Dear Abby... concealing the treadmill

Dear Abby......
I need the designer in you to help me figure out how to hide my treadmill in my den.  The only thing I can think of is an accordion thingy that stands tall in front of it.  The treadmill folds up but is such a sore site.  I want something trendy and I was wondering what ideas you had in your bag of tricks.  One of those tall screens would be nice, I just don't want it to make my den look like a Chinese restaurant.

Thanks for asking this question, Jessica!  I'm sure so many people have this design dilemma, whether it's in their den or their master bedroom.  

My solution is a decorative screen.  They have come a long way since what you're imagining would be in a restaurant.  I recommend finding a vintage screen at a re-sale shop  or antique store, and covering it with a fabric or wallpaper you love.  Also, a bit of nail-head trim would add a modern touch to your piece.

Here is my best example:
Isn't that stunning?

Jessica was able to find "the perfect one" at an antique store.  The screen was already covered in a wallpaper she liked, and even has a different pattern on the other side.  Here is how it looks in her room:
I'm so glad she was able to find exactly what she wanted!

How do you conceal exercise equipment?  


  1. I love your inspirational picture! That decorative screen is super gorgeous especially with the nail head details!


  2. Portable decorative screens are a wonderful idea! They add a wonderful, romantic element to a room.

    I've used sliding panels to conceal my exercise equipment . Flat, fabric panels, (available in a wide selection of patterns and colours), slide across a slender ceiling track.

    They can all be drawn to one side, or to each end, when the treadmill is being used, and pulled closed to create a 'wall' when it's not. I love that they block the view without blocking the light.

    It's important to consider the room's design style, as these panels tend to be more modern in aesthetic than a traditional folding screen.

    What a joy it would be to just have an entirely separate home gym!

  3. I solve the problem by walking outdoors. Can't imagine how many treadmills there are in the world serving as a coat rack! My sister and a friend walk three mornings a week and take turns on who's house we start from. The time flies by. I'm just not disciplined enough to get on a treadmill at home on my own. There's something for everyone!

  4. Barbara- I love to walk outside too, but with tiny babies and the winters in Michigan, some times a walk on the treadmill is all you can squeeze in. You are so blessed to be able to walk with your sister and friends!

  5. This is so timely because we're moving into a smaller house in Ann Arbor and we'll have a smaller sitting room and a still-not-huge family room where we'll have to keep the treadmill.
    I thought of linking together a couple of pairs of bifold doors (the ones that look like shutters) for a screen, or putting a see-through book case in front of it (to camouflage instead of hide it), or even build an 'armoire' to fold it into when we're not using it.
    As we're in Michigan, we can't always rely on good weather for a run and having the treadmill there keeps us from having to balk on exercise due to rain/snow/ice. It's essential for us, but I've been worrying about how it will look.
    I would LOVE to hear about any other ideas from your readers. We're just a few weeks away from our move.

  6. What a great idea, Abby. Love folding screens and using them to hide exercise equipment is a perfect idea!!

  7. Also, for now: all of our yoga mats (we have 3 kids), medicine balls, stretchy bands, towels, hand weights, bean bags etc are in an armoire that I almost got rid of a year ago. I am so glad that I kept it now because all of our gear isn't hidden all over the house, and it looks so pretty - like a boutique gym. I don't have a proper set of barbells, but a couple of weight bars are stowed under the couch. Still don't know what to do with balance balls (yes we still use them!) my best idea is to get them in grey (so they'll coordinate) and shove them in the den when guests arrive.

  8. Sometimes I wish we had a treadmill but I know it would just collect dust, but this is a great way to conceal the eye sore. A fellow bloggers was on the hunt for a screen this past weekend, but no such luck in the stores we hit.

  9. Brilliant Abby! I have hand weights that I also use as door stops (pretending they are avante garde)...the sit up ball is in the closet (so it never gets used). We used to have a tread mill when the kids were little and one of their friends got on, turned it up too high, slid off and had knee and elbow burns...they can be dangerous. Now I just go to the gym.

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Abby Manchesky Interiors is a boutique design firm based in Grand Rapids, MI. Combining the new traditional, vintage and a dash of the unexpected is her ideal. Contact Abby Manchesky Interiors for more information on available interior design services for clients near and far. abbyminteriors@gmail.com | 616.719.9400


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