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In the Black (Radiators!), by Paul Madill


Paul Madill
February 12, 2014
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The search for the unique is a never-ending quest, something that mutates and evolves every single moment. The thing is, as a concept, uniqueness is almost ineffable and unachievable, and so when you or I are striving for the cool or modern in our homes, we tend to follow established fashion, by and large.

This notion bleeds into every aspect of design, all the way into functional items. One area I have perceived as getting a lot of attention in this regard is with heating, and specifically, radiators. I can already sense the raised eyebrows when you try and talk about ‘designer radiators’ but the fact remains that anything can now be called into action to push a certain look or design.

One way to get a contemporary radiator, besides looking at power and shape, is to consider the finish.  Usually, radiators are finished in fairly demure ways, washed whites and nice, inoffensive neutral tones. Now though, edgier and more elegant finishes have come to the fore to modernise radiators, looks which run the gamut from ostentatious to understated.

Shiny chrome has always been a standby, and has become far more popular now, as have glosses, whose whites and greys are elevated above classic rough finishes due to their burnished, light-reflecting properties.

For me though, the truly modern radiator is a black radiator. This colour is something of an unorthodox one, probably more associated with goths and the like! Thing is, nowadays these radiators are in major demand. Not only do they act as a cool and muted presence in a room, they can be used in brighter rooms as a stark counterpoint. By playing off a black or anthracite radiator against a sheer white wall you  can create a stirring contrast, one that would be perfectly suited to fans of Guinness and/or Sheridan’s, too!

It would be remiss of me to finish without talking about electric radiators. Speaking technically, an electric radiator can most definitely add a depth of flexibility to your heating system, and they are particularly suited to bathrooms and utility rooms. This is because they can then be isolated and used in that way, to dry football kit or towels in the summer, for instance.

Better yet – if you ask me – go dual fuel with the installation of an electric element. These slot into the valve area of your radiator and are then wired to the mains. This way you can choose as and when your radiator is heated by whatever means.

So, there you have a brief overview of modern radiators and some technical tweaks to make them even more efficient and useful to you.