While having the freedom to decorate however you like is one of the major perks in owning your own home, some things are easier to decorate than others! This rings especially true for the more unsightly parts of a home that don’t look quite as nice. Things like the utility meters, trash cans, and air conditioning units, while necessary, don’t exactly enhance your home’s “natural beauty”. But, with a little ingenuity, you can find ways to not only downplay these features but even cover them up completely!
Here’s a few ideas:
1. Wooden Boxes
Never underestimate the usefulness of a wooden box. When you create one on your own, you can easily make it to precisely fit something like your coiled garden hose. Once the box is created, you can paint it any colour you’d like or stain it a nice shade that matches the home. This DIY hose storage tutorial even includes a built-in planter!
For more practicality, consider finding a bench with storage space under the seat. Drill a hole in the back and feed your hose through it so it can stay tucked inside. Not only will this hide your hose, there will be room to store other gardening supplies and a nice place to sit and rest as you tend to your plants.
2. Hollow Rocks
If you prefer a more natural look, it’s possible to purchase large, hollow landscape rocks specifically designed to hide eyesores like a septic lid or water main in your yard. These are lightweight, so they’re easy to move whenever needed. This is especially important when covering something like a utility box that isn’t exactly “yours” to hide permanently.
3. Fake Foliage
If you’re stuck with one of those large, green cube-shaped utility boxes in your yard, you’ll need more of a faux-mountain than a rock. As an alternative, you can purchase a cover designed to look like a bush. When completely covering a utility unit, you don’t want to put actual plants on the unit. Something like this fake bush equipment cover is an attractive way to blend an eyesore into your lush landscape.
4. Wooden Cabinets
Certain items may require more regular access than others. For instance, air conditioning units typically require only annual maintenance. The utility meters, on the other hand, need to be checked about once a month. For things like this, you should consider making wooden cabinets. Meter readers can access what they need by simply opening the cabinet door. You may need to alert the utility company that you’ve done this in case its hidden too well.
If you’re really wanting a more natural look, real plants could be added around something like an air conditioning unit. To do this well, stick some tall plants or ornamental grasses toward the back, close to the unit, and plant colourful flowers in front of those plants. The unit will still be visible, but the eyes are drawn to the colour in the flowers rather than the bulky air conditioning unit. Another way to use landscaping to your advantage is by picking the right trees for your yard and strategically placing them to block unsightly views. Ideas include bushes around utility boxes or a taller tree right in front where your downspout sticks out.
If your home’s foundation really stands out, treat it as an opportunity to personalize your exterior. You could adhere Ledgestone to your foundation or a natural look that still adds flair. For an easier fix, you could purchase some weather-proof paint that exactly matches the exterior colour of your home, and paint the visible foundation. Your builder can probably even give you a small sample of the siding so you’re sure to get the colour right. It’s like an outdoor backsplash, have fun with it!
7. Privacy Fences
Garbage bins can be particularly irritating. You need regular access to them to throw your trash away, but you don’t want the bin to just sit where everyone can see it, especially when you’re doing something like hosting a backyard party! To hide it from view, consider purchasing a privacy fence. They’re readily available in wood and plastic resin materials. With a four-panel privacy screen, you can easily move it around to better suit your needs.
There are also storage units specially-designed for garbage bins. The top opens up to allow you to through the trash out each night, but there’s also a door at the front for the days you need to bring the bin out for collection. If you like the way these look, you may even want to buy an accent fence to cover an air conditioning unit as well.
Your home is your castle, and it’s natural to want to hide anything that disrupts this image. Fortunately, many others feel the same way. No matter what outdoor eyesore you want to hide, you can easily find a solution you’re happy to look at!
Photo credits: painting, cabinet