Need help in furniture placement to cover a/c return.
October 9, 2012 in Design Dilemma
I've got a long wall in the living room with high vaulted ceiling. At one end is my 55in TV on a piece of furniture and I have an etegere with some collectibles that needs to be on that wall. This a/c return is at the end of the wall and is so ugly to look at. Any suggestions?
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you could maybe put a book shelf in front of the vent.
October 9, 2012 at 3:23pm   
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It doesn't look that bad, at least it's the same color as the wall. The thing is you don't want to put anything there that will block it. You could try a square parsons table with a plant on it, or holiday decorations. You could also hang tapestry above it to draw the eye upward.
October 9, 2012 at 3:43pm     
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Two generously sized floor plants in wonderful contemporary on each side of your etagere
October 9, 2012 at 4:49pm     
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Marie Hebson's interiorsBYDESIGN Inc.
You'd have to move the table that is kitty corner to this wall now - if you add a bookshelf to cover this you'll really close up the door way area.

I'd leave it alone - hang some gorgeous art on this wall centred to detract from it being there. Always paint it the same as wall colour to take away attention to it.
Good luck!
October 9, 2012 at 5:20pm     
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Thanks for your comments...I like the idea of the art above it. I think it will eventually "disappear". My husband wants to put a white carved screen there that belonged to his Mom, but I really was looking for another alternative. I don't care for it!
October 9, 2012 at 5:44pm   
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Any kind of carved screen sitting out on the floor like that would be a recipe for disaster for me, as I must be the clumsiest person on earth.
October 9, 2012 at 6:10pm     
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Yes, a large beautiful piece of art for that area and maybe even a bench seat below, in a pretty upholstered pattern would be useful and distract from the vent.
October 9, 2012 at 11:16pm     
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Similar to what Bobbi P said I wonder if you framed two canvases in the exact same size and shape and hung them above it, you might transform it into art. You could try ones painted the wall color or shades of the wall color, one a bit darker, one much darker or you could paint the return one color and make the two canvases the same or a complementary colors. If the wall is really high, you might need another, but odd numbers tend to be more pleasing. I don't have a picture for what I mean, but the concept is transforming a nuisance into art.
October 10, 2012 at 3:49am     
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PS - you can try this out with big pieces of paper before investing in canvas!
October 10, 2012 at 4:36am   
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I agree with betappel. Turn it into a feature. Spray paint the cover with an enamel in a color you love and frame it in inexpensive molding. Flat art around it to make it an art wall or a beautiful tall vase with some kind of arrangement would look good. It's important not to interfere with its function.
October 10, 2012 at 5:06am   
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Shana Willis_Drum
1st of all, I have not design ability, so can't comment on that. The reason I am commenting is if you want your A/C to work properly, you can not cover that vent with anything that restricts the air flow. We own a heating and air company in Texas and that is one of the top mistakes homeowners make.
October 10, 2012 at 6:32am     
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Transforming Rooms
This Interior Designer's Blog provides tips for covering vents (including photographs).

Even better - You can type in just about any subject in the Search Box at the top such as:
"what size rug?" or
"how to select wall paint" or
" window treatment photos and ideas"
(then all the old blogs on the subject you're interested in will come up). If you don't see what you want, type a general question in the comment section.

It's a great sight with some great tips! There's also before and after photos & tips at
October 10, 2012 at 6:54am     
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an open console table or open shelf. The graduated ladder shelves are fun and trendy
October 10, 2012 at 7:15am   
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Paintings by Kirsten Elizabeth Gilmore
I agree about keeping the air flow to the vent with low shelving or a bench or console table.

Art to draw the eye upward would definitely help. From the photo, it looks like a 24"X 36" or 24" X 30" canvas, hung horizontally would fit your space. (Art that is too small and all by itself can look awkward in a room.) To be safe, definitely measure to ensure the exact size of the space.

Let me know if you want to commission an original painting that fits with your color scheme.
October 10, 2012 at 8:02am   
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I like the plant idea. You should never block an air return or your house won't cool/heat efficiently. However, plants in front of the air return will tend to get more dusty...
October 10, 2012 at 8:55am   
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Yo can also put a mirror with a classy border instead of art and a open console below or a running shelf
October 10, 2012 at 9:08am   
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Thanks all! I feel like anything with shelves will compete with the etagere next to it...Don't like things lined up on a wall but seems like it has to be that way on this wall...:(
October 10, 2012 at 9:18am   
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Here's a picture of the screen I was talking about earlier. Really don't care for it there...(really don't care for it at all! lol)
October 10, 2012 at 9:22am   
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Melissa Doan - Weidel Realtors - New Hope
I agree that the screen doesn't match the style and scale of your room. I would avoid putting furniture like shelving too close to an entryway/corner so I really think canvases or tapestries are really the way to go.
October 10, 2012 at 9:37am     
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Consider hanging the screen on the wall over a bed-I think it's quite lovely but not in that space. Perhaps hang something not too large , quirky, and colorful (art piece or clock) to draw the eye but not overwhelm-- and not hung higher than the bookcase.
October 10, 2012 at 10:00am     
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i wouldnt cover the return just for the sake of covering it. make sure whatever you add to the space is functional or atleast makes sense with the existing space plan. would need to see more of the room to really determine a solution
October 10, 2012 at 10:03am   
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Take a scroll Design [ Something in Japanese written on it ] Do it on Raw silk With perforations in symmetric order in respects to the width of the vents & match height to your Door. Hang it like a calendar, space it [ approx 4 inches from wall ] Viola you have a great hanging Scroll covering a sore area without taking away the utility or space & won't hurt in case of a collision as little space is left for movement. Do get back. Regards Rajesh.
October 10, 2012 at 12:25pm   
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Your etegere is way too small and lacks substance for a wall this large. Look at the photo from judyg and incorporate shelving and the tv into one larger scale grouping. That in itself will make the vent "disappear".
October 10, 2012 at 2:35pm     
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The A/C vent is not so bad. When you paint it be careful not to let the paint clog the openings. I have a similar problem. My vent is louvered. Eventually I hope to change it. It is in my family room next to
the doorway to my husband's den. The A/C unit is in a closet behind the door to the den.

You have little room for a furniture piece being the vent is close to the walk thru. I don't think someone walking into the room is going to turn their head to look at the vent, and say "Ugly".
As long as it is the same color as the walls, leave well enough alone.
October 11, 2012 at 4:31am   
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I would rethink that whole wall and the cabinet on the opposite wall. Now it's a bad flow of stuff.
The shelf unit does not fit, skip the short screne. You don't want items to interfer with the flow. Look in a lot of magazines and also second hand stores and antique locations. Something will speak to you.
Even if this is to late...have fun, relax.
October 30, 2012 at 3:15pm   
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Get a matching etagere, center the TV on that wall and flank it with both of them nicely decorated with your collection. The return air will never be noticed.
October 30, 2012 at 3:22pm   
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