You’ve all seen it: the charge cords dangling from kitchen countertops. The home office overrun with electronics equipment. The family room with cords, well, everywhere.
So, how do you have beautiful rooms that incorporate technology? As a professional decorator and home stager, I have solutions.
Take that Amazon Alexa or Google Home. Want to make it look good on your kitchen countertop? Make a vignette around it. Vignettes, which are small groupings of objects, have the dual ability to feature pretty décor pieces and disguise everyday things like technology, all at the same time.
How to implement this? In my kitchen, I plugged our Alexa into an outlet at the end of the counter. Then, I carefully rolled the excess Alexa cord and placed it behind a decorative, raw-edge, cutting board that rests on the counter and leans against the backsplash. Add a piece of art and a cute bowl, and voilá. You have a nice-looking vignette with your technology incorporated into it.
For cell phone chargers in kitchens, I first recommend a little planning. Choose a dedicated, out-of-the-cooking-space location and upgrade the current outlet to an electrical outlet with USB. It’s under $30. Now, you’re ready for, you guessed it: a vignette. Add a tray, a small lamp, and a real (or faux) plant by your new outlet, and you have a pretty charging station. The tray corrals the electronics and the vignette elevates the look.
In family rooms, I like to analyze how people live. For example, in my house my husband has a favorite chair. He loves his chair and always sits there. This lets me plan a personalized electronics station for him. Right next to his chair there’s a dedicated power strip for his laptop, cell phone, and e-reader cords. They are all rolled up in a decorative box with a lid. The box has wide handle openings built in, so cords come out through these spaces as needed, and the lid stays on. This eliminates piles of charging cords from plain view, while keeping everything handy.
My other tip is: extra-long charger cords. Buy one the color of your favorite chair or side table (depending on where you want to put it) and watch it melt into the space with some careful placement behind furniture legs. Mine matches my sofa. We just had house guests, and they didn’t even realize my charger was in the room.
Moving to the office, it’s a great idea to cut down on some of the visible electronics that, when you think about it, don’t really need to be visible. My solution is baskets. For example, take a tall, fairly large, wicker basket with a lid (open handle spaces woven into the sides work best). Place your shredder inside it and loop the cord out through the handle opening. Pop the lid back on the basket and you have visually eliminated the shredder, while still keeping it handy.
The key to all these suggestions: tuck those cords. Then sit back and admire your beautiful rooms.
About the Author
Bridgett Wilson, of the eponymous Bridgett Wilson Designs, specializes in small-scale decorating projects, home staging, and paint color consultations throughout northern Virginia. A mom to two grown daughters, she lives in Gainesville with her husband and their very fun Belgian shepherd. You can find her at bwilsondesigns.com.