Warming up chilly interiors with a blend of science and artistry, these nine types of contemporary radiator bring creativity in from the cold.

Like a floor lamp, the freestanding Milano electric radiator from TUBES can be positioned anywhere in the room, while its design is inspired by the helical electric induction coil

Nine designer radiator typologies that turn up the heat | News

Like a floor lamp, the freestanding Milano electric radiator from TUBES can be positioned anywhere in the room, while its design is inspired by the helical electric induction coil

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The simple science of radiators has remained relatively unchanged for over 150 years. And although the traditional cast-iron column radiator is going through a retro-resurgence, the heating appliances are often left out of an interior architect’s creative mindset.


Warm air from vertical radiators doesn’t get stuck behind heat-blocking furniture, while their modern designs add bright pops of colour or original metalwork


More imaginative designs, however, are gaining prominence in the radiator market, as modern manufacturing and materials allow them to serve wider purposes. Here are nine types of radiator, both standard and less common, that give designers and their clients more creative options when choosing how to warm up their interior and its look.

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Cordivari's Rio radiator bends its twisted tubes to reflect the image of rippling waters (top), while TUBES's Milano range comes in a wide range of bright colours (bottom)

Nine designer radiator typologies that turn up the heat | News

Cordivari's Rio radiator bends its twisted tubes to reflect the image of rippling waters (top), while TUBES's Milano range comes in a wide range of bright colours (bottom)

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Vertical radiators

At the height of popularity in contemporary interiors of recent years, the warm air from vertical radiators doesn’t get stuck behind heat-blocking furniture, while their modern designs add bright pops of colour or original metalwork design higher up the wall. Cordivari’s Rio radiator, for example, twists its columns in a rippling water effect. While the electric Milano radiator from TUBES is free to move around the room like a standing floor lamp, and is inspired by an electric induction coil.

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Scirocco's Snake radiators' instantly recognisable shapes imitate those from the classic phone game (top), while the Soho radiators from TUBES also turn heads with contrasting colours (bottom)

Nine designer radiator typologies that turn up the heat | News

Scirocco's Snake radiators' instantly recognisable shapes imitate those from the classic phone game (top), while the Soho radiators from TUBES also turn heads with contrasting colours (bottom)

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Colourful radiators

Standard radiators can be said to come in any colour, as long as it’s white. And while modern options open up the grayscale with complementary blacks and grey shades, by using contrasting blocks of bright colour like many of TUBES’s range and other contemporary options do, specifiers can use radiators like Scirocco H’s Snake – named after the iconic phone game of the same name – as artistic focal points for the home.

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antrax it's Moon radiator dome becomes Saturn with the simple addition of a 'ring' towel rail (top), while Foursteel's Diamond is a wall-hung geometric sculpture (bottom)

Nine designer radiator typologies that turn up the heat | News

antrax it's Moon radiator dome becomes Saturn with the simple addition of a 'ring' towel rail (top), while Foursteel's Diamond is a wall-hung geometric sculpture (bottom)

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Hovering radiators

Originally made from heavy, hardwearing cast-iron, a radiator's placement is often restricted by the required supports and floor-mounted pipework. Lighter materials such as steel and aluminium, however, allow hovering radiators’ plumbing to hide behind the design. Multiple Moon or Saturn (when including a helpful towel rail) radiators from antrax it, for example, can be arranged in any formation, and remain connected backstage. While the Diamond radiator from Foursteel shows how a wall-hung radiator can take the sculptural form of geometric artwork instead.

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TUBES's Add On radiator makes up more than the sum of its parts with small modular elements combining to form any shape (top) while CINIER provides framed abstract radiators (bottom)

Nine designer radiator typologies that turn up the heat | News

TUBES's Add On radiator makes up more than the sum of its parts with small modular elements combining to form any shape (top) while CINIER provides framed abstract radiators (bottom)

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Decorative radiators

Placement is not something that needs to hold radiator design back anymore. TUBES’s Add On radiator uses the simple mathematical symbol to create a grid design that improves efficiency, using less water with more surface area. The modular elements can also combine to fill any shape or space available between windows, doors or alternative wall shapes. If putting a radiator high up on the wall turns it into modern art, why not make it look like it, too? CINIER produces a range of abstract radiator artworks on exceptionally conductive Olycale stone.

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The Invisi radiator from Nordholm is a glass frame that holds wallcoverings to seamlessly blend with the background (top) and Deltacalor's Quilt radiator reflects the room's energy (bottom)

Nine designer radiator typologies that turn up the heat | News

The Invisi radiator from Nordholm is a glass frame that holds wallcoverings to seamlessly blend with the background (top) and Deltacalor's Quilt radiator reflects the room's energy (bottom)

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Invisible radiators

If you're not a fan of abstract art, however, CINIER's range might leave you a little cold. Simply a glass picture frame, Nordholm’s Invisi radiator holds unique art prints or, by fitting the same covering as the wall behind, can become invisible. Alternatively, the Quilt radiator from Deltacalor irradiates the distorted colour and form of its surroundings with a soft, pillowy perspective.

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mg12's Geometrici electric towel warmer acts as a bathroom mirror and heater, while keeping towels safe, dry and out of sight

Nine designer radiator typologies that turn up the heat | News

mg12's Geometrici electric towel warmer acts as a bathroom mirror and heater, while keeping towels safe, dry and out of sight

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Mirror radiators

Radiators like Quilt offer multi-functional solutions in small spaces like bathrooms, naturally in need of both warming and reflective surfaces. The Geometrici radiator from mg12, however, is tri-functional, also providing storage with a hidden hook that warms, dries and hides wet towels, otherwise left to ruin the spa-like aesthetic.

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Montecarlo is a colourful bathroom valet from TUBES that holds and warms towels, along with other objects, on its enclosed shelf

Nine designer radiator typologies that turn up the heat | News

Montecarlo is a colourful bathroom valet from TUBES that holds and warms towels, along with other objects, on its enclosed shelf

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Radiators with storage

Also unable to stop with just two functions, TUBES’s colourful (as is the brand’s trademark) Montecarlo radiator bends its columns into the simple square and rectangular shapes of open wall storage, providing enclosed rails and shelves to warm towels and toiletries in the bathroom, or even cosy coats, scarves and hats in house entranceways, too.

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TUBES's Square Bench is more furniture than radiator, providing a warm table or seat for numerous cosy activities

Nine designer radiator typologies that turn up the heat | News

TUBES's Square Bench is more furniture than radiator, providing a warm table or seat for numerous cosy activities

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Multi-functional radiators

We’ve seen how radiators can perform more than one, or even more than two functions, from artwork to mirrors to storage, but this is perhaps the one I’d like to try most. The Square Bench from TUBES is an electric radiator that brings a wonderfully warmed seat or low table either against a wall or in towards the centre of the room for everyone to enjoy.

The freestanding Scaletta radiator from TUBES keeps warmed towels and toiletries close to hand

Nine designer radiator typologies that turn up the heat | News

The freestanding Scaletta radiator from TUBES keeps warmed towels and toiletries close to hand

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Freestanding radiators

And whoever said radiators need to go next to a wall anyway? The freestanding Scaletta radiator from TUBES can not only hold its own weight amongst any company by balancing and supporting itself, but thanks to a nifty little cable pulley, it can travel around, too. Meaning users can retrieve a warmed towel straight from its rail, without ungracefully removing themselves from the bath.

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