Whether you have a dedicated space or are using a corner of another room, planning a home office is a challenge. Treading that fine line between functionality and design can be difficult, particularly when dealing with an unattractive home office staple like a metal filing cabinet. While this type of storage is certainly useful, its bland, sterile appearance can ruin the look of even the most expertly decorated space. Fortunately, there are ways to disguise a metal filing cabinet so it blends with its surroundings and actually adds to the room's look.
Applying a coat of paint is one of the easiest ways to disguise an ugly metal filing cabinet. Instead of a bland gray, beige or even black, paint allows you to choose virtually any color in the rainbow for your cabinet. You can paint it to match your wall color so it disappears into the room, or use a bold, bright shade that instantly gives the cabinet a more stylish look. You can even paint each drawer a different shade to create a truly one-of-a-kind piece. For the best results, use a spray paint meant for metal surfaces and apply at least two coats for a smooth, streak-free finish.
You can also help a metal filing cabinet blend in with the rest of the room's decor by applying wallpaper to its surface. Using the same paper that you have on the walls to cover the cabinet allows it to disappear into the room. On the other hand, if your walls are painted, you can use wallpaper with a decorative pattern to give the cabinet a more attractive look. An all-in-one craft glue and sealant product works well for adhering wallpaper to a metal filing cabinet. You can cover the entire cabinet with the paper, but if you prefer an understated look, apply it only to the drawer fronts.
If you're handy with a sewing machine, creating a slip cover or fabric skirt for your filing cabinet is an ideal way to disguise it. Visit your local fabric store and choose a material in a color or pattern that matches the rest of your room's decor. Consider the texture of the fabric as well – a faux velvet or suede material can instantly give your cabinet a more luxurious look. To make accessing the cabinet's drawers easier, add an opening to the front of the skirt so you can reach in whenever you need a file . If you don't know how to sew, you can have a piece of fabric cut so it covers the entire cabinet and drapes over the furniture like a table cloth.
While wallpaper can give your filing cabinet a polished look, decoupaging the surface allows you to create a more personalized look. Decoupage is the art of adhering paper and fabric pieces to a surface with special decoupage glue. You can use any paper material to cover your cabinet, including photos, newspaper clippings, gift wrap or decorative paper, but for a truly custom look, think creatively. Maps, sheet music, ticket stubs and postcards can all give your filing cabinet a truly personal touch.
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