Description: We moved into an amazing work/live loft a few months ago, and we just about love everything about this place. Except one thing. The ugly white internet box smack dab in the middle of our living space with conduit going all the way up to the ceiling. Being renters, we couldn’t do anything to move it.
It was such an eyesore that we started to brainstorm ways to hide it, while keeping the box and light switches accessible. Covering it with artwork just wasn’t functional, and not much could be done to hide the pipe going up to the ceiling. We finally decided on hanging a single large piece of fabric, but weren’t in love with the idea of a graphic print for our space.
While we were searching for options, we came across these panels at Ikea that really spoke to our love of natural materials. Not to mention that each panel came at a very long length (they’re meant to be cut to your window size) and they were only $9.99/ea. Score!
It also turned out that having three separate panels was more useful than just one, so that we could access the light switch in the back. The middle blind comes forward about an inch, just enough to give the piece some depth, while hiding the internet box underneath. We intentionally hung up the white panel backwards, so that the wood ribs would show on the front and echo the tan color on the straw panels. To finish off the panels, I cut up thin rods of Hickory leftover from another project, and sandwiched the panels in between.
We didn’t like the cheap-o aluminum curtain rods that usually go with these panels, so we made our own from a nice piece of Alder wood. A 1.5″ tall trim of Hickory around the main board added to the visual heft of the shelf. The contrasting border also gave the board a nice finished look. I bent some aluminum bar stock to create mounting brackets for the shelf. They’re incredibly strong, and the shelf felt completely immobile after installation.
Installing each panel was as easy as threading it through a slot and stapling it to the top of the shelf. The only challenging part about the installation was getting everything perfectly vertical. Tiny adjustments at the top would skew the length left or right several degrees.
The entire piece came out HUGE – it measures about 10ft tall and 6.5ft wide.