Hiding our ugly essentials with DIY shelves

Thought I’d share with you how I managed to hide an ugly spot in my small hall, a big old radiator with a fuse box and fire alarm above.  All essential things, so no option to get rid and too expensive to move. However as this was the ‘view’ when moving from the kitchen into the rest of the flat, I needed to think of a cost-effective solution of how to disguise.

What were the options??

  • I could have replaced the radiator with one more appealing, there are  a lot of fine looking radiators about but they can be expensive and it wouldn’t address the fuse box.
  • I could just box the whole thing in, but how would the heat get out?

A solution?

I thought I would make a dresser like feature where I could keep glasses etc, a bit of extension of the kitchen, as it was so close. Although as ever I didn’t want to spend too much money.

The process

I used an off-the-shelf radiator cover as the base of the dresser and fixed some shelves above, topping off with a removable panel to hide the fuse box.  The shelves and panel were fixed to the wall in their own right, so not supported by the radiator cover; that would have been far too wobbly.  Also this means if needed the radiator panel can be removed without taking down the shelves. As I had materials over I went a bit further and built shelves around the office door, well it would have been rude to waste them 😉

Here’s a little photo story of how I did it. Of course, when I say ‘I’ I mean I had help from my DIY man about the house-husband 😍

DIY hall (2)

Picture 1. View from the kitchen door, you can see the radiator and the fuse box and the big red fire alarm!  At this stage I’ve added the wallpaper that will form the backing for the shelves.

Picture 2. The radiator cover in its raw MDF state, and after it had been painted Picture 3

This pic below gives you an idea of the assembly process and the location of the over the door shelves. The dresser would be positioned on the wall where you see the stools. Everything was painted before the final assembly, which made it a lot easier.


work in progress

And this is how it looks today.

finished hall (2)

The shelves outside the office door are great. They take up no room, but are home for all of life’s odds and ends. Against the busy wallpaper nothing really stands out, which is perfect as these aren’t things of beauty in their own right. I have however fallen out of love a bit with the paint colour of the pseudo dresser, so will soon be repainting, maybe green?

The cost of the project was around £120 with the most expensive item being the radiator cover. The MDF sheet for the shelves was £18 from my local building suppliers who even cut it to the required sizes at no extra cost. The rest of the spend was for paint, wallpaper and fixings, including the magnets to hold the removable fuse box cover in place.

A few more details……

Wallpaper Fine Decor Birch Tree Natural Wallpaper  £12.99, Homebase

Paint Annie Sloan Emile Chalk Paint £18.95 (more than enough)

Radiator cover Cambridge Medium Radiator Cover B&Q £58

Would be good to know your thoughts and how you have solved similar problems around your home 🙂

IMG_0435 (2)





Categories: DIY, interior design, storage

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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