Hide the eyesore in front of our rental?


I'm renting this duplex but the front is quite an eyesore. I would like to hide the utility boxes and I don't know what to do about the flagstone. I can't remove the flagstone or change anything permanently.

q hide the eyesore in front of our rental
  20 answers
  • Cindy Cindy on Jul 01, 2020

    Hi Serena. You could put a trellis in front of the utility boxes and plant roses so that they grow up the trellis. If you don't want to plant roses in the ground, you could plant them in a large pot. The flagstone may look better with rose plants too. Good luck Serena. I hope all is well with you.

  • FrugalFamilyTimes.com FrugalFamilyTimes.com on Jul 01, 2020

    How about arranging some furniture on top of the flagstone? It would be a nice place to sit and distract from the eyesores.

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Jul 02, 2020

    A pretty bench and potted plants will distract the eye. You could cover the ugly stone with an outdoor rug. Stay safe!

  • Add a bunch of potted plants and some adirondack chairs

  • Flipturn Flipturn on Jul 02, 2020

    I think that the bits and pieces of the flagstone partially covered with the mulch is messy looking, and detracts from the crisp white contrasting trim on the outside of the home. My suggestion is to get a some bags of pea gravel and spread it completely over the area, so that it is has consistency with only one cover. I think this change will make this corner of the yard look larger and neater.

    As for the corner with the boxes on the wall I agree with others who have said purchase a large pot, planted with attractive flowers, or a low-maintenance evergreen shrub. If you do decide to go this route though, the pot must be heavy and very large, as in jumbo (the size of the examples in the picture below). If they are too small they will look cheap and dinky, and will likely tip over when the wind whips around the corner.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Jul 02, 2020

    You might cover the stone work with and outdoor rug, put a table over the hose reel, add a couple of chairs and a nice heavy potted plant that will grow tall.

  • Patty Patty on Jul 02, 2020

    That front needs some soft scape. Buy a potted flowering plant that grows vertical. (i once had a potted limelight hydrangea...that would be perfect!) Put potted, colorful, showy flowers on the right side of your walkway, too. Move the hose reel if you can. Put a wreath on your door.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Jul 02, 2020

    You could put a fountain or a pedestal with a plant in front of the boxes. Maybe one of the "welcome" signs. But you will need to be careful about blocking the meter. Our utility company reads all the meters via satellite so it can't be fully blocked. A couple of large pots with plants or a small bench or gazing ball, things like that to draw the eye away from them.

  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Jul 02, 2020

    Hello. I would consider adding a potted plant, shrubs or climbing vine to screen off the utility servicing.

  • Check with the utilities first to see if covering them is allowed and be sure to check with your landlord. That flagstone looks like a fantastic opportunity to set up a cute seating area with planters and colorful decorations.

  • Peggy L Burnette Peggy L Burnette on Jul 02, 2020

    Hi Serena, this is Peggy. Have you thought of putting a large pot of climbing flowers with a trellis? Hope this will work for you.

  • Flipturn Flipturn on Jul 03, 2020

    I would dissuade you from putting an outdoor rug over the flagstone. It will not be easy to try to keep it clean and mildew-free due, simply due to the under-surface not being solid.

    Also, as these 'carpets' are either square or rectangular, you won't find one to entirely cover the curved area of flagstone and mulch underneath.

  • Ellen Ellen on Jul 03, 2020

    I would make some wooden sunflower petals to cover the utility box and leave the middle to be read. Legs in back to anchor the flower. Paint a length of PVC darker green if you want, cut a slit and cover the present pipe. Put a faux cupboard over the hose carrier and pipe behind and lower boxes. If you can I would replace the red volcanic rock (?) with black gravel, save the red in case you move, and white wash the flagstone. You could put a couple of outdoor chairs,black and white striped seats and a round table in the corner. Maybe hang some faux vines in darker green and yellow along the ceiling along the back? Some multi-colored tiny lights in the front? Just some ideas.

  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Jul 04, 2020

    I would get a large planter pot in a nice color and plant flowers or a small tree in it to hide the boxes

  • Don N Kathie Sanchez Don N Kathie Sanchez on Jul 04, 2020

    Wow! What a dilemma! First - pea-gravel to replace whatever that red ground cover is between the flagstones. The natural greys will blend much better and not look so out of place. Second - It looks like your water source is why the hose reel is where it is. If it is used often it would be a bother to put anything awkward to hide it. Perhaps turning it around so you can pull it out easily and build a table with hinged lid and have a hinged door in the front to allow pulling the reel out and allowing access to the on/off nozzle. Paint table grey to closely match house and perhaps white plastic lattice on the sides with white trim? Looks like the water pipe is a little high but that shouldn’t hinder a hinged tabletop above it. I did this myself once and used metal screendoor screen attached to the table legs with the white lattice framed on all sides. Third – Two pots to disguise the meter mess. Medium sized pot in front with faux grass or plant (or real if you prefer). Larger pot with faux or real plant climbing or not – BUT – tall post with long rectangular flag with house number and framed to post. This allows access for reading meter but shields view from street and walkway. Fourth – A lovely parkbench under window and close enough to table to put a glass of iced tea on it while reading a good book. (Oooops! Too much info?) Wonder why the railing was never painted to match the house trim? Also, a nice potted plant next to the railing and front door would look nice. Would love to see what you do to solve this puzzle!

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Jul 04, 2020

    Hello there,

    Disguise them with Plants in Pots - Tree or Climber maybe!

  • Morgan McBride Morgan McBride on Jul 04, 2020

    What about some big potted plants

  • SUNNYC SUNNYC on Jul 04, 2020

    I don't find this an eyesore. I find it a convenient location for an outdoor seating area.

    Change the ground level look by adding gravel of your liking and then use an outdoor folding screen with proper weights for durability to hide the utility boxes (less maintenance than a plant). I'd hang outdoor lighting from the screen also when using the area at evening hours.

    Add a table and chairs, for outdoor practical use that's convenient for you it looks to me like a perfect place for entertaining a few folks.

  • Flipturn Flipturn on Jul 05, 2020

    I do not see an exterior electrical outlet on any of the walls. Trying to mount lights (mini, string) in this area is an impractical suggestion as without a conveniently located outlet, it will be a frustrating undertaking. Besides, lights will not improve the curb appeal of the property during the day.

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