration.

  20. posted by The Daily Dairy: Calcium Fortified News And Junk on

    [...] instead! Very cute. Now if you’ll excuse me, I owe my power strip a nice little dress. [Unclutterer via [...]

  21. posted by Fred E. on

    Hmm, there are a lot of mixed feelings about this.

    It’s not to my taste, either, but for sheer creativity and genius it deserves a post on Unclutterer and discussion.

    I always think about tree roots when trying to untangle the cords under a desk. In a rental apartment or dorm room it might not be possible to attach the wires to the wall much less paint or apply molding but this is a viable option.

  22. posted by Karyn on

    @Shana – LOL. :-D

    I think it’s brilliant. Bright patterned pop-art flowers aren’t my personal taste, either, but I’ll bet some would find the bright blues adorning my apartment to be “gaudy,” or the purple-painted wooden cat figurine on my computer desk to be “tacky” and “clutter.” Uncluttering is about getting rid of excess, not about getting rid of everything. Some of us like a few decorative touches–and in colors other than UltraMinimalist White. ;-)

    I should also point out that whoever crafted the flowers did a very nice, neat job of it. They don’t look at all tacky or shabby, just artsy. If you can’t handle a few paper flowers, go take a look at Wenarto’s house in this video and see if it changes your view:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSXRRaGODX0

    I just love this video, what can I say? :-D

  23. Avatar of

    posted by Abeline on

    My cats would gnaw the hail out of that, but it’s very clever!

  24. posted by Cassie on

    I love the flowers! I think this would be super cute in my classroom. I would do it in my house as well, but don’t have any hanging cords. :)

  25. posted by DebraC on

    A rather creative idea. Wouldn’t have realized that they were cables in hiding. Home offices are particularly prone to cable mania.

  26. posted by Jill on

    Wow that’s really pretty and creative! :)

  27. posted by Top 10 Creative Ways to Store Your Stuff | SocialPWR on

    [...] and sketching isn’t your forte, you don’t have to get quite so fancy—something like a green cable “flower stem”, or an equivalent cable-as-hanging-platform idea, can fly just as well. If it’s a short [...]

  28. posted by Top 10 Creative Ways To Store Your Stuff | Lifehacker Australia on

    [...] sketching isn’t your forte, you don’t have to get quite so fancy—something like a green cable “flower stem”, or an equivalent cable-as-hanging-platform idea, can fly just as well. If it’s a short [...]

  29. posted by Jason D on

    for those talking about using a wireless phone, I think you missed the first sentence:

    “We just moved our office into a larger room that does not have a phone jack.”

    Wireless phones keep you from being tethered to the handset, but you still need to plug the phone into the wall.

    They want the phone in the room, so they DO need to run a phone cord. Wireless technology eliminates SOME wires, but others are still necessary.

  30. posted by Mama ASID's E N T R E P O D › Get Creative This Holiday – See Ya Tuesday on

    [...] and sketching isn’t your forte, you don’t have to get quite so fancy—something like a green cable “flower stem”, or an equivalent cable-as-hanging-platform idea, can fly just as well. If it’s a short [...]

  31. posted by Top 10 Creative Ways to Store Your Stuff « SG's Blog on

    [...] and sketching isn’t your forte, you don’t have to get quite so fancy—something like agreen cable “flower stem”, or an equivalent cable-as-hanging-platform idea, can fly just as well. If it’s a short [...]

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