How to disguise seasonal storage in plant shelf under vaulted ceiling

by Maryceli
I just moved into a rental home and want to use this "wasted space" for seasonal storage. The plant shelf is fixed above the bedroom closet, under a vaulted ceiling and measures about 10 ft by 2.75 ft. Because of the vaulted ceiling and the length of the space, hanging a curtain will not work. Any ideas? Thank you for your feedback!!!
How do I disguise this storage area?
  28 answers
  • Pam Lewandowski Pam Lewandowski on Mar 02, 2016
    Not sure how to disguise ---- but what a blessing. My husband swears our garage attic floor will one day cave in! Have a great day!
  • Colleen Colleen on Mar 02, 2016
    That's a bit of a challenge, but there are a lot of clever people on this forum I'm sure can help. Could you take another picture standing further back, that shows more of the surrounding area?
  • Pam Lott Pam Lott on Mar 02, 2016
    How about shutters lined up along the shelf. You can free stand them if they're hinged together in threes.
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Mar 02, 2016
    Are you able to put nails in the wall? If that is possible you can hang a curtain .
  • Lori Harmon Lori Harmon on Mar 02, 2016
    Maybe too much for a rental . . . depends on how long you think you'll live there. What about making a frame in the shape of the area out of 1 x 2s. Make it just a tad smaller to allow for a covering of a heavy muslin - light weight canvas type material. Paint it with the same or contrasting wall paint with a fabric conditioner added to the paint. Use 2-3 hooks in the ceiling and then eyes, light weight chains or even picture hanging wire to hang it from the ceiling. Maybe add a couple of small pieces of Velcro at the bottom/sides to keep it "attached" to the plant shelf wall. The tricky part would be getting the top framing member beveled enough, but without a huge gap along the ceiling line, so that it could swing out enough to unhook it or be able to crawl behind it when you want those holiday decorations. Thanks for asking the question because I've been looking at homes of that age and have wondered about what to put up on those plant shelves. Don't relish the idea of having to dust whatever it is that I didn't really want to buy in the first place!
  • Mona Mona on Mar 02, 2016
    The shutter and curtain idea are great ideas. If you don't want to put nails in the wall to have curtains go across I have seen command hooks used and a light cafe curtain rod placed inside the hook. I'd go with those first. Another way is to use different storage boxes to hide your items inside so it is uniform and decorative. Another example you might create a themed vignette like one that looks like travel or airmail parcel post for example, using brown paper, twine, stamps and vintage postage stamps or old suitcases (hiding things) and a wicker trunk. That is just and example. I can't say for every Staples store but if you have one nearby or access to boxes used for cases of paper (Staples sells them for a dollar a piece) cover them or other large boxes with a fabric/paper and use other boxes in varying sizes or patterns for visual interest. Another idea I thought of was mounting black and white photos on foam board and attaching the foam board to a flat ledge (it's hard to describe but imagine a metal book end made larger so the flat ledge slides under the boxes and shields the storage from sight it may not work but it's an idea to toy with.)
  • Kayo Frazier Kayo Frazier on Mar 02, 2016
    Here's my 2 cents...1st ~ Take everything down separate into the seasons. Donate, Keep or Throw out anything that is broken, a double of, or you no longer want. 2nd ~ Get baskets of different sizes. Measure your largest items so you can find baskets that will fit those items. 3rd ~ Transfer items to the baskets & display them across the plant ledge. My recommendation for baskets would be wicker, reeds, natural or painted to coordinate w/ the room.
    • Diena Cameron Diena Cameron on Feb 12, 2018

      I so agree with you, Kayo Frazier. I have used wicker baskets all (well almost all ) of my 66 years. They are lovely to look at and are very good at disguising all kinds of things and most can be found at thrift stores, garage sales or Wal-Mart for next to nothing. Look for plant baskets also, they are usually larger (better for storing objects) We all need to go through our things every once in awhile to "clean out", "refresh" and give us all an excuse to go shopping again 😉(as if we need an excuse, lol) Also an artificial plant tucked in amongst the baskets is always a cute idea, especially if you don't have a green thumb ! Good luck Maryceli, be sure and post pics of your new found space. Oh and maybe a string of fairy or Christmas lights too, if you've got a plug up there, all the better but if not, get battery-operated ones. Can't wait to see the space. Have fun with it too.

  • Susanroy36 Susanroy36 on Mar 02, 2016
    Yikes! GREAT STORAGE. How about gathering some pallets (cheap wood). Makie a "frame" with 1x2, and using the strips of wood off the pallet, like making a picket fence. You can stain the strips different colors (can be done cheaply by adding acrylic paint to tung oil to color it), and then stapling the wood strips to the frame. Make it just sized to the opening so you can stand it up into the front of all stored. Put a cute basket or two to hold up the frame in front of what you've stored.
  • Ann Ann on Mar 02, 2016
    If you can't hide them, you could cover banker's boxes with burlap, rope or fabric and have matching storage that looks okay in plain sight. I covered a bunch of boxes with book paper and black and white prints for my studio. It's a cheap way to get a cohesive look.
    comment photo
  • Julies1949 Julies1949 on Mar 02, 2016
    Baskets! Inexpensive, hides everything, looks good and can be used again.
  • Johnchip Johnchip on Mar 03, 2016
    Tension rod with light fabric or nail/tack both ends and simple light baskets/boxes to organize and make it easy to get to things.
  • Elizabeth Vesto Elizabeth Vesto on Mar 03, 2016
    Cut a piece of rigid foam insulation to fit the opening and cover the exposed side in fabric.
    • Susan Bechamp Susan Bechamp on Mar 03, 2016
      If you need added support for this idea, use tension rods run vertically behind the foam panels so they don't fall over. A decorated book end should hold them in place in front. If possible, cover the closet doors below this space in the same or coordinated fabric.
  • Amy Amy on Mar 03, 2016
    We have that space too! I never thought to store anything there. Looking at your space I think I would measure the height and see if you could fit some cabinet doors in front. If you can't find real ones you could probably take some cardboard and real knobs and make a facade? That might look more finished.
    • Amy Amy on Mar 05, 2016
      Also- you could use a tension rod and hem the curtains to hang straight? It may not look as finished but it would do the job.
  • Tammy Young-Cueto Tammy Young-Cueto on Mar 03, 2016
    Use some poster frames and decorate with words that inspire you or collage of photos in the frames. Depending on budget you could always just do a foam board instead of frames. Use photo copies of pictures and apply with glue or mod podge.
  • Kimberly Hozer Durbin Kimberly Hozer Durbin on Mar 03, 2016
    Find some old chippy peely vintage slatted shutters in different heights. Add some simple hinges. Sit the shutters like a room divider for stability. Or cover rigid insulation or heavy duty foam core with batting and fabric, tape fabric in place on back with duct tape. Can even add metal spread brads (in the stationary section of store) through holes to look like tufted upholstery. Add a small gross grain ribbon loop on the side so you can easily pull off when needed.
  • Jeanne Martin Jeanne Martin on Mar 03, 2016
    I don't know how to do it, but a little picket fence might be cute....or some kind of faux fence along there (but high enough to block what is being stored.
    • See 1 previous
    • Jeanne Martin Jeanne Martin on Mar 03, 2016
      You know what they say....great minds think alike!! Lol!!
  • Judi Judi on Mar 03, 2016
    screw some cup hooks in the ceiling from which you could hang a frame. The frame could contain anything of your choice ie: pictures, paneling, fabric, chicken wire over fabric, etc
  • Kathy Bitzan Kathy Bitzan on Mar 03, 2016
    How about just hanging a curtain over the area, it doesn't have to the ceiling on the high side , just even across.
  • Daw3000588 Daw3000588 on Mar 03, 2016
    Since you can't open or slide doors because of vaulted ceiling why not put real or silk plants in front of everything.
  • Debbie Wenzel Debbie Wenzel on Mar 03, 2016
    A curtain can still work. Use lightweight material. Hang it on heavy duty fishing line suspended between eye hooks, add one in the center for support.
  • LD LD on Mar 03, 2016
    Make a flat panel curtain for the area, and secure by Velcro to a piece of wood attached to the ceiling by Command strips.
  • S. Roy S. Roy on Mar 03, 2016
    I would get a piece of heavy cardboard, measure the opening and mark the cardboard with the dimensions. Add four inches to all sides and cut out. Use the marked lines as fold lines, creasing on the marked line. Fold or cut at corner, taping to hold. Then you can slide it in place on the front of your shelf. Paint or cover with paper or fabric etc. You could add pulls to the front to make it easier to slide out. You may need to reinforce the cardboard by glueing thin strips of wood to the back side.
  • Shannon Shannon on Mar 04, 2016
    Move things around so there are areas of varrying height. Make sure some flat surfaces are available. Cover everything with a lovely sheet or blanket draped over top of your pile, then set decorative objects on top of the blanket. It will look like you have a display of your favorite things. At Christmas I dig around my house for books, canned goods, empty shoe boxes etc. then cover it with fabric and fake snow to make beautiful scenes.
  • Shannon Shannon on Mar 04, 2016
    This is one of the scenes I made this past Christmas
    comment photo
    How about 1 or 2 larger decorative containers or a trunk to house your smaller containers? Or make your own decorative boxes with fabric that goes with the theme of your room. Marlene
  • Jean Myles Jean Myles on Mar 05, 2016
    I had the same though as S Roy (above ) she explained it very well. You can get large cardboard boxes or pieces free at appliance or furniture stores. You can paint the cardboard to match the colour of the walls if you want it to blend in, A sample size paint would be more than enough for this project. How you finish it just depends on your style and taste. Good Luck and please share when your done we would love to see .
  • Kitty McCarty Kitty McCarty on Mar 05, 2016
    following SRoy's basic idea, use thin, lite weight paneling rather than cardboard. Use trim board to reinforce and piece the (3) panels together, put a handle on the trim to give the look of cabinet doors. Just remember to keep it light. Good luck
  • ROBYN BUDDE ROBYN BUDDE on Mar 05, 2016
    get together any "foo foo" decorated boxes from dollar store. Then the space will look like you "meant to do that" Picnic baskets or Tote Bags would also do.