Expert-Approved Tips for Hiding Your Flat Screen Television's Wires
The pros share their favorite ways to minimize cord clutter.
For as sleek and streamlined as flat screen televisions look on a wall, the cables that dangle below them can be a major eyesore. "Flat screens are designed to be less obtrusive than the bulky television styles we grew up with," Sarah Latham, founder of Latham Interiors, explains. "However, unless there are electrical outlets located exactly where the TV is being mounted, you're going to have unattractive cords to deal with."
Fortunately, with a little planning and imagination, you can conceal those unsightly wires without sacrificing an inch of style. "I spend a lot of time designing around cords, especially in media rooms and home offices," interior designer Emma Beryl explains. "Fortunately, beautiful design doesn't have to be ruined by exposed wires." Curious how you can hide your own cables from plain sight? From installing a new outlet to cord covers and beyond, a handful of interior designers share their advice here.
Install an electric outlet behind the TV.
If you're not on a tight budget, Amelia Strat of Kroesser Strat Design says the most effective way to conceal cords on a wall is to have an electrician install an outlet directly behind the television. "This way, the power cord can be neatly wrapped up and tucked behind the TV," she explains. "Usually, this isn't super expensive, as most people choose to place their TV in a location that's already near an outlet."
Try a wall mounted cord cover.
Inexpensive and simple to install, cord covers are thin sheaths designed to enclose electric cables; they can be mounted directly to the wall or along your baseboards to help conceal wires from plain view. "Most cord covers can be painted to match the color of your walls, so they can blend in more seamlessly," says Abbe Fenimore, founder of Studio Ten 25.
Consider a cable zipper.
Looking for an easy and affordable way to corral the unattractive wires connected to your cable box or DVR? Mark Lavender of M. Lavender Interiors says to look no further than a trusty cable zipper. "For televisions in less prominent areas of the home, like a bedroom, we recommend grouping your wires into a Cable Zipper ($14.99, containerstore.com)," he says. "This way, the cables stay contained and organized in one place, and can be attached to the wall (or behind a media console) with the provided self-adhesive mounts."
Store the cords in the wall with a DIY cable organizer kit.
If you're comfortable using a drywall saw, Fenimore says a flat panel cable organizer kit is a DIY-friendly way to hide your exposed cords. Designed with a pair of thin, wall-mounted plates, these clever organizers require you to cut out a small section of the wall behind your TV and simply feed your cables in.
Snake the wires through furniture.
According to Beryl, storing your flat screen TV inside or on top of a piece of furniture, like an armoire or console, is another easy way to conceal unsightly cords. "This way, you can drill one small hole into the back of the furniture item, snake your wires through, and plug it into the wall as you normally would," she explains.
Use décor items to conceal the cords.
When all else fails, Lavender says you can always employ décor accents you already have around the house to hide your TV cords from plain sight. "If you have a console below your flat screen TV, try placing a stack of books in front of the hanging cords to hide them," he says. You can also position other popular décor items, such as houseplants, candles, and leaning artwork, along a console or cabinet to help cover up visible TV wires without having to alter the walls in any way.