Image showcases stools from GlobeWest.

There’s nothing like an unsightly tangle of wires to railroad an otherwise beautiful interior. Just think about it. You have the stone benchtops, artisan tiles, shimmering cabinets, and right centre stage, an ugly power point and trailing cord for the kettle. All that careful design planning is for nothing, because you’ve sabotaged it through one careless act.

So here are four tips to help you plan your technology “hot spots” in the home – and disguise their inner workings. Because let’s face it, you don’t need to make a feature of hanging cords.

#1 Power point presentation 

I’ve renovated old places where there’s one power point for the entire room. I guess that goes back to a time that pre-dated computers, chargers, home technology and all the other assorted paraphernalia we plug into today. So bring on the power points! It’s essential to have a clear idea of furniture placement before you get the sparkie in. The home office computers, the stereo/TV equipment in the living area, floor lamps, the fridge… you want your power connections to these bulky sources neatly concealed, and that begins with a floor plan that maps out exactly where they’re going.

 #2 Pride of place

One of pet hate’s is a fridge cavity with the power point and offending cord in full view. Ditto to a wall-hung TV with the cords dangling below. So it’s not enough to say, “the fridge is going there…”. You need to know the dimensions of your fridge, so the sparkie can place the power point in a concealed spot. The devil is in the detail.

 #3 Storage solutions 

Fortunately, designers have kept pace with our growing thirst for technology, so be sure to review what’s on the market to keep cable mess at bay. Keep your kitchen benchtops clutter-free with an appliance cupboard and make sure the microwave has a hidden home.

For the home office, there’s things like cable management boxes to consolidate all your various gadgets that need charging; and this larger (at nearly 40cm long) cable box that’s big enough for power cables and multi-power points. There’s also various cable management racks that slot onto the underside of your desk. Or how about this nifty plug hub? What I’m saying is: there’s no excuse to have an home office or media nook littered with wire spaghetti.

 #4 Mother of invention

In the rare case that there isn’t a straight-up, off-the-shelf solution to your cable mess, it’s time to innovate. Position a cabledrop like this one directly above a table or desk leg and you should be able to conceal most of the dangling leads behind the leg, maybe with a bit of inconspicuous tape. If the bundle of cables is simply too big for this, then consider a screen of some sort you can place against the wall, under the desk, and dangle all the cords behind it. A wallpapered piece of MDF in your favourite pattern is a decorative solution, or for an effective camouflage, paint the MDF board the same colour as your wall. 

Cherie Barber is the director of Renovating for Profit, a company that teaches everyday people how to buy and renovate properties for a profit. Her next 3-day Renovating for Profit workshop is at Sydney’s International Convention Centre from May 19.

 Want more? Try storage ideas for a tidier bedroom: