How to Make a Shoe Rack or Table to Conceal an AC Unit

2 Materials
8 Hours

I’ve been wanting to hide my awkwardly placed AC unit ever since I moved into my LA rental apartment, but I couldn't find the right piece of furniture for the job. I wanted something that would give me access to the AC unit when I need it but conceal it when I'm not using it AND also give me a place to put my shoes. So I gave up looking and inspired by a pile of leftover wood I had been accumulating in my closet, I came up with my own design for a piece of furniture that I built using only my drill and a few hand tools!

Here are the materials I used the structure of my piece of furniture: For the legs, I used 3/4" MDF pieces I had left over from a bench I made, for the top and furring strips, For the top, I used 48" long 1"x2" and 1"x3", more 1"x2" and 1"x3" for the shelves, and 1/4" plywood for the back.

I attached the furring strips to the MDF legs and then screwed the furring strips to the bottom of the top boards (that way no screw heads show in the top boards). Then I nailed a piece of 1/4" plywood to the back of the shoe rack side for stability.

To hide the AC unit when I'm not using it, I made a removable panel using 1"x2" and cane webbing. Magnetic cabinet latches hold the panel in place at the top, and metal brackets hold the panel flush with the front at the bottom.

I used a semi-transparent stain on the pine boards and the bottom of the legs (Behr, pinto white) and a glossy paint for the rest (Behr, swiss coffee). I love that I don't have to look at the AC unit when I'm not using it and that I now have a place my shoes and keys right next to my tiny entryway!

And the best part is that I only used a drill and a few hand tools to make it. You can see all the steps in detail on how I made it in the video below.

Here's a look at the complete transformation with the new window treatments (I had to take out those vertical blinds!).

Here's a look at the complete transformation with the new window treatments (I had to take out those vertical blinds!).

You can see how I got rid of the vertical blinds in this video (all without taking out any of the hardware!!)

Suggested materials:
  • Mdf   (hardware store)
  • 1"x2"pine boards   (hardware store)
Engineer Your Space
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
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3 of 9 questions
  • Barbara Kelly Barbara Kelly on Nov 10, 2018

    I have the same type of unit in my apt. You need to be able to access the a/c to clean the filter monthly. Does the cane front come off?

  • Christine King Christine King on Nov 10, 2018

    does it make the air con. Hot because in is now in an enclosed space.

    Did you check with manufacturer Before enclosing it?

    Does it prohibit the flow of the cool air?

  • Crystal Smith Crystal Smith on Nov 17, 2018

    Hi judy, i love this i have had window a.c. for ever i live in fl. So this is a wonderful idea , i do have a question did you cut a special hole near the floor to put it in there on purpose because it seems like all other window s would be much higher ? Thanks crystal

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2 of 65 comments
  • Joanie Joanie on Nov 18, 2018

    What a super idea!! Looks like you solved more than 1 problem.  Cool beans!!

  • Laila Eiken Laila Eiken on Feb 23, 2019

    I would’ve put casters on, so it can be moved/ pulled out completely during repair/ cleaning and program changing. Otherwise I think it’s very pretty.