How to Hide the Cable Box

So this thing happened five, maybe ten, years ago – TVs got big.

Big and flat.

It used to be that TVs were big boxy things and people would try to stash them in armoires, or relegate them to hidden rooms like Edward Rochester’s first wife, never to be seen by anyone but the inner family. But nowadays…nowadays, it’s different. Nowadays, everyone wants to show Big Bertha off. I mean, after all, Bertha is lookin’ pretty.  Almost sculptural. Dudes take pride in showing off how large a TV they own (what is with that, btw?) so they like to display them in a place of pride – above the mantle, on a focal wall, or sitting atop a beautiful credenza.

…Thing is, when I see this, I can’t help but wonder, WHERE IS THE CABLE BOX? Do they not have cable? Okay, that’s cool, but no DVD player? A modem? Even a new-fangled TV will require an antenna, right? TV’s don’t come alone. They always come with a little friend. Where does the friend go?

Sources 1 | 2 | 3

Do they put the electronic stuff in the cabinet and then leave the cabinet door open? Is that not annoying? And even if you were cool with that, wouldn’t the cabinet door block the remote from half the room? How are you going to lay on your couch and watch Lifetime movies if you have to sit up your butt just to get the remote to work?


Well. I still don’t know the answer to these questions, but I did find a way around this. It cost me a $6 trip to Target and took two minutes to install.

Want to know the secret?

I know what you are thinking: Are tension rods sturdy enough to hold something heavy like a cable box?

Yes. Yes they are. I know, I was worried too, which is why I tried it out for four months before sharing it here. So far, so good. There is an ottoman underneath just for insurance. Also, I used the screw type tension rods instead of the twist type as they seem sturdier, but I suppose either one would work. The key is to get the rod in there as tight as possible. I mean tight. 

If I was tasteful I’d probably paint the rods black (or bought black rods in the first place), but I’m lazy and white makes for better demo photos. The desk was a thrift store cast-off gift from my friend Grace ten years ago. It used to be cream and red, so I painted it celery and dotted the edges with a gold pen. Up until this fall I had been using it as a vanity in my closet, but then Kiki upgraded TV’s and gave me her old one and I needed a bigger base. It wasn’t until after the TV was already in place that I noticed the pocket underneath would make a great hiding spot for electronics. I know not everyone has a desk or table with sort of structure laying around the house, but let me tell you, there is one at your local thrift store right now.

No, I mean it. It’s there right now. It’s all wood and stuff. It has your name on it. Go get it.

No, seriously.

Why are you still here?

Go and get it.

PS: Another post on how to work around a TV (same TV too!)


  1. Wendy R says

    What a great idea. Geez so simple too!

  2. Wendy R says

    By the way, the URL cracks me up. Thank you, I needed a laugh today.

  3. says

    I was kind of expecting some scantily clad woman of the evening photographed in the tutorials because of the url. Just kidding. Not really. All day I thought it was Friday and came home to find out it was Thursday. I needed a laugh.

  4. says

    Haha! I love tension rods. They’re just so multifunctional. And real, wooden furniture from thrift stores makes up the majority of our furniture. 🙂

  5. Susie in Sacramento says

    clever, clever you! though i must say, it was mostly saucy Lola convincing me, she is persuasive.

  6. Anonymous says

    Um, or you could remove the center drawer and put it in there.

    • says

      Drawer space is far too hot of a commodity to give up around here, but for someone else with the right piece it might work.

  7. says

    The answer of how to use it when it’s behind a door is all in the remote. A lot of newer devices like a roku, Xbox, or PS3 have Bluetooth built into their remotes so you can control it within a certain range even if you aren’t pointing directly at your media player or are under covers or around a wall corner. It’s pretty nifty! Other options are to even get a Bluetooth receiver and you can actually put your gadgets in a closet and have them work wirelessly with your tv. I haven’t gone that far but I did spend an embarrassing hour at a family getaway trying to figure out where the cable box was until finding out it was hidden in a closet down the hall!

  8. Anonymous says

    I have a TV, but no cable box. Although, I do have a DVD player. My requirement has always been that any TV in my house must be hidden behind closed doors. No TV is allowed in plain sight. Period. Doors to the cabinet or whatever must be closed when finished TV viewing.

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