Not able to update your old radiator? Then disguise your radiator with these stylish options - everything from painting it to building a fake fireplace!
Does your home still have radiators? Do you like the way they heat your home but not the way they look? When replacing old radiators with newer, smaller, more modern models is not an option, consider a little camouflage. Check out these design ideas that will transform your radiator from an eyesore into a work of art.
An easy (and traditional) way to hide an unsightly radiator is with a radiator cover. Different styles can be purchased at many home improvement stores. With a few decorative wood panels, you can transform your radiator into an elegant piece of furniture. If you're handy with carpentry, you can even make one yourself.
A fresh coat of paint is an obvious and easy fix. Try painting your unit the same color as your walls. This works especially well with darker, richer colors. Remember to stick with the same finish (matte, glossy, etc.). Otherwise, the different textures will clash and make the radiator stick out like a sore thumb.
Instead of going for the blending-in approach, you can lean into making your radiator stand out. Integrate it with your room’s décor, using a graduated ombre pattern or a pop of coordinated color. Just make sure the paint is safe for use on radiators and is graded to stand up to high temperatures. (Look for stove paint or paint formulated for fireplaces.)
Disguise It With Furniture
Sometimes all it takes is some cleverly positioned furniture to disguise your radiator. Use your sofa, a bench, a console table or even a desk to screen a radiator and create a charming little nook or workspace.
Turn It Into a Shelf
Transform your bulky radiator into a handy side table or bookshelf by placing a piece of wood, stone or a marble slab on top of it. If you go with wood, be aware that it might warp over time. Also, when the radiator is in use during the winter, remember to remove any flammable substances from your shelf. If you have a large, unsightly radiator, hang the shelf just above it to create a dramatic display.
Sit on It
Create a place to lounge by turning a low-profile radiator into a built-in bench. It takes a bit more work, but it’s a brilliant way to conceal the radiator, while adding warmth and character. Removable cushions and throws only add to the charm. However, it’s very important that your bench is constructed properly, so it can hold a person's weight. If not, your seating option, however attractive, could be a fire hazard. Whatever you install, remember that it will need to ventilate the heat and allow access when in need of service.
Build a Faux Fireplace
Nothing adds atmosphere to a room like a fireplace. By using brick, stone or even carefully carved wood, you can create an enclosure for your radiator that resembles a classic fireplace, complete with a mantel where you can show off your family photos or heirlooms. Add a screen to complete the look. This radiator hack is a bit more elaborate, but it adds both functionality and personality to any room.
Now that you've completed your radiator makeover, get ready for the colder weather to come. Read some "Home Matters" tips on how to avoid a heating system breakdown and what you can do to keep your heating costs down this winter.