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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tuesday Tip

Hide the ugly panel.  The circuit panel, breaker box, utility panel, or whatever you happen to call it, is quite ugly and everybody has one!

Just after we got married, we moved into our new Tudor style townhouse. It had a finished basement at ground level that walked out to our little yard and was full of natural light. We spent a lot of time in it, especially watching TV.  The stupid circuit breaker panel was located in the middle of the main wall!  Brilliant, Mr. Builder. At first I covered it with a piece of artwork and later this:

circa 1988
The TV sat on a shelf that pulled out and swiveled, so we could still reach the panel when necessary. We just sold this pine piece. The person who bought said it looked exactly like the one in the family room from the movie "Date Night".  Putting it on my list to rent!

Here is what you need to make a cover for your own panel:

Plus, a long/piano hinge which I already had in the basement storage room!  Perhaps, if I completed this 2 years ago, wasn't trying to do the storage room too, I  may have taken the time to spell out "circuit breaker panel" or even added some creative embellishment. But, after weeks of work, I was dabbing letters at lightening speed...just wanted to finish!




I thought it was best to spread out parts of the garage makeover.  Otherwise tomorrow's post showing the "afters" would be far too long. I want it to be inspiring, not feel like work just reading it!


  1. Great idea. Our utility box is in the laundry room (good spot!), but I too have seen so many that make me wonder "what was the builder thinking?" Very useful tip for many!

  2. It always amazes me how builders "stick" stuff in the strangest places! Our daughter's new apartment has all sorts of electrical and cable outlets smack dab in the middle of the wall, at about the 4 foot level...huh?! Great if you have a big wall unit for your big screen tv...otherwise it's an eyesore!

    I love what you did with your utility panel, it looks fab! And let me know how the movie is, I might have to rent that one too!

    Kat :)

  3. Oh that is clever; Love it! I have a similar apartment in my apartment where the AC air intake (a huge ugly panel) is also right on a main wall! I took a 5 1/2' tall by 3' wide mirror and propped it up against the vent hiding it, but since it's propped up air can still get behind it! I mean really -what engineers think that these prime locations really need a fuse box or air intake: it certainly wasn't any architect!

  4. Great idea! I need to get to this in my house.

  5. LOVE how u used the canvas to cover the utility panal - GREAT idea - might hacve to use this in my home now! - thanks for the idea!

    PS - come visit my first GIVE-AWAY - $45 worth of fabulous! - don't be shy - pass it along! :o)

    *kiss kiss*
    ~Tiptoe Butterfly~

  6. What a great idea! Our utility box is smack in the middle of our very narrow 2nd floor hallway so a framed piece of art was the only thing that would work. Fortunately, it was centered on the wall!

  7. Very clever!! What an improvement! BTW, Date Night is pretty funny! =) Thanks for the BD wish for my daughter.

  8. I can never figure out why builders put things where they do. Odd mid wall things like this often crop up in my clients homes and we have to figure out how to design around them. Great solution!

  9. Such a great idea!! I would love to do a stencil on it so it would like artwork!! BTW, thank you so much for your sweet birthday message!! I didn't think a Monday could be such a great day for birthday, but it really turned out special!

  10. What a clever idea!! That's a great Saturday DIY. Never of thought of that, but always hated the look of them. Ellen will be calling you to invite you Knock Out kick off next Tuesday. Hope you can come!!

  11. Well done! Great idea and good job executing!
    Can't wait to see the garage and storage 'after's!

  12. Very clever
    project! Our
    pine armoire from
    the newlywed days
    is in our son's
    room, repurposed
    with shelves instead
    of the original TV
    cavern. It's just
    a step from the door,
    though, as it takes
    up so much room. Looking
    forward to the reveal....!
    xx Suzanne

  13. that is a great tip... i have one on my hallway and painted it the same color of the wall but somehow you can still see it's there...


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