Hiding Ugly Features

We all have them, ugly things we’d like to change in the family room, but can’t.  They’re built in, bumped out or some horrible design flaw that you had no part of.  Stop fighting them and work them in to your room.

Bump Outs

Some builder created these money grubbing upgrades to ruin your room, and someone paid big for that little bump out.  But if we’re talking about a little five foot square space, don’t just throw a big old fake ficus in there and forget about it.  Turn it into a little reading nook with a comfy chair and table with a lamp. 

Pipe Dreams

if you live in an older home, you're probably suffering from radiator burnout – they take up wall space and do nothing for the room – except heat it.  For period radiators in a Victorian home, they’re just part of living in an antique house, embrace them. 

If they have any design features that are worth highlighting – consider them as part of the history of the room, and don’t hide them away.  Victorian radiators had some wonderful scrollwork and graceful shapes, I love them and make them an accent element in the room.

Ugly radiators with no redeeming qualities whatsoever are a different story.  Consider radiator covers – they may cost a little, but if you’re constantly decorating around the darn things, it may be well worth the expense.  I’ve seen window seats built over them to lessen the impact with the bases left open, but make sure this is a safe option before considering.

If you have the radiators, you may have the pipes as well, they can be painted the same color as the walls and they’ll blend in much better.  Also a large floor vase with bamboo stalks or similar can downplay and help hide them.

Vents can be obtrusive in the family room – they can be painted the same color of the wall or flooring to help them blend in.

Ceiling Horrors

If you dislike textured ceilings, as most of us do, you know how difficult they can be to remove – it’s a messy, time-consuming fix, so we tend to learn to live with them.  Ceiling tile can be placed right over it and can turn the tacky to terrific adding elegant paneled tiles, tiles that can mimic punched tin or even plain, flat surfaces.

There’s a solution for every little horror in your family room, at least design wise – the kids are your problem.