Notorious for being one of the worst eyesores in homes, radiators are still very necessary components of most houses. It can be very detrimental to the interior design of a room to have to look at an ugly radiator right next to your custom furniture. There is often just no way of getting around having a radiator in certain rooms.
Fortunately, there are always clever ways to get around any problem. Interior designers have long since discovered simple ways to cover unsightly radiators and there are also several DIY methods of getting the job done. Here are a few easy hacks to overcome the sombre presence of this dreaded design pitfall.
Your first option will always be to embrace the radiator and make the most out of it. A DIY solution relating to this is to paint the radiator. This may be a better solution than what it sounds like, since it allows for many imaginative responses. Paining the radiator is cost-effective, as well as the best way not to impede on it doing its job by circulating the heat throughout the room.
If, however, none of these solutions appeal to you and you do have the funds available, designer radiators are all the rage right now. There are so many different designs and colours available to make a once contemptuous object a coveted household item. Pictured here is a beautiful radiator of the wooden range from Cool Radiators? It's Covered.
One option to consider is using a built-in cupboard to cover an unsightly radiator. You could have a custom unit made for the room in question, including storage space as well as covering the radiator. This has many functions: it can be do the trick of hiding the unattractive object of our affliction, add to the scheme of the room, and turn dead space into storage.
If your budget is not keen on a custom unit, you can easily just opt for a single cupboard big enough to cover the radiator itself. This will be easier to suit the furnishings and décor of the room you are working with, and will certainly be less costly.
Probably your easiest and most affordable products as a solution to the omnipresent radiator problem is a simple miniature screen. Placing a decorative screen in front of a radiator will not only diminish the ugliness of the radiator, but improve the overall aesthetic of the room greatly, should the screen be a tasteful choice.
The key here is to keep it simple and do not go too decorative, as you wouldn't want to add an element of kitsch. Also keep in mind the distance you'll have to keep the screen from the radiator for safety purposes, and choose heat-proof materials. The simple, yet elegant porcelain screen pictured here is a lovely, minimal choice.
There are also options that will not have to cost you anything. The first of these is to cover the radiator by placing a couch in front of it. As simple as that, but there are some things to keep in mind. You should always take great care in covering a radiator with any piece of furniture. If the furniture item is too close to the radiator, it can box it in and prevent the heat from circulating through the room.
When used cautiously, a sofa or couch positioned strategically to hide a radiator might be your simplest option, especially when it is a couch with unexposed legs, since this will cover the entire radiator.
Naturally, this option will work best in rooms where couches and sofa are usually found. The living room is thus probably your best bet when it comes to this solution.
Another furniture solution is a small table or side table placed over the radiator. This is probably even easier than using a couch or sofa, since a small table is much easier to move around. It may also be the better of the two furniture solutions, as it covers the radiator, but still leaves it wide open to allow heat to circulate through the room.
The draw-back of the table, though, is the same as its benefit—that it doesn't cover the radiator completely. This means that the unattractive radiator is still visible. The trick here is to use the table rather as diversion than as a cover. If you have an interesting display on top of the table or darker table top and lighter legs, the onlooker's eye will be lead upwards and away from the radiator itself.
You could always also try and make the radiator a functional piece of furniture whilst diminishing its off-putting appearance. One way to do this is to get a small slab and mount it on top of the radiator. Viola, you have a shelf!
Now remember, you will have to find a slab of material that is heatproof and will be safe to be on top of the radiator permanently. Also be cautious regarding what you place on top of the shelf. Whatever goes on the shelf should also not be very heat sensitive at all. Of course, the thicker and denser the slab, the safer it will be to store things on top of is.
If you need some more radiator inspiration, check out: Stylish Bathroom Radiators.