Hot Design – Cool Radiators
I’d like to start this blog with a confession, in order that we can better understand each other and build trust. I’m aware you’re not a priest (and if you are, I won’t consider this admission binding in a religious sense), but here goes: when I first came into the interiors market many moons ago I didn’t really care about it. Yes, I know. Criminal, isn’t it?
This story ends well though, as now I find myself the kind of person who is happy to expatiate on why certain toilets are brilliant, or asseverate that thermostatic showers really are the only choice in your bathroom. With knowledge comes responsibility, so they say, so I have taken up another cause as well, that of proving that functional items can play a very big role in the look of your rooms. More to the point, I now feel that radiators are very important stylistic items.
If you ask me, properly stylish designer radiators came about fairly recently, as designers became more adventurous. I also think radiators became cool due to three separate changes in thought and practice, as below.
Seems a strange one to kick off with this but it’s an interesting thought. The shapes and malleability of radiator design has really come about due to the incorporation of low carbon steel to build radiator and towel rail bodies. This metal is of course strong, but relatively lightweight, and its composition means that it is extremely amenable to welding. This means that manufacturers can attempt more exciting, angular designs as they know the joints of the radiators will not come under undue stress.
This was more a change in fashion than anything else. As far as I can think back, radiators were painted into obscurity, to disguise and obfuscate, usually in bland, neutral tones. Now you can get radiators in all manner of hues, from standard white and grey glosses up to glimmering chrome. Perhaps the biggest strides have been made with darker radiators, with black gloss and anthracite finishes demonstrably popular. You can have pretty much anything you want now.
Radiators have been tipped on their heads, that’s right. Where horizontal radiators took up a heavy proportion of those fitted in homes, in recent times vertical column radiators have really come to the fore. Slimline and upright, these units present a wonderfully fresh aspect, and look very contemporary. This look is only accentuated by flat panels, available on many models, due to the minimalist profile.