How to Decorate Around Radiators

How to Decorate Around Radiators

Have you ever been to The Sweetest Place on Earth?  You have to know that the folks who make stuff taste great also have great taste, even when it comes to decorating.  In fact, I found a great solution to a common decorating problem at the Hotel Hershey, of Hershey,PA.

Keep it Classy

Window treatments and obtrusive radiators, often found in older homes, are often at odds with each other.  Large cast iron radiators and their covers pose space constraints, and baseboard heaters with a slimmer profile can sometimes cause safety concerns.  If they are present, it is crucial to take both in to account when choosing window treatments.

This photo above, courtesy of the Hotel Hershey, shows a very classy treatment that can be applied in to just about any home.  Stylish floor-length panels flank the heater unit, giving drama and presence to the window, while an inside treatment that provides for light control is cut to just above the unit and can be adjusted without impediment.  The whole picture is finished off with a complementary top treatment.

Baseboard Heaters

For lower profile baseboard heaters, this photo demonstrates how a standard 84” panel pair can be swept up with a tie back to a safe height.  If this doesn’t provide enough clearance and you don’t have sewing talent, many dry cleaners and local tailors can provide economical hemming, which is what was done to the set of accompanying sheers in this photo.

How to Decorate Around Radiators

How to Decorate Around Radiators


In general, a water-fed heating system will not heat to dangerous temperatures, so window treatments can be placed adjacent to the fixture.  Baseboard heaters can be water-fed (see above) or electrical, which can heat to higher temperatures and have a heating element inside.  Leave a clearance of at least 6” from the baseboard heaters for all window treatments and soft coverings.  And of course, always keep soft treatments away from portable oil and electric heaters, according to the manufacturer’s suggestions, and that includes decorative and functional fireplaces.  I like to keep a clearance of at least three feet or more.

How have you decorated your windows surrounded by radiators?

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