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How To Hide Your Ugly Router and Modem

How To Hide Your Router and Modem | Tired of looking at messy electronics? Find out how to hide your router and modem with a linen cabinet. You won't be able to tell they are even there!
How To Hide Your Router and Modem

When I was re-doing my office recently (click here to see that makeover), one of the issues I had to fix was how to store (or should I say hide?) my router, modem and various other internet-related electronics and cords.

The mess of boxes and cords | How To Hide Your Router and Modem
The mess of boxes and cords

I hate to admit it, but the original condition of all that internet gear looked like this.  It was basically a pile of stuff on the floor, with cords everywhere!

Every once in a while, the internet would go out…and I would find that one of my cats had pulled something out while they were playing with the cords.

I definitely needed a better solution…something where the cords were not tangled up and the boxes were organized.

Most electronics need some breathing room to prevent overheating, so the storage needed to “breathe”.

Since they also need to be reset every once in a while, I needed to be able to get to the boxes easily.

And I had to be able to plug everything in.

Read on to find out how to hide your router and modem.

The Solution?  A Linen Cabinet

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The original linen cabinet | How To Hide Your Router and Modem
The original linen cabinet

My solution?  Convert a linen cabinet into electronics storage.  And fortunately for me, I already owned one, so I didn’t have to buy anything new!  (You can see the pile of electronics and cords just waiting to be organized!)

Why a linen cabinet?  They are meant to fit in a bathroom…which means they usually don’t take up much floor space.  And they’re tall enough to allow for space between the shelves…which lets the electronics breathe.

They are usually stand-alone pieces of furniture which means they have a back.  That allows you to hide the cords behind the unit.

They also often have mesh or wicker fronts which allows the heat from the electronics to dissipate.  Many others have glass fronts that can be easily replaced with mesh.

Converting the Linen Cabinet To Store Electronics

Leave space between the shelves | How To Hide Your Router and Modem
Leave space between the shelves

Since the cabinet was being re-purposed, the first step was to make the changes required to turn it into an electronics storage cabinet.

1. Figure out the layout of your electronics in the cabinet.  The least messy way to do this to put things that need to connect to each other close to each other.  Then use short cords to connect them.  I put the power strip on the bottom, the OOMA box (telephone service) and HDHomeRun box (TV over wifi) on the second shelf, and the cable modem and wireless router on the third shelf.

Make sure to leave at least 4″ behind and above each of the components…this will allow for adequate ventilation.

2″ Hole Saw Drill Bit*

2. Drill 2″ holes in the back of the cabinet just above each shelf.  A hole saw attached to the drill is the easiest way to make a hole this size.  These holes will allow you to pass wires in an out of the cabinet.

Aluminum Metal Sheet*

3. If your cabinet has a glass front that you want to change out for mesh:

a. Remove the glass.  There are usually clips that you can undo to take it out easily

b. Cut the mesh to the same size as the glass.  Tin snips usually work pretty well for this.

c. Install the mesh where the glass used to be (if you are painting the cabinet, you will probably want to wait until after you have finished painting to do this step).

4. If you are going to paint the cabinet, remove the hinges, the door(s) and the knobs.  This makes it much easier to paint!

The Makeover

The refinished bathroom cabinet | How To Hide Your Router and Modem
The refinished bathroom cabinet

The next step was to make the cabinet fit with the style of my room…I liked the shape of it, but not the color.  Since this cabinet wasn’t real wood or an antique, I decided that painting it was the way to go.

There wasn’t a lot of time to spend waiting for paint to dry (I did this project only 3 days before the end of the One Room Challenge!), so spray paint was the only option I even considered.  But I have to say…I was a little nervous about it since I have heard some horror stories about getting black lacquer finishes to look smooth without blotches.

Black lacquer finish with gold mesh | How To Hide Your Router and Modem
Black lacquer finish with gold mesh

Fortunately for me (and my timeline), it went MUCH better than I was expecting.  I followed all of my spray painting rules, and the finish turned out great!  I did do about 5 very thin coats to try to make sure I got an even finish…and I think that definitely helped.

I also spray-painted the mesh with gold spray paint to brighten it up a bit.

Installing the Modem and Router

The electronics stored inside the cabinet | How To Hide Your Router and Modem
The electronics stored inside the cabinet

The last step is to install the electronics into your cabinet.  Use the layout that you came up with at the beginning…but don’t be afraid to make changes if you come up with a better arrangement.  I was even able to add a shredder on the top shelf…one more electronic device that is not out in the open!

Pass wires through the hole in the back of the cabinet | How To Hide Your Router and Modem
Pass wires through the hole in the back of the cabinet

Use the holes you drilled previously to pass the cords in and out of the cabinet.  Even if you are just connecting the cord from one shelf to the next, have it go out through the hole on one level and in through the hole on the next level..it will make everything look neater inside the cabinet.

If you have any long cords that are gathering on the floor, gather up the excess wire and tie tie together with a twist tie or elastic band behind the cabinet.  That will keep them off the floor so you can’t see them (and, in my case, also prevents the cats from playing with them!)

Bathroom cabinet made into electronics storage | How To Hide Your Router and Modem
Bathroom cabinet made into electronics storage

The final product fits right into the room…and you would never know that it is the electronic hub of the house!

Have comments or questions on How to Hide Your Router And Modem?  Tell us in the section below.

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This post was originally published on July 18, 2016 but was updated with new content on January 8, 2022.

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  1. Thank you. I have a two shelf bookcase that fits inside my coat closet in the living room. After seeing your post, I got all the wires separated and put the router and the WIFI on the first shelf. I found that the printer and the shredder would fit on the top. since I work on my laptop in the living room, this is super convenient. Thank you so much for your inspiration.

    1. Wanda Simone says:

      That sounds like an awesome setup, Judy! I’m glad it’s working for you 🙂

  2. What are the dimensions of your cabinet?

    1. Wanda Simone says:

      Hi Judy…it is 18 inches wide, 15 inches deep and 60 inches tall.

  3. Christina in FL says:

    Gorgeous solution! 🙂 Have you found any decrease in wifi range by adding another “wall” with the cabinet?

    1. Thanks, Christina! I haven’t noticed any issues with the wifi range since I did this, but I have a fairly new wireless router. I think it might be a problem if you were trying to do something like this with an older model.