📢 [28-29 Oct] Skip showroom-hopping! Meet multiple interior designers on one weekend. Find out more ›

8 Sneaky Ways to Hide HDB Home Eyesores Like Wires and Pipes

Out of sight, out of mind; these renovation tricks will make your inner perfectionist happy.

They might be essential to your home’s functionality, but that doesn’t mean they’ll do it any favours in the aesthetic department.

If you’re a stickler for tidiness and clean lines, common home eyesores like water pipes, electrical wires, and wall sockets will probably frustrate the perfectionist in you to no end – especially with how they make your picture-perfect interiors look off-kilter.

Save to Qanvast Board

View this project by Project Guru

Thankfully, there are a number of ways (read: renovation ideas) to make these visual blights disappear into the background. Here are seven of them:

1. Hiding your bathroom’s plumbing behind box ups

Save to Qanvast Board

They’re big, cumbersome, and take up way too much space (physically and visually), but while you can’t get rid of them, hiding these thick PVC water pipes is absolutely possible. By boxing them up, you’ll be able to create a much sleeker-looking bathroom by hiding all the chunky bits.

Save to Qanvast Board

With the piping completely boxed up, the bathroom sports a clean and well-polished look.

View this project by 9 Creation

A more pocket-friendly (but arguably less effective) method of camouflage would be to paint any exposed pipes in a colour that matches their surroundings. Take for instance, this industrial-style bathroom with jet-black plumbing that perfectly complements the raw aesthetic it has.

Save to Qanvast Board

The plumbing in this bathroom is painted the same shade of black used in other parts of the bathroom for a raw, industrial look.

View this project by Ethereall

2. Using structural columns and beams to anchor carpentry and dividers

While structural columns and beams may keep your home standing stable and sturdy, it doesn’t change the fact that they’re another eyesore in your home. The solution to covering them up is to work with them, not against them.

Save to Qanvast Board

An unconventional but functional idea: using a structural column to anchor carpentry like this kitchen island.

View this project by Free Space Intent

One idea for a structural column is to use it to anchor an island like the one above; the island ‘wraps’ around the structural column clad in brick for a unique open-concept dining area.

As for structural beams, you can use them to build up room dividers. In the home below, a structural beam was used to set up a fluted TV feature ‘wall’ that doubles as a divider between the living and dining areas.

Save to Qanvast Board

Use a structural beam to extend a divider that separates two spaces; with a partial divider, you can maintain an open-concept communal area.

View this project by Eames & Scales

Explore: Can’t Hack These HDB Structures? Here’s What You Can Do

3. Building a false ceiling to conceal overhead trunking

Save to Qanvast Board

Unless you’re keen on giving your home an industrial-style makeover, exposed electrical trunking can make for distracting elements in an otherwise sleek space. There’s one effective solution though, and that’s to mask them from sight within a false ceiling.

Besides, despite common conceptions, false ceilings serve more than just a decorative function. With one in your home, you’ll be able to create a more focused lighting plan by incorporating multiple downlights and/or cove lights that’ll enhance the ambient and accent lighting in your home spaces.

Save to Qanvast Board

A false ceiling in the living room not only helps with planning better lighting, but also with hiding electrical trunking and other hardware.

View this project by MAD About Design

Aircon trunking is another pet peeve you can overcome with a false ceiling too, be it a full or partial one – like in the example below.

Save to Qanvast Board

Another benefit to a false ceiling: being able to hide your aircon trunking like so.

View this project by BuildBuilt

If you want to cut down on the costs of constructing a false ceiling, have your trunking painted the same colour as the surrounding walls, and draw attention away from it with a ‘loud’ feature like the reddish-orange arch in the home below, or decor/paintings.

This works well for trunking that runs along a corridor and other rooms too, since you don’t have to sacrifice room height for a false ceiling.

Save to Qanvast Board

You spotted the painted arch, but what about the aircon trunking? We bet you missed it – a testament to how well such a distraction works.

View this project by Fifth Avenue Interior

4. Concealing a power distribution box within a tall shoe cabinet

Save to Qanvast Board

Often found above the doorway or close to the living area, the DB box is by far one of the least glamorous fixtures in any home. But if space permits, one way to deal with yours would be to surround it with a built-in structure – this can be an entryway shoe cabinet or a display corner, so long as it keeps this bulky box of electrical switches hidden!

Save to Qanvast Board

There’s not a hint of the DB box in this home, thanks to it being concealed within the full-height cabinet.

View this project by The Local Project

5. Having a custom facade for your home’s household shelter

Save to Qanvast Board

Don’t we all wish that one day we’ll be allowed to demolish our HDB flat’s household shelter and finally be able to put the space it occupies to good use? Well, that day isn’t coming soon (or ever), but you can still make good use of this eyesore.

One idea we recommend trying out is building a functional facade on the outside. On top of making your household shelter useful – be it as a shoe cabinet or a display area – having a false front will mean having one less ugly sight in your home.

Save to Qanvast Board

The facade of this household shelter serves a dual purpose – to conceal the shelter and as an easy-to-reach shoe cabinet.

View this project by Miracle Design Studio

On the other hand, it’s not a very practical solution if your household shelter is in the kitchen, since it could take up storage space and walking room. Instead, you can ‘camouflage’ it by painting the door the same colour as the rest of your kitchen, like the household shelter below.

Save to Qanvast Board

Painted the same glossy shade of white as the wall, this household shelter is near-invisible.

View this project by Juz Interior

Explore: Household Shelter an Eyesore? Not In These 7 Homes

6. Creating a storage area that hides your home’s rubbish chute

Save to Qanvast Board

Unlike their newer BTO cousins, the majority of old-school HDB flats still have their rubbish chutes located indoors. While that might be a convenient feature, having one exposed in your kitchen doesn’t make for good hygiene (or a nice-smelling home for the matter), which is exactly why you’d want to hide it.

Save to Qanvast Board

View this project by Inizio Atelier

Save to Qanvast Board

Like in this home, you can create some handy storage space by concealing the rubbish chute within a separate countertop.

View this project by Inizio Atelier

There are two methods with which you can conceal an inhouse rubbish chute: the traditional way and the not-so-traditional way. The former would be to simply stow it away in an under-the-sink cabinet or within a separate countertop, whereas the latter simply involves building a partition half-wall that shields the chute from plain sight.

7. Getting built-ins like cabinets to hide bathroom sink pipes

Save to Qanvast Board

With box ups (or painted-over pipes), your bathroom might look presentable from the top. But don’t forget about the bottom – by which we mean the drainage pipes underneath your sink.

There’s no shortage of fuss-free ways to hide this eyesore: you can either mask them with potted plants or simply place a laundry basket in front. However, building a counter or under-sink cabinet is still the most effective, and not to mention, the most practical trick in the books as it’ll also provide you with useful storage space.

Save to Qanvast Board

This floating built-in cabinet helps to conceal drainage pipes under the sink; it’s dressed in a laminate that complements the surrounding geometric tiles for a cohesive look.

View this project by MET Interior

8. Conceal exposed wall sockets with carpentry

Save to Qanvast Board

Power sockets, as well as extension cables, are a godsend, especially when you have to charge multiple devices at one go. But cable clutter? Not at all.

So, if you’re looking for a way to hide these exposed wires, try this renovation idea that’ll also keep any related accessories – and even your power sockets – out of sight. With a flip-down storage nook like this one (along with other tidy features) anywhere in your home, you can finally breathe a sigh of relief.

Save to Qanvast Board

This flip-down nook conceals the clutter of wires when closed, but also gives you a spot place your charging items when flipped open.

View this project by Flo Design

Ready to get creative with concealing your home’s unsightly features?

First step: finding an interior designer who can help you hide the aforementioned eyesores and more. Just tell us your renovation requirements and we can get you personalised renovation quotes from local interior design firms for free!

You will also be eligible for the Qanvast Trust Programme, which includes the Qanvast Guarantee that safeguards up to $50,000 of your renovation deposits.

This article was originally published on 30 April 2021 and last updated on 27 June 2023.

We're on Telegram, Instagram, and TikTok! Follow us there to keep up with the latest design trends 🙌

Renovate with assurance, only on Qanvast. Find and meet interior designers verified by homeowners, with no hidden costs and no commissions involved. Find an ID

Preparing the next article…
Recommended for you