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How to Easily Transform an Unsightly Radiator Into a Chic Design Element

Radiator Design

Oak Apple Decor

No one should feel like they need to "learn to live with" an exposed radiator. Think of them as you would any other piece of architecture: a functional quirk that you should embrace instead of ignoring.

Radiators can be turned into something structural, or sculptural. They can make a design statement, or fade softly into the back of the room. Here are some ideas to help you see your radiator in a different light.

01 of 08

Turn It Into an Architecturally Stunning Console

Radiator Design

Oak Apple Decor

Instead of aiming to completely obscure your radiator, try integrating it into your room’s design as a functional piece of furniture. The way this custom cover complements its surroundings, you would never guess this “console table” was hiding anything underneath.

02 of 08

Accentuate It With Art

Radiator Design

Erin Francois

Adding artwork that mimics both the color and the sharp, angular lines of this mirrored cover helps distract the eye, making this radiator seem more like a gallery installation than an eyesore. 

03 of 08

Make a Statement With Wallpaper

Wallpapered Radiator

Rad Wraps

When set in front of bold patterned wallpaper, a radiator can stick out like a sore thumb. Instead of settling, use its geometry to your advantage: by applying the same wallpaper to a standard, boxy radiator cover, this statement wallpaper quite literally jumps off the wall. 

04 of 08

Make a Window Seat

Window Seat Radiator

Erin Kestenbaum

When trying to figure out how to hide a radiator, “going bigger” might not be the first thing that pops into your mind, especially in a small space. Building a large platformed cover over this radiator turns it into a cozy, comfortable reading nook.

05 of 08

Integrate It Into a Wall Unit

Shelf Radiator

Tapping Carpentry

This custom wall unit is such a showstopper that you can barely notice the radiator cover amidst the cabinets and shelving. 

06 of 08

Build a Towel Rack

Towel Rack Radiator

Kenny and Mason

An exposed steam radiator can add a touch of industrial chic to a tiled bathroom, but don’t forget it’s not there for looks. Take advantage of its heat by building a towel rack around it. Truly, stepping out of the shower into a warm towel is one of the greatest of life’s simple joys. 

07 of 08

Shape It Into a Cabinet

Radiator Design

Elaine's Roves and Troves

If your bathroom is lacking storage and is home to an unsightly radiator, you're in the right place. Elaine's Roves and Troves created this chic DIY in her bathroom to conceal her radiator and create a cabinet for bathroom storage.

08 of 08

Build a Bar Cart

Radiator Design

The Stone Towers

Your old radiator may be a complete eyesore in your entryway, and if so, we have you covered—literally. Covering up your old radiator and carving out a space for liquor is a perfect solution. This chic space is home to lots of boozy décor with plenty of space to hold all your favorite at-home cocktail essentials.