No matter how great your home is, you can normally find something that bugs you, or some design features that you’d like to change and improve. Chances are you made some compromises along the way, but that’s not to say you’re forever stuck with the things you don’t like. For many, exposed pipes and bulky radiators are a pet peeve they feel they have no choice but to put up with.
While it can indeed be difficult and unfeasible to rid yourself of them, you can give them a makeover, and transform an annoyance into a work of art. Check out the following five ideas that will turn your pipes and radiators into something you can be proud to show off!
By far the easiest way to give your pipes and radiators a makeover, painting them can work in one of two ways. You can choose to hide them by blending them in with the current paint job of the room they’re in, or you can let them stand out and treat them as a feature. Blending them in is easy: just paint the pipes and radiators the same colour as the wall they’re against.
But if, on the other hand, you want them to make a statement, be bold with your colours. Splashes of colour really liven up a room and by using your pipes and radiators as a canvas for this, you detract from what they actually are, as they become part of a bigger picture. Try matching the colour to feature walls or furniture.
Why not treat your radiator as a blank canvas on which you can create artwork that suits you? Using patterns and stencils on both pipes and radiators is relatively simple, or you can create something from scratch. Use the shape of the radiator to create standout artwork, such as a figure behind bars.
If painting isn’t enough and you’re truly sick of the sight of your radiators, all hope is not lost. You can buy or make your own cover that can be used to hide it away forever. The standard shop-bought covers are rather plain in their design, but if you choose to make a DIY cover, the possibilities are endless.
You can fix up a decent-looking cover using MDF and a few basic tools. From ultra-fancy pieces of art, to minimalist box covers, the choice is yours. For radiators you still use, the best practice is to ensure there’s a suitable gap near the top of the cover and at least holes at the bottom, to encourage warm air to flow out into the room via convection. Or if you don’t plan on using it again, go wild!
Covers can of course be painted and finished in a variety of designs. Popular examples include faux fireplaces, piano keys, and other striking designs, but you can really give your imagination free rein. And if the radiator in question is in a small bedroom, try bold colours to make the entire room pop.
If you decide to cover your radiators, why not go a step further and transform them into stylish pieces of furniture? A stunning hardwood top can act as a shelf, or even a bench. Finished with wood stain, your ugly radiator can become a real talking point.
Try adding shelves or even small cupboards to the side, providing more storage options and allowing you to use your radiator to show off your favourite decorations. Radiators that are placed under windows can become comfortable window seats, or even cozy reading nooks. Finish with a wide top, adorned with cushions and blankets to suit your own personal style.
Going Back to Nature
You can make unsightly pipes a focal point of the room, simply by covering them and hiding what they really are. If you have a wild side and love to go back to nature, there are numerous ways you can transform your awkward pipes.
Try covering them in birch-bark wrapping paper to create a stark, forest atmosphere. You can go a step further by painting in leaves or adding real birch branches to create a copse in your own home. For something a little more exotic, try using bamboo covers to hide your pipes, just be sure to insulate with foam first for safety.
Arts and Crafts
For those who love rustic charm, one of the best ways to turn your pipes into a work of art is to give them a crafty makeover. Simply wrap pipes in rope to create a nautical feel in your bathroom, or a rough and rugged look in the living room. As well as looking great, this also insulates them and makes hot pipes safer to touch. Add some pallet furniture to complete the look and you’re all set!
Alternatively, whip out the knitting needles and create a chunky knitted sleeve. This looks great in kids’ rooms, and you can go a step further by adding knitted snake or dragon heads to make amazing pipe creatures. This can also work well on old steam radiators!