How to disguise a thermostat wall ~ DIY

IndustrialNumber | Vin'yet Etc.

For as long as I can remember I have disliked thermostat walls and any part of the home that is not “pretty”. It’s my goal to hide (at least visually) speakers, electrical cords any of the stuff you need but don’t like.

UggoThermostat | Vin'yet Etc.

This is our thermostat wall, isn’t it “pretty“?

I enlisted the help of my blog readers to help me pick the order of our DIY projects… yes we have that many projects and I was really getting overwhelmed with how many I wanted to do, all at once.Β  I needed your help to prioritize and you guys did not disappoint.Β  The thermostat wall is theΒ  second project on the list, but don’t worry if you missed the first one you can check out the details here… the first project, the antique headboard bench has been a huge hit and turned out awesome, if I do say so myself. πŸ™‚

Antique headboard bench | Vin'yet Etc.

Sitting pretty.

Now on to DIY #2, whoop!

Vintage Cedar boards | Vin'yet Etc.

Vintage cedar fence boards.

Ceader fence | Vin'yet Etc.

Vintage cedar | Vin'yet Etc.

Rough planing cedar fence boards.

The vintage cedar boards and the fences these came off of are all over our new property,Β  we really love some fencing but the amount that exists here is a little too much for our tastes and they have seen much better days. We will be recycling these boards and they will be re-pourposed into many different things around here,Β  the thermostat wall is the first project with this lovely wood.

That darn thermostat wall, I get that it’s in a central location and the builder must have thought that this was the best place for this hideous glowing, pulsating beast. Okay, I may be exaggerating a wee bit… it’s really funny, there are tons of things I should be focusing on around here but this wall has driven me crazy since day one! It’s strange what I tend to obsess over.

I will be honest with you… the conversation below is reason this project is even on the DIY list.

Me: “I hate that wall!”

Mr. Mans: “Why, it’s just a wall?”

Me:Β  Loud eye-roll, “It’s ugly and that’s our home’s first impression when people come in here.”

Mr. Mans: “Okay, well there are other things in the house that should be worked on and we should prioritize where we focus our resources.”

Thought bubble… I hate when he’s so logical that it makes me feel completely illogical! This isn’t a logical thing… this is a hideous thermostat wall thing!

Me: “I’ll see what my readers think.”

Mr. Mans: Smirk, “Your readers?”

THAT smirk just spurred me on!!! Smirk me will ya… πŸ˜‰

It didn’t help (my case) when all of our male friends didn’t even notice that wall and all of our female friends totally got me and yes, I asked everyone that came into the house… man, as I am writing this I am realizing that I’m a weirdo, HA! What am I trying to say here? Maybe it’s a gender thing? I also know Mr Mans doesn’t mind remotes out on the coffee table! What are your thoughts on that kind ofΒ  atrocity!??? Okay, back to the point (that I’m right) how to hide an ugly thermostat?

I was happy (relieved) when you guys voted it the #2 project to do, you all justified me! High five and huge hugs! All kidding aside though, it really did bug the daylights out of me and this is how I went about fixing it.

HowToDisguiseThermostat | Vin'yet Etc.I mapped out the wall with painters tape, a fake open shelf if you will.

Painted wall | VIn'yet Etc.

I also knew I wanted colour behind that shelving different than the surrounding wall (ignore that the surrounding walls are not painted to my choice of colour yet… a minor detail really) and I wanted to use what I had kicking around the house so I mixed up a bunch of sample jars from Home depot to get just the right shade, I call it… illogical grey. πŸ˜‰ HA! HA! Please forgive the terrible phone pictures and my dumb joke, the shots will improve I promise, the jokes… not so much.

Hide-thermostat | Vin'yet Etc.

The paint colour is very close to the middle colour on this paint sample card. Para Paints – intuitive.

MinwaxFinish | Vin'yet Etc.

Basically, I just builtΒ  a rectangular box and the separations you see out of the rough planed cedar. Then I finished it with Minwax antiquing oilΒ  (my go to wood finish-not being sponsored, just really love it) I wanted to bring out the rustic wood hues and did not want shine, rather a hand rubbed look.

KeyholeMountingBrackets | Vin'yet Etc.

The shelf needs to be removable so IΒ  decided to go with these little hangers, they are called keyhole mounting brackets and are VERY easy to use and install.

Β Now on to the fun part… styling!

BeautifulGearVignette | Vin'yet Etc.

I love the idea of having different sections on the shelf, this will allow me to “play” and switch things up, I love to putter and change things… this design felicitates that nicely.

VintageCameras | Vin'yet Etc.

IndustrialNumber | Vin'yet Etc.

I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather look at vintage goodies than an old thermostat.

HideMyThermostatPrettyLady | Vin'yet Etc.

TheUglyThermostats | Vin'yet Etc.

This section of the shelf is completely hidden and is still 100% functional with a simple plant and a vintage photo propped against the wall. I test drove the items with Mr. Mans to make sure it wasn’t too fussy and very functional and visually it’s so much better than looking at the pulsating beast. πŸ˜‰

IndustrialGears | Vin'yet Etc.

This shelving unit not only hides the ugly thermostats, it also houses some of my favourite industrial goodies.

Hide-a-thermostat-vintageToolbelt | Vin'yet Etc.

Succulents in an old tool belt, why not?

HideUglyThermostat-FullShelf | Vin'yet Etc.

I’m pretty happy with the way this shelf turned out… it’s so much better than that ugly thermostat, don’tΒ  you think?

Now, on to project #3! πŸ˜€ I’m excited about this next one… this next project, will be completely logical… πŸ˜‰


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  • Reply Heather @ new house new home August 26, 2014 at 11:33 am

    Amazing!!!! And I missed the headboard bench, but love it too! Can’t wait to see what you do with all those fence boards (do I see a slat wall somewhere in your house?)

  • Reply heather meads August 26, 2014 at 11:45 am

    Your wall shelf looks great – love it!! I don’t like to see cords and thermostats either, nah! Your idea works great and you’ve arranged your shelves just perfectly, what wonderful treasures!

  • Reply Anne@DesignDreams August 26, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    I don’t know what I love more – the wood, the colour of the stain or all the gorgeous decorative pieces you’ve got on the shelves!!! You are brilliant (and I want all that stuff!!!!!!!)


  • Reply Barb August 26, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    It’s perfect! I love everything about it!

  • Reply Shauna August 26, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    There you go again being miss smarty pants! Looks great!

    • Reply Laurie September 2, 2014 at 12:07 pm

      Haha, Shauna, thanks so much! I’m glad you like it.

  • Reply donna @ paisley & perspective August 26, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    Absolutely PERFECT! I love these types of spots where you can display vignettes – it’s a bonus that it hides those awful thermostats! I’m curious about the piece on the top – is that attached to the shelves or just propped there – it seems to fit perfectly! And the light at the bottom – genius!

    • Reply Laurie September 2, 2014 at 12:13 pm

      Hi Donna, thanks, as you know I hate thermostat walls, especially the ones that are right there when you enter. The piece on top has been everywhere in my home, I was going to hang that light that is currently at the bottom on a corbel above the shelf, I didn’t get around to rewiring, I like the way it’s turned out better. I’ve now come to discover that the corbel is too big for above, if I want to do that in the future I’ll have to get a new one… oh well, I guess it’s another reason to go thrifting. πŸ™‚

  • Reply Tash @ The Dreamhouse Project August 26, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    Wow, what a beautiful shelf!! I love when function & frills can come together and find a perfect happy medium! πŸ™‚ You really knocked it out of the park with this one and the choice of goodies on each shelf is so so good. It’s amazing how something seemingly so simple can have such impact. I bet those men notice the wall now!! Hehe.. πŸ˜‰

    • Reply Laurie September 2, 2014 at 12:15 pm

      Ha Tash, the men do notice the shelf, as a matter of fact they are the biggest admirers.

  • Reply Marguerite August 26, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    It looks amazing!! Love the added touch of the pretty piece at the top… You must sleep better at night now that you’ve hidden that thermostat! πŸ˜‰ LOL I totally get you! πŸ˜€ I’m waiting for baseboards…ugh!

    • Reply Laurie September 2, 2014 at 12:18 pm

      Hey cutie! I’m glad you get me! πŸ˜‰ I do sleep better having that pulsating beast hidden nicely. Baseboards, well that seems doable, you can use power tools, right? :p

  • Reply Cynthia @ A Button Tufted Life... August 27, 2014 at 9:30 am

    That wall needed some attention poor thing… she didn’t get a prom dress or a trip to the hairdresser… now she has both and looks fabu!!
    Can I just say the succulents in the tool belt stole my heart!!!

    • Reply Laurie September 2, 2014 at 12:20 pm

      HeeHee Cynthia, I like your analogy… the tool belt is my fav and the fact I have so much room to play when ever I want to.

  • Reply Leslie @ House on the Way August 27, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    Awesome idea! I love it and you did an amazing job! If you get a chance, we’d love to have you share it at the Twirl & Take a Bow Party at It would be perfect!

    • Reply Laurie September 2, 2014 at 12:21 pm

      Thanks Leslie, I’ll go have a peek. πŸ™‚

  • Reply Beth August 27, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    Very nice! I love all your pretty things too. Especially that camera….swoon!!!!!

    • Reply Laurie September 2, 2014 at 12:22 pm

      Both cameras were accidental finds… I love when that happens. Thanks so much for stopping in. πŸ™‚

  • Reply Megan @ Our Pinteresting Family August 27, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    What a phenomenal idea to build the shelving unit like that! Looks great.

  • Reply Mara Shapiro- Brazenwoman August 27, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    Really, really smart. I like the practical and attractive use of what’s usually a wasted wall.

    • Reply Laurie September 2, 2014 at 12:23 pm

      Thanks, Mara!

  • Reply Ashley @ Giddy Upcycled August 27, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE this!!! Your styling is gorgeous. I’m sharing this today! πŸ™‚

    • Reply Laurie September 2, 2014 at 12:24 pm

      Wow, thanks so much Ashley! I’m thrilled you like it and thanks for sharing. xo

  • Reply kathleen August 27, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    I’m with you! I hate looking at ugly thermostats as well! Your fix is ingenious and fun as well since you get to constantly change tings up whenever you feel like it!
    xo Kathleen

    • Reply Laurie September 2, 2014 at 12:25 pm

      Hi Kathleen, you got me… uggo thermostat, gone and I get to change this when ever I want… that happens a lot! πŸ™‚

  • Reply Terri August 27, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    This looks amazing, what a beautiful wall

    • Reply Laurie September 2, 2014 at 12:25 pm

      Thanks Terri!

  • Reply Sharon Hines August 28, 2014 at 3:36 am

    Your talent blows me away! And also have always felt the need to hide the ugly, functional stuff.

    • Reply Laurie September 2, 2014 at 12:26 pm

      Thanks so very much sweet Sharon! xoxo Function and beauty, what more could a girl who adores design ask for? πŸ™‚

  • Reply Alli August 28, 2014 at 9:53 am

    I’m in awe! I’ve never even thought to cover that ugly wall thermostat! And I love the way you styled the shelving unit! My thermostat is in the hallway and I’m going to try and find a way to cover that ugly thing! Pinning!

    • Reply Laurie September 2, 2014 at 12:29 pm

      Ever since I can remember I’ve despised thermostats and as the years tick by they seems to be even bigger and now they glow!!! I needed to take a stand! πŸ˜‰ Thanks for stopping in and for the pin! xo

  • Reply Personally Andrea August 28, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    Now THAT’s an amazing first impression! So did you teach Mr. how to put the display back together after he moves it to turn the temperature back down after you’ve turned it up? πŸ˜‰ Plus I’m coming to steal a bunch of your fence boards!

    • Reply Laurie September 2, 2014 at 12:31 pm

      Those fence boards are awesome, aren’t they!? I can’t wait to build, build and build some more! Mr. has test drove the plant and the leaning photo, I made sure it was supper easy, he does not like fussy. xo

  • Reply Dani @ lifeovereasy August 28, 2014 at 7:33 pm

    Brilliant! I’ve always hated those things too! The shelf looks great – love that thingie that you put on top – I’m sure it has a more official name πŸ™‚

    • Reply Laurie September 2, 2014 at 12:33 pm

      Hi Dani, no there is no official name for the thingie on top of the shelf… not that I know of. That thingie has been everywhere in my home and it ended on the top accidentally. I placed it there to hold it and it looked awesome.

  • Reply Kerryanne @ Shabby Art Boutique August 28, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    Wow Laurie, the shelf looks amazing. I love it all… far more interesting than looking at ugly thermostats.

    • Reply Laurie September 2, 2014 at 12:34 pm

      Hi Kerryanne, thanks! I agree, more interesting for sure! xo

  • Reply Jane @ Cottage at the Crossroads August 29, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    GASP! My thermostat is out in full view but you’ve given me some ideas on how to disguise it. Love, love, love what you’ve done here! Pinning! πŸ™‚

    • Reply Laurie September 2, 2014 at 12:37 pm

      Thanks so very much Jane, my very first gasp! I love it! lol It’s very easy to hang with the keyhole hangers and removable and not to mention the hours of play for this vignette addict. Thanks for Pinning!

  • Reply Karen dawkins August 30, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    Awesome solution. Excellent execution and directions. Thanks.

    • Reply Laurie September 2, 2014 at 12:37 pm

      Thank-you Karen!

  • Reply janet @ ordinary mom August 30, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    Love this idea. It ended up great. And I am loving your cameras. πŸ™‚

    • Reply Laurie September 2, 2014 at 12:39 pm

      Those cameras were accidental finds, I just stumbled upon them for very cheap and bam, now I adore vintage cameras!

      • Reply janet @ ordinary mom September 2, 2014 at 1:08 pm

        I actually have three myself collected the same way. One was my great uncles old one and two others were found for me. (I took photography YEARS ago in school). I love how structural cameras were back then.

  • Reply Bonnie September 20, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    Love this! I hate that builders always put light switches and thermostats in the middle of walls and how you worked around it is fantastic!

  • Reply Kari October 19, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    I love magic tricks that make everyday things we all have disappear! I want to try something like this on my hand layered limestone look plaster hallway wall that you can guess the stat is totally out of place amongst! I am thinking barn board from my stash, hung horizontal with b&w or sepia pics of my 5 four legged kids (horses!) and other seasonal vignettes Great idea of using the keyhole mounting brackets and I never knew about Minwax antiquing oil – I love the hand rubbed finished look you got from it- how many coats did that take?

    Have you waved your magic wand over the typical ugly water cooler? I have tried to vintage it up with a crock style countertop dispenser vs a free standing dispenser and it is still ugly – do you have any magic in your house for that bit of everyday ugliness too?

  • Reply Laurie October 21, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    Hi Kari,
    Thanks! Ref the antiquing oil, I used 2 – 3 coats. I stopped when the oil stopped soaking in so fast, it will always soak in, but will slow down. Just follow the instructions on the can and you’ll be fine. πŸ™‚ Tung oil will give a very similar look if you can’t for some reason find the antiquing oil. Hmmm, water coolers, can’t say I ever have disguised one of those… ours is in our fridge. But… I find those things are less “visible” the more you “ignore” them. What I mean by that… is it a contrasting colour to your walls? To make it “disappear” it should be the same colour or very similar colour or you could build a barn wood box with a little flap for the water handles, that would be cool too. πŸ™‚

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