how to disappear ugly power and electronics cords

After we set up our office’s wonderful 15-foot desktop, we were dismayed to see the ugly cords dangling underneath – power strip, hard drive plugs, usb hub etc. Because of where our electrical outlets are placed, and the fact that we need to be able to access the various  cords, we couldn’t simply hide the cords behind the file cabinets. We cast about for a solution, first propping a white-painted plywood scrap leftover from the renovation against the wires.

We had a Eureka moment when we were cutting some foam core – our new love – for another project. The stuff is endlessly useful, being lightweight, durable and available in a wide variety of sizes and thicknesses.

We cut a piece the height of the space under the desk, and a little wider. Then we slid one side of the foam core sheet behind the left hand file, pushed it back a bit, and edged the right side behind the right hand file.

Voila: an optical illustion of a clean, wireless white wall under our desk. We can remove it easily anytime we need to get to the cords behind.  If the wall had been a color, we could have painted the foam coar with the same paint.

For smallish projects, Amazon sells foam core in 20″ x 30″ sheets. We prefer to make the occasional trip to Utrecht or another good art store where we buy 40″ x 60″ sheets in 1/2″ or 3/8″ thicknesses. It’s so light, we can manage 4 or 5 sheets on the subway. You can also order from Utrecht online.  Foam core comes in black, white and the occasional color.

Related posts: useful pinterest board: ‘easy home tricks’
nina’s tool bucket: essentials for doing-it-yourself
blue tape painting
inspired electrical cord safety (tapedown with warning)
william kamkwamba’s windmills: creating currents of electricity and hopex

3 Responses to how to disappear ugly power and electronics cords

  1. Catherineap 10.23.2012 at 9:11pm #

    What an elegant solution–simple, inexpensive and amazingly effective!

  2. azita 10.25.2012 at 6:27am #

    Great looking office!

  3. Chris 10.25.2012 at 4:39pm #

    I’ve used white foam core to hide (and insulate!) those ugly side panels for my in-window air conditioners.

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