Peep Show / by Courtney Mehlhaff

My house has a half-finished basement that features very sexy knotty pine wood paneling, circa 1960. It also features, inexplicably, two 4-inch holes punched into the wall, about two feet apart, at eye level. 

Although I ask everyone who visits to venture a guess, the true function of the holes remains a mystery. They're handy for peering into my utility room but otherwise a pain in the ass.

I mentioned to a friend that I couldn't decide what to do with them. Patch and paint? Plug them up? Hang some artwork awkwardly in the middle of the wall? He suggested that I get two portraits with the eyes cut out, a la Scooby Doo. (I'd be lying if I said I didn't briefly entertain this idea, but in the end the spaces were just too small).

I was really stuck for a good solution. And then, last week, it hit me. I'd been going about it all wrong. Having two weird holes in the paneling isn't a problem -- it's a gift. Because instead of hanging something over them, you can hang something behind them. You can do this:


It's all a matter of perspective.