I’m going to let you in on a little secret. We don’t have cable. (Shhhhh – don’t tell anyone I don’t get to watch DIY Network live …) CRAZY, I know, but hear me out.
We bought our house in 2010 and immediately embarked upon a major renovation. Due to home ownership and parenthood, we rarely watch television. When we mounted the TV above the mantel, it sat unused for long periods of time and we realized we didn’t WANT to go back to our pre-homeowner TV-watching habits. Plus, we really like all the extra money we save. Cha-ching! Yes, I really miss some shows. (“Holmes on Homes,” I’m talking to you.) But for the most part, we don’t think about it. (Full disclosure — we do sneak in some TV viewing online and via our Roku box.)
As such, our TV is pretty neglected and looked a little silly up on our mantel, just staring blankly at us. In a fit of DIY improvement, I decided to paint the wall behind the TV a similar teal as some curtains and accent pillows in the living room. See? Better, but still pretty empty looking.
And then one day, I found a fabric that picked up all of the colors I love in our living room. In a flash, I realized that what I really wanted were mini movie-theater curtains that would flank the TV decoratively when open, but could also close to disguise the TV when I didn’t want to see it. A fast and dirty DIY project was born.
This all happened before I had a sewing machine, so I used my trusty heat and bond hem tape to make up two super-simple curtain panels. Then I hot glued some wide grosgrain ribbon I had on hand to make loops for the curtain rod.
An inexpensive tension rod rounded out my supply list and I was in business. (If you don’t have built-ins like I do, you could mount your curtain on a regular curtain rod attached to the wall.) The whole thing took me maybe two hours, mostly because of the ironing. I’d bet you a hot fudge sundae that I could whip out the same curtains in half the time with my sewing machine — it’s all straight lines, simple hems and then you’re good to go.
The print of the fabric adds another layer to the room, the curtains help the TV be less conspicuous, and best of all, our daughter didn’t know we had a TV for the longest time. I’d let her watch a few minutes of PBS Kids on my laptop in a pinch, but until we actually chose to let her watch a movie with us on a rainy day, I don’t think she realized that thing on the mantel functioned. Not a bad side effect of being too busy and thrifty to splurge on cable.
Do you wish you could disguise your TV to pretty up your living room? Can we all agree that a shiny black box doesn’t add a ton to a well-decorated room? What’s your best hiding technique?
For more ideas like this, check out the new sewing and no-sew projects on DIYNetwork.com. I just might try some of these ideas for simple pillows and toys this weekend.