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Five Easy Tips for Hiding an Air Conditioner

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The mercury is rising in the thermometer, and it’s starting to get too hot to enjoy the home you’ve put so much effort into. A big ugly air conditioning unit can ruin the aesthetics of your decor, or detract away from the furniture that was so perfectly chosen for your room.

It doesn’t need to be that way!  AC units can be easily hidden behind minimalist cabinets. Here are a few great ways of hiding the unit, but keeping the function.

Remember, it’s important to make sure you do not inhibit the air-flow around your unit. While the aim here is to hide your air conditioner, it still needs to function safely.

Die-cut Cabinets

Wall cabinets are the perfect place to hide AC equipment. Finding a wall mounted cabinet to build around the unit itself will ensure the unit does not look out of place. Having doors on the front of the cabinet will help tremendously if you need access for servicing or any HVAC repairs, and the cutout designs will make sure that there is ample airflow.

Slatted Wall Panelling

Why not kill two birds with one stone? You could take the opportunity to hide some extra storage. Add shelves along the same wall as your air conditioner to minimize clutter elsewhere in the room, and then cover the entire wall with a sliding slatted door covering floor to ceiling. Not only is it functional; it’s also smart. Again, you will get easy access to the AC should you need it, and you get the airflow you need.

Iron Grates  

Take a look around some reclamation yards for some vintage iron grates you could upcycle into a gorgeous cover for a recessed air conditioner. Sand down the bars for a rustic, shabby-chic look. This would make an attractive focal point to your room too. Be sure and consider how you would open the grates in the future, should a service engineer need to get to your unit.

Decorative Panel

Why not make a design feature out of the need to hide your AC?

Use a large wooden die-cut panel to mask off your AC. Remember though, you will need access to it at some point in the future, so it’s worthwhile fitting a hinge. You can paint it in a vibrant color which contrasts against the rest of your room so that you make a real feature of it.

Build a Media Unit

The final option here is not hiding it. Building around it can distract away from it being there. A wall unit with space for ornaments, books and even your TV will make the air conditioner look as though it’s meant to be there. Simply design a space into the shelving where the air-conditioner would not look out of place. Think about placing shelving around the AC in a symmetrical manner, if possible to create a balanced aesthetic. Match the color of the shelving to the color of the air conditioner, that way it won’t look out of place.


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Karen LeBlanc

Karen LeBlanc is a travel host and writer with a popular travel show, The Design Tourist, and a companion lifestyle blog. As a widely published travel journalist and content creator, Karen is a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association. She also serves as the Design and Travel editor of the national lifestyle magazine, LaPalme. Karen believes that every destination has a story to tell through its local art, architecture, culture, and craft. This immersive creative exploration begins with authentic accommodations where the narrative of place unfolds through art, accessories, accouterments, furnishings, fixtures, and food. 

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