When we were forced, reluctantly, to install a new HVAC return in an alcove under the beloved staircase in our 1908 Foursquare, we had to find a way to disguise the duct. While it would have been easy to cover the niche with new wallboard, we decided to build a storage bench as part of a secret compartment over the return. For the facing material, we used a cache of old beadboard left in the attic by a previous owner.
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