Radiators Spell Decorating Trouble

We just spent a few days at The Sweetest Place on Earth over the holidays, and I was reminded once again about a trouble spot that many people have in their homes…their radiators.  The folks  at Hershey have great taste, even when it comes to decorating.  When it comes to radiators and curtains, I saw 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.  Consider both when choosing window treatments.

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. A complimentary top treatment can finish it off.

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.  Local dry cleaners and local tailors can also hem them, which is what we did to the sheers in this photo.


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?

Originally published in AboutOne.