If you installed basement pumps while finishing your basement, you probably learned more about the size, shape and capacity of these home essentials than you expected. Your education wasn’t wasted because you’ll need to take into account the shape, mount and configuration of your pumps before you can come up with strategies for disguising them. Your options are limitless, so kick the creative side of your brain into high gear and design a truly original camouflage that’s both utilitarian and affordable.
Things You'll Need
- Grow lights
- Portable screens
- 2- by 4-inch lumber
- Wood screws
- Blackboard paint
- Enamel paint
Build a small, moveable library that’s stationed around or in front of the pumps. Purchase three bookcases that are tall enough to obscure them. Mount the bookcases on casters for quick access so they can be rolled away when you need to make repairs or check on plumbing hidden behind your new library. Arrange the bookcases in a row or half circle. Select half-bookcases if your plumbing doesn’t climb the entire wall and then hang art at a height that merges the bookcases with the wall art to obscure the area’s functional infrastructure.
Disguise your pipes with greenery. Hang grow lights from your ceiling to keep your mini-garden thriving year-round. Arrange a collection of easy-to-grow plants and/or trees in the pump area so the plumbing is obscured. Seat each on a rolling stand so you can move them around easily. Wrap your piping in green tape to add an inexpensive, clever touch that further disguises the plumbing. Install silk in place of live plants and trees if you prefer a no-maintenance garden -- in which case you can skip the grow lights.
Acquire decorative screens that complement your basement decor and hide those pumps from view. Explore the world of art screens to choose from beach scenes, Van Gogh or Lautrec paintings or sprays of cherry blossoms to match Asian decor. Or opt for a do-it-yourself canvas screen that allows you to be the artist in residence by painting or otherwise decorating this 6-foot-tall canvas. Move the screen aside with little effort when you need to service your pumps.
Hide your pumps on a shoestring. Hang decorative rods in a semicircle from the basement ceiling. Measure the distance to the floor before choosing and buying enough polyester fabric – to keep the number of wrinkles down -- to make curtain panels that fall gracefully from the ceiling, camouflaging your pumps. Tie the cloth panels back with decorative roping when you access the pumps.
Give the kids their own art gallery to hide the pumps. Create panels for kid-friendly media by building an art wall. Construct a frame of two-by-fours sized to meet the height of your children using a drill and wood screws. Attach a plywood sheet to the frame to fashion the wall. Sand and seal it. Build and attach two sturdy hinged easel-backs so the gallery is stabilized when the kids work and collapsible when the pumps are serviced or inspected. Paint one side of the gallery with blackboard paint and the other with enamel made for wash-off watercolor paints or markers.
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