radar, i mean radiator love.


fantastic frank; thomas baker photography; and wood & wool stool.

i may be one of the few people who actually like the way an old radiator looks. me, and probably cats (i see an awful lotta cats perched on radiators out there on the internet). cats no doubt enjoy their warmth, while i just find the dear old radiators charming. i find their various vintage shapes kind of interesting and architectural. i like the layer upon layer of paint applied over the years and the way it cracks from the heat. but come spring and summer, some just don’t find any use for the poor old radiator. they may find them an eyesore, with no real purpose. but when not in use to heat, radiators are the perfect spot to stack books, place flowers and potted plants, and an ideal platform to build a shelf to display your many treasures. don’t ignore the mighty radiator — paint them, embrace them — i’m hoping to inspire you into a little radiator love today. come on, let them warm your hearts and not just your homes.


residence magazine.


nicole franzen photography.




clockwise from l to r: femina; residence magazine; light locations; elle decor south africa; tracey ayton photography; shoot factory.


fantastic frank.


jen murphy.


jakob nyland.

24 Responses to “radar, i mean radiator love.”
  1. Kate says:

    I’ve always loved radiators, too! I think they are charming-looking. Not to mention the lovely sound of steam hissing out on a cold winter’s morning — and how well they work. I lived with a 1920s era radiator for many years and now that I’ve moved, I STILL miss it!

  2. Chelsea says:

    I love them too. I’m not sure what it is… maybe just the visual interest? You rounded up some truly gorgeous shots. xo

  3. Elissa says:

    I love radiators, the heat is so much better than most other types of heating. My cats certainly agree! I just wish I could afford to professionally strip and repaint the ones in my house.

  4. Lydia says:

    I’ve always loved radiators–I think they’re so charming and romantic. They make me think of books I read when I was little.

  5. Anna @ D16 says:

    I love my old radiators! One of my favorite things about my house, actually. They’re so efficient, too…unless you have layers and layers of paint on them, which I don’t like. It looks nice, I guess, but we’re gradually having ours removed and sandblasted/powder coated offsite. They function so much better and now you can really see the beautiful details on the older ones.

    That cover on that one from Femina is so cute. I’ve never really thought about covering mine, but if I had to for some reason, that’s what I’d want. :)

  6. Anathalia says:

    I have to be honest and say I didn’t like radiators… That was until I moved to this apartment. In the other apartments I lives, they had some really ugly covers that made them take even more space of my small living room/bedroom. But here, they look like they’re just in the right place! They are still on (I’m in Boston…), but as soon as we are able to turn them off for the season, I’m planning having some potted plants on the top. Your post will definitely serve as inspiration!

  7. I too love old radiators, they have so much charm to them and your photos couldn’t have proven that case better. Have never thought about putting plants on them though, ’tis a great idea :)

  8. Does anyone put old-fashioned rads into new construction? ’cause I want that. Awesome post.

  9. Sarah says:

    I love them! The home I grew up in had one in every room, so I find them very nostalgic.

  10. Lindsay says:

    I think I love all of these photos (pinned most of them) because its not just the radiator….It is the radiator, books, all white, and of course the plants. If my garden apt. was just all white, with books, and plants, I would be in heaven.

  11. Very much a fan of the exposed radiator. There’s something about the repeating pattern and the old heavy metal that never loses its appeal. Love the gold painted one!

  12. Jade Sheldon says:

    Oh, yes, radiators are so charming and lovely…

  13. I have to admit, I never thought of radiators as part of the decor of a room…but they look so lovely in these photos, I can’t see how I missed that opportunity! Thanks for the inspiration!!

  14. anna says:

    1. Somewhere out there I once saw a ceramic tray created to sit on a radiator and keep your morning coffee and pastry warm. Since then, I’ve wanted a radiator.
    2. In Europe, frequently the bath room radiator is designed to be a towel warmer as well. So smart. I would like that as well.

  15. Love these. I think radiators are so pretty! I like the old ones with lots of detail, like the bottom right one in your top collage. I also like brightly painted ones.

  16. Danielle says:

    I promise you that you are not, in fact, the only person who loves old radiators. Reminds me of my family’s first home :)

  17. Marjory says:

    Ah, the nostalgia is killing me! How I miss my radiator from my Bay Area apartment. I have to say that I love the radiating heat they provide, way better than central heat. There is something beautiful about not hiding but exposing the inner workings of a home. These radiators are integral to the decor, not afterthoughts. Bravo!

  18. Sarah says:

    they look so cool but are seemingly extinct? or not ever existent in California? i have never seen one in real life….

    • victoria says:

      they are everywhere in san francisco – but we have lots of old victorians, so that may be why. new york, too. plenty of cities with older architecture still in tact, i think.

  19. jen says:

    thanks for posting a photo from my little home! what a surprise to see it here… and yep- love these radiators. JM

  20. willaim says:

    happy to see your article victoira. now most of companies was identified home radiators wanna more creative one, otherwise its not for inside to home :)

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