Creating a Happy, Colorful, Handmade Home & life on the shores of lake superior

September 24, 2014

Hiding Lamp Cords inside Furniture

How to deal with lamp cords

Lamp cords + furniture have long stumped me.  Many years ago I read an article that exposed decorating magazine tricks, like taping lamp cords to furniture for photos or photoshopping them out completed.  I felt cheated!  And deflated.  If the design experts and interior decorators of the world couldn't show us how to actually deal with unsightly cords, I figured it was impossible.  After we welded Hubby's desk, a genius reader asked if we could our fit lamp cords through the hollow square tube legs.  We couldn't, but that's when it dawned on me: if we were making/DIYing our own furniture, why weren't we creating secret spots for lamp cords?!?  If we had chosen wider tubing, the reader's suggestion would have been totally feasible.  It definitely got me thinking.  The dining room credenza was our first opportunity to create a cord solution.  As you already saw, we drilled holes through our DIY wood top and threaded the lamp cords down into the unit, and out of sight.

How to hide lamp cords in furniture

What you didn't see was the inside of the cabinet:

Put lamp cords inside of furniture
Ikea hack: hide funiture cords inside Besta units

To manage the cords, which are threaded to the outlet behind the centre unit, Handy Hubby drilled a 1.25" hole (using a hole saw) between the Besta units.  Using a jigsaw, he then notched out the back of the two shelves in the centre unit to allow the cords to be routed down the back and to the outlet positioned conveniently behind the wall-mounted credenza.

Dealing with lamp cords

Honestly, I stop and admire our floating credenza daily, because it just looks so polished.  Normally I nitpick and eventually find fault with our projects, but the credenza is still in my good books.  Recently we added furniture grommets to complete the look!  Furniture grommets are just little caps that slide into a hole and make it look tidy, similar to the function of fabric grommets.  The grommets we bought (from Lowe's) were so easy to install: we just pushed them into the hole.  Done.

Silver furniture grommets

When Hubby and I build a desk for the office, we're going to do something similar and cut holes for all of our cords and hide them somewhere inside.  Next time, though, I'm going to order the grommets before we make holes.  It seemed like 1.5" was a common size for grommets, so we made the holes that size.  When I went to actually order them, weeks after putting the top on the credenza, I realized that many of the available 1.5" grommets looked more appropriate for an office conference table.  The sleek, metal ones I wanted were all a different size.  (You know, for someone with a PhD, sometimes I really bomb in the areas of research and preparation).  I was thrilled when I finally tracked down these silver plastic ones at Lowe's.  They were $17.00 for the pair, which I thought was a bit steep for two plastic rings (and they're not even turquoise!), but they look great and don't feel cheap, so I think they were worth the price.  And the six hour drive to Minneapolis, MN to pick them up.

If you're going to add furniture grommets, find the ones you want before you drill the holes.  The styles and sizes really vary, but there is an abundance online.  This pair is cute and so is this one.

Decorator trick: hiding lamp cords
How to hide lamp cords
Sleek and modern furniture grommets

Do dangling lamp cords ever bother you?  Do you have any fabulous suggestions?  I'm on the hunt for more ideas!
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11 comments

  1. This is the best "faux denza" I've seen around the blogosphere. Are the doors for this besta unit still available at Ikea? I've been trolling their website trying to build something similar because I really like the sea-glassy look of your unit but they are either discontinued or I am blind. Both options are equally plausible.

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    1. Thanks so much! I will unearth my catalog and take a good look. I haven't seen them online before - not while I was pricing things out, anyway. I had to actually go in store to see them. Is there an Ikea near you?

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  2. This idea is so clever-- when I turned my closet into a desk I made SURE to remember to drill a hole for my computer cord in the back corner. I am in a constant battle with the fan on our side table though... and the skinny metal legs of the table don't help. blarg.

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    1. I now want to drill holes in all of my furniture, lol. I have the same skinny metal leg problem with my nightstands, but luckily those lamp cords are clear-ish so they aren't so noticeable. But I hear ya! I'll put on my thinking cap...

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  3. I don't have any ideas for you but I really like yours and will definitely look into doing the same for my pesky chords.

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    1. I will have to do a round up of some great cord-battling idea because I'm sure there are more out there. Mine's so specific.

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  4. This looks so polished- I love how it turned out.

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    1. Thanks!! I'm so pleased with how polished it looks. No one who sees it in real life guesses it's an Ikea hack!

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  5. I love how it all looks. I adore those candles.

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  6. Tanya, I have a question on the Iittala Festivo candlesticks...are the ones that are signed the only authentic candlesticks? I have really like the looks of them, so I started a collection and my sister bought me several. Only 1 is signed.

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    1. As I understand it, not all of them were signed. My collection from my grandmother, which I know is 100% authentic, is unsigned but when I purchased a few more in the classifieds, some were signed. There are fakes, though, but when compared side-by-side with the real festivos, they look obvious. This article has great photos:

      http://www.collectorsweekly.com/stories/79015-festivo-fakes

      Beware, as some antique dealers/etsy sellers have tried to pass off the fakes as the real thing.

      Happy collecting!! I'm so excited to hear you've started a collection - and how lovely and thoughtful of your sister to purchase some for you!

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