Match your outlet covers with the existing wall color to mask them.

How to Hide an Outlet

by Mary Cockrill

Besides the hazards that electrical outlets pose for small children, ugly electrical outlets can ruin your home's decor. Even though these unattractive receptacles are a necessity in every room, utilize one of several ways to make them more obscure. Disguise unsightly outlets so they blend in with their surroundings, or give them a facelift to create a fresh appearance. You can even make the electrical eyesores disappear -- well almost. Whatever method you choose for hiding your outlets will boost your room's aesthetic appeal and make them less obvious to curious children.

1. Secret Compartment

Hide your electrical outlets behind closed doors -- literally. Create a little trap door to conceal a receptacle located in a recessed wall area or in a piece of furniture, such as on a kitchen island. Attach hinges to the small door to easily flip it down or to the side, exposing the outlet for use. When the trap door is shut, the outlet is completely hidden from everyone, including inquisitive toddlers. Make the petite door less conspicuous by painting it the same hue as the adjacent wall color.

2. Camouflage

Force your unsightly receptacles go "undercover" by camouflaging them to blend in with their surroundings. Remove outlet plates from the walls and paint them with the existing wall color to deliver a seamless appearance. If your walls are covered in wallpaper, wrap the plates in a small piece of matching wallpaper to make them disappear into the wall. Use faux painting techniques on wall receptacles embedded in brick, stone or concrete to create the visual illusion of a similar texture. Camouflaged receptacles also make them harder for snooping tots to find.

3. Relocate

Relocate electrical outlets to put them out of your sight and beyond the reach of your little darlings. Attach a plug strip under your upper kitchen cabinets to remove them from your view. Tuck the outlets underneath a countertop ledge in a bathroom or kitchen. But before hiding electrical outlets inside cabinets or drawers, check local building codes as it may be prohibited. Hide ugly wall outlets by relocating a piece of furniture in front of an outlet to cover it. Position the furniture a couple of inches away from the wall to allow ample room for plugging in an electrical cord.

4. Specialty Covers

Exchange existing outlet covers for designer replacements to hide the unattractive outlets with a designer-savvy covering. Mirrored outlet covers make it nearly impossible to locate electrical receptacles installed within a bathroom vanity mirror. Select a wooden outlet cover to mask the electrical opening by fashioning its appearance to look like it is actually part of an interior log wall or wood paneling. Select a chrome cover plate to complement a kitchen or bathroom with similar fixtures or a burnished bronze cover for a rustic appearance.

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