First of all, thank you so much for all the kind words about the DIY sconces I shared the week before last! I am super happy with how they turned out, and really appreciate all the kind things you had to say about them!
In that post I mentioned that someday I would get around to painting our horrible tan baseboards in the living room. You can see one lurking behind the plant stand:
Well I actually got my act together sooner than expected, and in an effort to make a recent lazy weekend feel a *little* more productive I tackled two things that have been lingering in the living room: the tan baseboards/radiators, and the mess of cords running along said baseboards/radiators.
Even though we painted the living room walls literally the day we closed on our house, we left the baseboards and radiators their original horrible tan color because we were lazy. And then we lived with them for another 2.5 years, because I always felt like I had bigger fish to fry. Here they are hanging out in the background of this beautiful photo:
Since we’re between major projects right now (having wrapped up the kitchen, and getting ready for the exterior of the house this spring once the weather improves), I decided to take advantage of the downtime to tackle this annoying but relatively minor task.
I moved the furniture away from the walls and went to town with the painters tape (I usually prefer to cut in with a steady hand rather than tape, but taping along the top of of the radiators is a straight shot and super easy).
Then I worked my way around the room, doing three coats to get full coverage. It took me about 3 hours from start to finish including prep and clean-up, so really not that bad for a Saturday afternoon activity.
So much better, right?
Oh wait, what’s that, an annoying audio cord that I keep trying to tuck on the baseboard but that keeps coming out and looking super messy?
And gross tape that I keep trying to restick but it is constantly getting covered in dust and cat hair and falling off?
I honestly could not figure out what to do with this cord, and similarly with some cords I have running along the wall with the picture window in order for the lamp over there to plug in. I resisted formal cord management solutions because everything I saw looked bulky and expensive. But then I found these:
These cord channels are $4.57 for a 5′ length, and thick enough to fit 1-2 cords (so the profile is pretty slim). Now I’m kicking myself that I didn’t find these earlier. (This isn’t sponsored content by CordMate or Home Depot, I’m just really happy with how these worked out!)
I needed to wrangle cords running 5′ on one wall and 7′ on another, so I picked up three of these plus a package of couplings to join two lengths for another $1.70. (They also make inside, outside, and 90 degree elbow pieces if you need to go around corners or change direction, which I didn’t.)
The are soft enough to be cut with scissors, so on the wall where I needed 7′ I used a full 5′ length and then cut a 2′ section from another piece. The tracks have a slit in the bottom where you slip in the cord:
Attaching them to the wall is easy, they have a sticky backing across their entire length so you just pull off the protective coating. I decided to just pull off the coating in a handful of places rather than down the whole length, that way if I do need to remove them and they take any paint with them the damage will be more limited. Even so, they’re nice and snug against the wall.
Here’s the transition between two sections:
And I just popped on the coupling to make it look cleaner:
Okay so remember the before:
And here it is now:
The cord cover blends in so well with the radiator and has such a slim profile that it’s barely noticeable. And even if you did notice it, you would be like, “look at that clever approach to cleanly hiding cords!” not “omg what is that disgusting tape with cat hair stuck to it?”
Normally we have the blanket chest in front of it so it’s even less noticeable, but still refreshingly not-tan and not-messy. Here it was before:
And here it is now (without the plant, because we killed that like two years ago):
I also did this along the picture window, where I have an extension cord running so that I can plug in the lamp that’s between the two chairs. Here it was before I painted the radiator:
And here’s a closer look at the cord mess lurking under the yellow chair:
I used a single 5′ length, ran the extension cord through it so that the socket just sticks out the other end behind the side table, and then stuck it to the wall.
To wrangle the excess extension cord on the other end, I used one of my favorite things: velcro cable ties. They’re like zipties, but because they’re velcro you can actually loosen then without having to cut and destroy them. I also use them for keeping my supply of spare extension cords nice and neat.
Anyway, that little bundle of excess cord is invisible with the curtain back in place:
I used a velcro tie to keep the lamp cord bundled up too, and now it’s looking very neat indeed under the side table even when you’re crouched on the floor:
And if you’re looking at it from a normal human angle, you can’t even see any cords:
Maybe it’s a little weird that there’s a cable cover on one side and not the other, but I don’t think the asymmetry is noticeable unless you’re looking for it nor do I care at all.
So here’s the window wall now with fancy new white baseboards and no visible cords:
And the baseboards around the couch, before:
Okay so it’s not a major transformation, but it feels really good to cross these off my to-do list after more than two years. And if you want a fun trip down memory lane, here are a few gifs of how the room (and my photography…) has evolved over time since we moved in:
And the same for the picture window wall:
So if you’ve been procrastinating on painting baseboards I’m here to tell you it’s worth it, and if you have a cord management problem on your hands I couldn’t recommend CordMate channels and velcro cable ties more highly!