How to Hide That Annoying Vent




Once upon a time, from the 1980s up until the mid-2000s when reckless banking shattered the American Dream, the country’s real estate market was awash with money and houses were popping up like toadstools.

Unfortunately, many of those homes were designed on the fly by greedy developers who couldn’t care less if the main HVAC vent was at eye level on the living room wall. Or the dining room wall. Or the … you get the picture.

So, what to do? You can’t cover them up because they circulate air through your home. Ah, if only David Copperfield had focused on making something like this disappear instead of the Statue of Liberty!

The good news is that you, too, can use the powers of illusion to “vanish” these eyesores, as magicians like to say. Abracadabra!

  1. 1.       Mystical Paint

Most of the time, what we notice isn’t the vent but the dark spaces between the louvers. Mask these by painting the wall and the vent cover a darker color. Call it an “accent wall.” It’s all the rage these days.

  1. 2.      Supernatural Shelving

Executing this trick will depend on the size and location of the vent, but fortunately your options are nearly limitless when it comes to open-backed shelving. The key is to situate it so the vent remains accessible between two shelves, keeping in mind that deep shelves work the best to hide the vent in the shadows.

  1. 3.      Magical Vent Covers

One of the master illusionist’s oldest tricks: Hide your vent in plain sight with a decorative vent cover (or register, as they're sometimes called) that dupes people into thinking they’re looking at something fancy. Their eyes will slip right over it without even noticing.

We hope these tips help you hide your hideous vents and invites you to write in with your own vent magic!

This etagere from American Drew features two adjustable shelves, which would come in handy to better frame and mask an unsightly vent. 

Decorative vent covers from Reggio Register come in a wide selection of dimensions and finishes. 

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