Ask Unclutterer: How can I disguise workout equipment?

Reader Cindi submitted the following to Ask Unclutterer:

My question for the day is how do people incorporate the big exercise equipment into their homes? I am thinking of a treadmill. I have thought of getting some decorative screens and walling it off when not is use. It is currently in the family room, which has multiple personalities — home office, tv room, and gym. I’d love to know your thoughts and ideas, as well as other reader’s suggestions.

I must admit, I am truly stumped by what to do with exercise equipment in the absence of a dedicated workout room. Treadmills are so difficult to incorporate into a room that serves other purposes.

Screens scream, “THERE IS A TREADMILL BEHIND HERE!” In bedrooms, treadmills become dirty clothes hampers. And, in television rooms they’re always in the way.

If you didn’t already own a treadmill (and you had a lot of money), I’d suggest you check out the XFit. It’s a workout room in an armoire. A brilliant idea that I wish weren’t so expensive.

This is one of those times when I think it best to let our readers give you the advice. Someone has to have a solution. (Please, someone have a solution!) I have always been at a loss for what to suggest for disguising workout equipment. So readers, please give Cindi a hand and offer up your suggestions in the comments. I’ll also be reading to see what everyone has to say because I need the advice as much as Cindi.

Thank you, Cindi, for submitting your question for our Ask Unclutterer column. And, sincerely, I hope someone has better advice for you than I do on this topic.

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52 Comments for “Ask Unclutterer: How can I disguise workout equipment?”

  1. posted by Midge on

    I have a large treadmill and I love it! However, I tend to like living in small houses which I also love.

    In my last home, which was a studio cottage, my treadmill, which does fold up, was against a wall in my bedroom. I attached a rounded shower curtain rod above it and hung a beautiful curtain from the rod so the curtain draped beautifully around the treadmill. When it was time to exercise, I just opened the curtain and folded down the treadmill.

    In my new house, the treadmill is in a corner of the living room, facing a window. I have a rattan room screen which, when folded out normally, makes sort of a “Z”. I took the hinges off one of the panels and reattached them upside down so that when folded out, the screen makes an “L”. I fit the “L” over the front of the folded up treadmill and you can’t see it at all, and then there is one arm chair placed in front of the screen.

    The trick to making it easy to work out in the mornings is at night before I go to bed, I move the chair and the screen and fold down the treadmill. It’s the first thing I see when I’m on my way to the kitchen for my coffee so there’s no reason not to work out if I want to “reclaim” my living room for the day!

    Hope this helps!

  2. posted by raptorsdelight on

    Hide it! Treadmills and exercise equipment are great to have, but they don’t look good in the middle of an otherwise elegant room. If you have a folding treadmill, I would imagine that an armoire like the XFIT would be easy to make at much lower cost, either from scratch or from an existing piece of furniture. Otherwise, I don’t see why using a screen would be problematic if done well. I’ve seen a few episodes of HGTV shows in which the designer has made a large screen or room divider that looks much more attractive than the standard room screens you can get from a retailer.

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