Yes, I know it’s the middle of summer and we’ve been in the midst of a heat wave, but we all know that here in the UK we spend at least the best part of nine months of the year huddled inside trying to stay warm. There’s of course, nothing like a bit of forward planning especially if you’re looking or in the process of doing up your home. With this in mind, you might want to take time to consider what has become another design element to your homes, the more than humble radiator.
Radiator Love – Heating Up Your Homes In Style
Whilst radiators were once just a means to heat our homes they’ve literally become another element of design for us to think about when redesigning or decorating our homes. More than just a heat source, radiators today have the power to offer us another design aesthetic with an array of forms and materials available complimenting and adding to our decor and style choices.
Before we seek some radiator inspiration, I thought I’d cover some of the basics as to where and what to avoid when it comes to replacing your radiators.
Where to Position Your Radiator
Most of us, myself included, have their radiators positioned under the window. This dates back to before double glazing and what was considered the cold spot in the room according to our Victorian ancestors.
It may be commonplace to have a radiator under the window but there is, or rather I should say was, a scientific aspect behind this. Basically, it boils down to conduction with incoming cold air which causes more effective heat conduction in that it pushes the hot area from the radiator into your rooms. With the advent of double glazing, there may now not be the need for this particular placement as there may no longer be cold spots in our spaces that we reside in. With this in mind, you could in theory position your radiator wherever you like.
When it comes to repositioning your radiator, the only challenge you’ll probably find yourself with is battling with the feeling of past traditions i.e., the window position rather than future capabilities with the advent of better-insulated homes, and a good plumber. You should be able to achieve the overall design of a room incorporating a choice radiator wherever or whatever style you decide upon.
Vertical Radiators are great for kitchen and bathroom areas where wall space can be at a premium.
Key Points To Avoid
Radiators need to breathe so don’t have your curtains hanging over your radiators. The heat emitted will be depleted and you’ll just end up heating your windows which kind of defeats of the object of heating your rooms. There’s also the potential dangers of convector radiators with long drapes as these present themselves as a fire hazard!
Working out your furniture placement in a room is essential for ease of use and, of course, when it comes to heating. Blocking radiators with large pieces of furniture such as a sofa or wardrobe will drastically affect the amount of heat transmitted into your rooms. So if you can avoid it make sure you keep large furniture away from your radiators.
Radiators today are very efficient so you may get away with a smaller model. There are such things as heat calculators to help provide with a rough guide to the amount of heat output you’ll need for any given room. Although it goes without saying it’s also advisable to get a plumber/heating engineer around to view your home as they’ll be able to take into other considerations such as the age of the property and any other points that may have an impact on heating your home.
Don’t forget to think about the depth of a new radiator in conjunction with the height and width. Radiators come in all shapes and sizes so it’s good to take a view whether you need a slimline radiator that doesn’t protrude into a room if space is at a premium.
If space is at a premium opting for a slimline vertical design can make the most of limited space and can provide a design feature at the same time as heating up a room.
Incorporating Form & Function
You might want to take into consideration the size of your heated towel rail in terms of how large or small your bathrooms are. Heated towel rails are primarily to keep your towels warm and dry so you might need scale things up in larger bathrooms. Or why not opt for an additional radiator to add variance if you have a large enough room.
Best of Both Worlds
That said there are radiators that combine the heated towel rail with an additional radiator like this one from Bathroom Takeaway. It offers a stylish hybrid of a high heat output radiator and the functionality of a towel rail.
Add Some Colour
Why not go brave and bring some colour into your homes. Although, you’ll need to ensure that you can live with it long term and that you’re not prone to changing your colour scheme every year. That said if you love colour and it makes you happy then go for it!
There’s without a doubt a huge array of radiators to choose which can prove a bit mind-boggling, the upside is that there’s something for everyone and every decor. Think about the overall look you are hoping to achieve. That said there’s nothing wrong with adopting an eclectic style to your homes so mixing old with new is perfectly acceptable if that’s the look you are looking for.
Stainless steel is a material used in contemporary styles because it’s good for making different shapes as well as being very efficient.
Stainless steel radiators are a great long-term investment that requires very little maintenance as well as conducting heat well and will hold its heat for a couple of hours after being turned off.
Instagram has a lot to answer for in terms of the popularity of Victorian style cast iron radiators with their Instaworthy good looks. Key points to remember when choosing this type of radiator are that they can take a while to heat up but once they get going they are brilliant at retaining and spreading the heat around a room. Ideal for those of you that may have older period properties that are perhaps less well insulated.
Cast Iron Radiators are incredibly heavy so be prepared to pay more for installation costs.
Steel or ‘mild steel’ radiators offer those of you that love contemporary design a vast array of choice when it comes to heating your homes. It’s cheaper material that can be formed into all sorts of wonderful styles and comes in a variety of colours. They also tend to be more affordable which helps if you have a few to buy.
If you’re looking for the ultimate in radiators for heat and longevity then aluminium radiators are the best of all the different radiator materials. They are exceptional at heating up fast and spreading the heat. The only downside for most of us is their high price but they will ultimately save you money in the long run.
Decorative Art Forms
Or why not choose a decorative unusual form to heat your rooms with. They make great statement pieces and add an artistic element too.
And don’t think that because you have an awkward space that you have to put up with the traditional. There are radiators for every situation including those corner areas of a room that you might have thought impossible before.
If In Doubt Paint It
Of course, if your pocket doesn’t allow it and you’re not completely enamoured with your existing radiator my best advice to you is to paint it the same colour as your walls to help it blend in and you’ll hardly know it’s there.
If all else fails and you really don’t want to be ripping up your floorboards or changing your existing radiator you could resort to hiding it with a radiator cover. This one by My Furniture adds some beautiful reflective qualities to your homes with its hand-bevelled mirrored glass attributes. The mirrored strips are thin enough to conceal any unsightly radiator whilst still allowing effective air and heat circulation to warm up your homes. It’s also pretty useful as a console table for displaying your knick-knacks.
Have I gotten you looking at your radiator under the window and contemplating changing things up a little or maybe I’ve helped answer some questions with a forthcoming home project? Either way, I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s post.
Until next time, thanks as always for stopping by!