10 Tips for disguising ugly radiators
Fed up with looking at a boring radiator? Unsure how to blend it into your room scheme? Be inspired by these smart ways to disguise your rads, and see how you can transform an eyesore into an asset.
Photo by Thorp Design
Create a window seat
If you have a small radiator underneath a bedroom window, why not create a low-level window seat to enclose and screen it? This example is neat, unobtrusive and eminently practical. A lattice front allows the heat to circulate, and a simple blind at the window ensures the warmth isn’t blocked by long curtains.
If you have a window with a view, this could be a great way to create a toasty-warm reading nook.
Photo by Jo Alcorn
Rise above it
If a radiator is situated somewhere you want to place a table or piece of furniture it can seem like a frustrating obstacle. But the solution can be very straightforward.
The designers of this small kitchen have simply built around the radiator, adding a slim breakfast bar directly over it that wraps around a corner, providing a perch for working, eating or even displaying crockery. Plus, it’s a great way to keep toes warm while breakfasting on a chilly morning!
Photo by Hitt Oak Ltd
Go long with a bench
Top marks to the designers of this home for turning a bulky living-room radiator into a practical (and presumably lovely and warm) bench.
Adding a tactile wooden top to the industrial-style radiator packs plenty of extra seating space into the compact room, as well as adding visual interest. This is a great solution if you have a sturdy, low-level radiator. Make sure you check how much weight it can handle before attempting something similar though.
Photo by Imogen Planner Architects Ltd
Choose a contemporary cover
If your interior style is more urban cool than country chic, you’re unlikely to want a traditional-style radiator cover in your living room.
But if you commission a joiner to make a bespoke cover you could get a sleek, modern-style frame like this Go for a clean, simple, shape with a neat grill like this one and it will fit right in with your room scheme.
Photo by Decoroom Ltd
Turn it into a bedroom shelf
Unsightly radiator spoiling the look of your bedroom? Why not turn it into a useful piece of furniture with a radiator cover like this one that doubles up as a practical display shelf?
You could even hang a mirror directly above to create a slim dressing table, with storage pots for jewellery, hairbrushes and accessories. Keep make-up and perfume elsewhere though for practical reasons. No one wants a melted lipstick!
Photo by Hannah Brown
Tuck it under a desk
Putting a bulky desk in front of the window in this small home-office would have boxed in the radiator and taken up too much space. This bespoke corner desk is a really neat solution, as it skims over the top of the radiator and neatly encloses it, without blocking it entirely.
As a result, the warmth can freely circulate, no valuable space is wasted between the desk and the window and the radiator becomes one small element of the room, rather than dominating its design.
Photo by charlottecrosland.com
Build a unit around it
Can you spot the radiator in this boot room? By choosing a low, horizontal model and integrating it into a bespoke wall unit the owners of this country-style home have neatly blended their radiator in with the rest of this storage-savvy space.
The narrow bench directly above the radiator offers a practical spot for pulling off muddy boots, and any coats hung directly above this shelf would quickly dry off.
Photo by Sightline Art Consulting
Supersize the cover
Most radiator covers are designed to be as slim and unobtrusive as possible, but if your radiator is supersize, you could go large instead, and transform it into a statement piece of furniture that can pull its weight within a room scheme.
Less of a disguise and more of a feature, this big, ventilated cover creates a generously sized ledge behind the sofa that is spacious enough to hold two reading lamps. Ensuring it is the same height as the seating in front means it doesn’t dominate the scheme, and its boxy shape nicely complements the straight lines of the sofa.
Photo by Chantel Elshout Design Consultancy
Turn it into a console
Space is often tight in a hallway, but there are still ways to disguise an unattractive radiator in a narrow space. Placing an open-framed table over it is, as the designer has done here, is a great way to minimise the visual presence of the radiator while also doubling up as a practical storage surface.
Choosing a metal-framed table like this one, open on both sides, allows warm air to circulate.
Photo by Jess Lavers Design
Fit a wooden grill
If you’re after a sleek, tailored look, consider getting a joiner to make you a set of bespoke radiator covers like these wooden-fronted grills. A neat white frame with an inset wooden grill in a dark shade like this looks tailored and elegant. This design would translate well in both a contemporary or more traditional scheme.
Photo by Sigmar
If a radiator cover just doesn’t appeal, or if you don’t have space for one, you could consider painting your radiator instead, in order to blend it in with your wall colour.
This works especially well if your wall shade is very dark, like the brick wall in this dining room. Use a specialist radiator paint, or ask an expert to do the job for you.