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Camouflage Unsightly Outdoor Appliances


A lean to carport could be just the thing you need to help camouflage your valuable items or block those things you want hidden.

There are many familiar sights in and around the exterior of most homes: Trash cans, air conditioning units, utility meters, and automatic garage door openers are just a few examples. All of these items have a purpose, but they can be unsightly on an otherwise attractive piece of property. Fortunately, there are creative ways you can camouflage these items and others so they don’t detract from the look of your home, garage, or yard.

Air Conditioning Unit

Though you’re grateful to have air conditioning on those 80-degree days in July, an outdoor AC unit can be unattractive. The metal on the unit may even be dirty or starting to rust. One way to camouflage your outdoor AC unit is to purchase an inexpensive screen at a home improvement store. These durable screens hide three sides of an AC unit. If you have a wooden fence around your yard, look for a wooden screen with an attractive lattice design. There are screen designs available that can enhance the appearance of your property.

Trash Cans

If you want to hide your trash cans from view, you can get a portable privacy screen to put up in front of them. This is an option whether your garbage cans are lined up in the garage or sitting next to a wall outside your home. There are some very decorative screens that feature faux wooden panels or even a wall of faux ivy. Another option is to decorate the cans to make them look more presentable. You could get a stencil of the first letter of your last name at a craft store and spray-paint that letter on each of your cans. Flowers, trees, and birds are other ideas if you want to decorate your trash cans with painted images. Just think of how easy it will be to find them if they ever blow down the street on a windy day!

Utility Meter

There is really nothing visually appealing about a utility meter. Placing a portable trellis in front of your utility meter is one way to camouflage it. Just make sure that the meter is still accessible to the meter reader. You could decorate a traditional white trellis with English ivy, clematis, or climbing hydrangeas. I think morning glories are especially pretty on a white trellis.

Automatic Garage Door Opener

Homeowners with an automatic garage door usually have a unit on the wall of the garage. One way to hide this unit is to put an old wooden picture frame over it with a small door that opens on a hinge. When you need to operate the garage door, simply pull the decorative door knob on the little wooden door to gain access to the buttons.

Dog Carriers

Perhaps you put your dogs in the garage overnight to sleep inside their carriers. To dress up the look of the carriers, you can attach colorful pieces of fabric to them with the help of some Velcro. Pieces of fabric featuring famous cartoon dogs, stars, cats, or even the dog’s name are all fun ideas that add color to a plain-looking dog carrier.

Try a few of these ideas and tell me how they work. Thanks for reading! – Alan

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