Electronics have become a necessity for most of us. On the go and increasingly, in our homes, our devices bring the world to our fingertips, make our homes more comfortable and our lives easier. But TVs, digital receivers, Wi-Fi routers, power strips, gaming consoles and sound systems have a not-so-great by-product that makes me cringe: cable clutter. As a home stylist and stager, this eyesore isn’t new by any stretch, but I’ll admit it has gotten considerably worse with our increasing use of technology.
Translation: you need to tackle the cable clutter now before it swallows you whole!
Now, there are a few ways you’ll address those cables: during construction or renovations, or as add-ons to your existing home. Here’s my own brand of “tech support” to help cull your cable chaos.
OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND
I’m not normally one to “sweep the dust under the rug,” but this is actually an ingenious spot to stash the cable clutter in your home. If you have wall-to-wall carpet, carefully pull up the perimeter edge using a knife or screwdriver, and bury your cables beneath. Just be sure to line it along the wall, to avoid unsightly lumps under the carpet. You can also neatly tack your cables to baseboards and the backside of the furniture. Click here to see how.
If you’re in the midst of a renovation or are handy, you can run the cables behind the wall. This is easily done by cutting two small holes in the drywall, running the cable through, and then patching and painting the holes around the cable.
TIP: Hide your wires in plain sight by painting them to match the wall or baseboard!
STORAGE SYSTEM SOLUTION
There’s no shortage of “cable clips,” hoops and loops on the market, designed to wrangle that tangle of loose wires. While these products will do the trick, they can leave much to be desired by way of aesthetics. Always consider the style of your storage system. After all, this whole project was borne out of the desire to improve the look of your living space. Look to furniture like a cabinet or sideboard that is made to expressly store and conceal household items. Some of my other favourite go-to’s include wall-mounted cable catches, “bundlers” and cable reels that let you wind up long wires.
Renovating? Incorporate custom storage for your cables and tech. Custom storage is the epitome of functional aesthetics and is generally considered to be a plus, both in terms of lifestyle and resale value.
CONSIDER DEVICE DESIGN
Next to hiding the wires and cables of your electronics, there are two super easy solutions to consider: go wireless and choose electronics that are designed with an aesthetic edge. With all the technology products available in the market today it isn’t hard to find the right aesthetics for every project. In fact, the slim, straight lines of these modern-day fixtures have directly influenced furniture and interior design. And much like we choose our furnishings for the function and fashion they offer, so too should we consider our devices from an aesthetic perspective.
Toronto-based stager Red Barrinuevo is the property stylist on HGTV Canada’s Hot Market Series and the Principal Designer at Redesign4more. He is an award-winning interior stylist who was also named one of the most influential people in real estate staging this year by RESA Global. His firm is known for enhancing and creating stylish yet functional spaces through its creative home staging, interior decorating, and design services. www.redesign4more.com