Beat the cold with chic radiators

Hating the cold but not loving your ugly radiators? New designs will let you heat your home in style, says Kate Watson-Smyth
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The Independent Online

I'm well aware that with the price of gas, job uncertainty and all the associated doom and gloom, there will be those of you gallantly refusing to put the heating on till January. Then there's the rest of us.

These days there's no excuse for hideous white metal boxes that take up wall space and look ugly. Radiators can make a statement and there are hundreds to choose from.



Technical tips

First, find out the heat output you need. The installer can do this, but there's a simple calculation if you want to work out the cost roughly. Find the volume of the room in cubic metres by multiplying its height, width and length. Multiply that by 60 to fit the Watts requirement and to convert to BTU multiply again by 3.142. This assumes the room has two outside walls and standard cavity wall insulation. Radiators don't have to go on outside walls: double glazing and better insulation and draught sealing mean they can usually be placed anywhere, to maximise space.



Types of radiators

Rad Art

Who says a radiator has to look like a radiator? The Rad Art range has flat-panelled examples with pictures from dozens on file, or for £100 extra you can use your own image. The artwork is easy to remove. Prices from £595 ( www.radiant-radiators.co.uk ; 0116-270 5777).



Madonna

No prize for guessing the inspiration behind the double-coned Madonna radiator. Priced £1,262 ( www.designer radiators.co.uk ; 01253 893 214).



Abacus

Even the children can get in on the act with a brightly coloured radiator from Aeon. The balls can be a single colour or multi-coloured. From £1,226 (via www.aeon.uk.com ; 01525 379 505).



Flower Power

A simple design makes a big statement on your wall. You can also get large, flat radiators in several colours with a variety of holes, under the name "Cheese" (one for the kitchen?) The Flower Power starts at £1,606; the Cheese is £1,139 ( www.radiatingstyle.com ; 020-8577 9111).



Mirastar

The other option, instead of making your radiator a design feature, is to get rid of it. Your best bet is to go for a glass one. The Mirastar, which doubles as a bathroom mirror, is priced from £995 ( www.glassradiators.co.uk ; 01380 738 840); or there's the Dekor, which is a patterned radiator with a towel rail. From £395; you choose various patterns and colours.



Concept

B&Q has an enormous range of well-priced radiators, including one that doubles up as a heated shelf (£899) or the Cirqo triple (£179), a rather stylish spiral shape that won't take up much room ( www.diy.com ; 0845 850 0175).

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