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There’s still a month or so before the weather warms up, which means a few more weeks of radiators clanking away in our homes. Anytime an old radiator starts hissing or making weird noises, it’s only natural to turn and look—so make sure that when you do you’re looking at something pretty! Whether you’re a renter who can’t overhaul AC systems or a new homeowner on a tight budget, elevating your heater can be as simple as a can of paint or some decorative additions.

Cap It

Fully covering a radiator can cut off the circulation of heat, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be disguised. Designer Beata Heuman enlisted a trustworthy craftsman to construct twin shelves with a scalloped edge that sit on the top and bottom of the two radiators in her dining room. Now the appliances double as cheery storage.

Paint It

For her bathroom radiator, Stasia Buckle simply blended the contraption into the rest of her Gloucestershire, England, apartment by coating it in a shade of pink paint called Fairy Dust. 

Enclose It

If your radiator is in an awkward corner, a custom-built case is in order. Just be sure to create a vent for the air it’s dispelling to get through. You can go more traditional, such as this slotted cover in the Barcelona apartment of MH.AP cofounder Marina Huguet, or try a graphic approach, as in this circle-punched piece from Babel Studio. Sculpture or heat source? Only you will be able to tell.

Our Winter Renovation issue is here! Subscribe now to step inside Leanne Ford’s latest project—her own historic Pennsylvania home. Plus discover our new rules of reno.