Friday, January 25, 2013

Hiding the Electrical Panel

Before I start this post, I want to say that you really shouldn't alter your electrical panel without making sure it is within code for your area. I tried to find the code for Ontario, but had no luck. All I know if that you really aren't supposed to build a permanent structure in front of a panel (like a pantry), it should not be near water (so don't build a bathroom around it!), and it should not be blocked from easy access. I am also pretty sure you cannot store anything in the surrounding structure, if you chose to build a cover box.

Anyway, this post is because yesterday Cait at Hernando House and some of us on Twitter were discussing how best to hide her electrical panel, which is randomly next to her master bedroom in the hallway of her house. I realized that I don't think I have ever properly showed how I hide mine! If you have been reading this blog for awhile (or have visited my condo), you might be realizing right now that you have never seen the panel!

That is because it is one of the first things I focused on when I moved in. See, my electrical panel is RIGHT in your face when you enter the condo! Yuck! I decided to cover it with a mirror because you need a mirror in a front hall regardless. My dad brought me over some mirrors to cover it years ago, and this one chunky one fit the bill!

Now You See It

Now You Don't!
This particular mirror was perfect too because the frame was a inch deep in the back, meaning it would lie flat over the panel. Originally it had paper backing, but dad and I just ripped that off. So my recommendation if you go this route is to look for a mirror like that :)

Other ideas for hiding a panel:
- Painting the panel to match the wall (maybe with chalkboard paint!)
- Hanging art/or an old shutter over the panel
- Leaning a mirror against the wall
- Build a box over the panel, with a door for access (just make sure it is to code!)
- Hang a curtain over the area
- Cover it with framed corkboard and make it a message centre
- Hang a framed calendar over it
- Hang a frame around it and pretend it is modern art ;)

If your panel is not centered in the wall, don't be afraid to use a covering that is larger than your panel to make it look nice and even on the wall!


  1. Such a great idea, Casey! (And thanks for the shout-out!) I think my current plan is to look for a mirror similar to this and frame it out in distressed wood. I'm hoping I can find some barnwood through one of Robert's many contacts.

    1. cant wait to see! wanna make me one too? ;)

    2. Hah, I wish! I'm currently trying to figure out there is an easy way to ship barn wood (maybe large USPS flat rate boxes?), but I'm thinking it's going to be a no-go. May have to settle for something like this, which is a bummer since Emily @ Merrypad's barn wood mirror is so lovely.

      Also, most of the mirrors I've found that are wide enough are half the cost of the West Elm mirror. So sad. I need to un-earth the one in our shed from my parent's bouse and see how big it is.

    3. hmm, does home depot and that sell plain mirrors? somehow all bathrooms seem to comes with large, unframed mirrors so they get them from somewhere!

      ive seen lots of blogs distress wood- it looks really nice!

      Another solution- dress all in black and go out to a farm in the middle of the night and rob them of their beautiful wood!

      ......dont actually do that :P

    4. Bahahaha! I like the way you think! (And no, I won't actually do that, haha.)

      I need to unearth a large mirror from our shed, hopefully it's a decent size for this. If that turns our to be a bust I did manage to find a fairly decently sized mirror at Target for $70, which isn't TOO bad.

  2. I saw your discussion on Twitter yesterday and hanging a mirror is front is a really great idea - especially since it's right in your entry.
    I think Sarah Richardson did something similar in the first season of 'Sarah's house', although she used art since the electrical panel was in the laundry room.

  3. That was a good idea, I really like that :)


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