The post in which I conquer my fear of cords and electronics.

One of my biggest pet peeves in a room is cords. And it seems like they cannot be escaped. Take a look at what I have to deal with in our office:

Seriously, it looks like some electronic monster spit up a hairball. And as far from my limited technology understanding it is to grasp, we need every single one of these wired beauties. Believe me, I have tried to eliminate some. Rick has joined the cause by attempting to talk me into a wireless printer, but I just can't justify that kind of money in the name of eliminating a cord (especially since our current printer is still perfectly healthy). He's also lobbied for a laptop, but I can see past his "I-am-just-thinking-of-you-and-your-hatred-of-cords" argument and straight to his "I-am-a-man-and-I-love-all-things-that-have-buttons-and-screens" core.

While our above office cords are currently in the process of being wrangled (since our whole office is not yet complete), I thought I would share what we came up with when we were using a smaller table in our office as a desk. It's now being used as my craft table, but the cord-hiding element is still present. Can you guess what it is?

That's right: we took an old window (yes, it was, indeed, taken off the side of the road; how did you guess?), painted it the same color as the desk, and screwed it to the back of the desk.

Now, obviously we couldn't just leave the window the way it was, because all of the cords would still show through. That's when I thought of my good friend burlap: at only $3/yard (or less with a 40% off coupon at Joann's), it really can't be beat--and it's awesome at subtly hiding things while also adding some texture. So we hot glued a piece of light-colored burlap across the back of the window, waved our magic wands, said "Bibbiti bobbiti boo" three times while throwing salt over our shoulders (okay, I'm exaggerating a little) and suddenly, all of our cords disappeared!

I did the same thing with our media cabinet. The front has a glass door, which means that whole DVD player/Crash Bandicoot/Legally Blonde display inside was seriously disturbing the look of the rest of our living room, which I was trying so desperately to make cohesive and inviting. In the words of Elle Woods: "Whoever said tangerine was the new pink movies should be on display  is seriously disturbed."

Another piece of cheap-o burlap did the trick. (I tell you, that fabric is as infallible as the bend and snap. Not that I've ever tried it. The bend and snap, I mean.) Here's what our cabinet now looks like on the inside:

And it's newly disguised outside:

See why I love burlap? It has really helped get me through the 12-step process of therapy needed to get over my cord phobia.

How about you? Could anyone else out there be a part of  my virtual therapy group? What have you done to creatively conquer your cord and electronics fears?


Apothecary in training said...

Personally, I think the laptop and wireless printer are an excellent way to solve your cording issues, but I am just a "man-and-I-love-all-things-that-have-buttons-and-screens." Perhaps I'll have to run a post on how to make your home technologically advanced! Kudos to the person that thought putting an old window behind there would be a good idea. I would have never thought of such a thing......oh wait! I did!
The technology geek of a husband

Erin said...

hahaha...the 40" TV is quite enough, thank you. And stop trying to take credit for my projects!!

Amy @ Journey Mum said...

You guys are so inventive! You do not want to see the massive tangle of cords behind our tv... I have seen a blogger who paints her cords the same color as the wall but that might not work with a rented place.
Erin, how in the world did you get your hubby interested in your blog? I had to force mine to read it and he only read the post where I blogged about his pet snake!

Erin said...

Interesting--I never thought of painting cords! I wonder if that's safe?

That's too funny about the pet snake!! Rick is really great about all of our projects--because they really are OUR projects--I'm just the one who writes about them. More often than not, he is mentioned as part of the process--maybe he reads them to make sure I don't pick on him too much? :)

He actually commented yesterday just to test my new comment settings, but from the looks of things, he apparently plans to do it more often!

Michelle said...

You are a blogging torpedo, I haven't read your blog in all of like 1 week and there are 2 gazillion more posts. But I want to say I approve of your display of the sunflowers from my garden:) and you really have me thinking about the little things I can do different in our house. Granted I can't spend too much time because I have holes in ceiling to replace and floors to wax due to holes in ceilings but I convinced Mike to mount our TV above our mantel to rid our floor of the mismatched non fitting TV stand. Which brings me to your electronic storage mentioned in this post. I love your stereo cabinet where did you get it? I am sure it was a hand me down or craig's list item but it is perfect. I have been hunting high and low for a similar concept. If we were to buy new it would be 250 dollars which is not in the budget. So have been searching craig's list and have come up so empty handed. And my other questions is since you put the burlap over the glass do the remotes still communicate through the burlap or do you need to open the door for the remotes to work?

Erin said...

Hi Michelle!! Yay for sunflowers--thank you again for bringing them; we don't have any flowers to cut from our own rented yard :(

You're right: the media cabinet was from craigslist. It was one of those surprising things where we said "we need a cabinet," went online, and found that one immediately. That NEVER happens, so I understand your pain...

We also wondered about the burlap with the remotes, so we tested it beforehand--and we have had no issues turning on the stuff with the door shut.

Hope this helps!! :)

Amy @ Journey Mum said...

Hey! I found another way to cover up cords over on another blog and remembered your post about it, so I thought I'd share: http://www.everkelly.com/2010/08/the-last-5-diy-cord-cover/

Erin @ My Rented House said...

Thanks for the link, Amy! Checking it out now...:)

Rachel said...

For when you have a blog called "as for me and my I-bought-it-and-can-do-what-I-want-because-I-pay-the-morgage-house"...

Adam and I are going to eventually mount the TV above the fireplace and drill a small hole in the ceiling, run one HDMI cable through the attic and then drill another hole in the ceiling to drop the cord back down to a cabinet with the DVD player, XBox, Wii, cable box etc. Best Buy sells this massive surge protector deal with places to plug in everything and hook up all the cords neccessary to run all of the boys gadgets. The surge protector is a bit pricey...something you definitely can't DIY or get at Goodwill...but it may be worth it to be able to only have one cord to deal with hiding. All the other cords you can tuck into the back of the cabinet behind all the gadgets.

I hate cords too....but for now, until we figure out when we are gonna do our pricey project...I solved it the lazy "I really don't have time to deal with this because I am rarely up in OKC and Adam doesn't care about cords" way...line the cords up...duct tape to the baseboard...problem solved.

If you ever do use duct tape for anything...wrap it in plastic wrap first...duct tape residue is horrible to try to get off and it will stick to the wrap instead (I only put maybe a centimeter of the duct tape on the actual base board...a centimeter vs an entire strip worth is easier...plus trying to get it off the cords...noooooo bueno)

Erin said...

Thanks for all the tips! I can't WAIT to have a blog called "as for me and my I-bought-it-and-can-do-what-I-want-because-I-pay-the-mortgage-house"...I am seriously too anxious to have my own house. It's kind of a sick obsession.

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