The first decision I’ve made on my list of bedroom decisions is about the radiators. I suppose this is because it was the easiest decision to make for me and I’m a bit stuck on some of the others. My hope is that as I make the smaller easier decisions, the more difficult ones will fall into place. (Even though ‘they’ say you should really always start with the most difficult thing to do on your list.)
Currently there is a single large contemporary ribbed radiator in the middle of the wall opposite the fireplace, located on one of the ideal walls for cupboards (as you can see in this photo here). I’ve seen this issue numerous times in my friend’s homes too. I suspect that when central heating was first installed in these Victorian terraces, radiators were not positioned under windows, (where you would ideally want them to heat up the coolest air), but as close to the entrance to the room as possible to minimise the pipework runs. This would make the installation as economical as possible.
So, my decision with the room heating is to replace the large single radiator with two smaller sized radiators, positioned under the windows. When I relocated the guest room radiator from where the bed is now located to beneath the window the cost for a CORGI registered gas and heating guy was about £100, so I am anticipating it will cost about £150 as there are two.
I opted for for contemporary, slim lined flat panel radiators in the guest room and study because the spaces were much tighter and more compact. In the master bedroom however, we have much more space between the new radiator position and our bed, so I have decided to hunt down some salvaged Victorian radiators like the ones I used in the grand hall.
I’ve mentally justified this seemingly mis-matched approach to our radiators as my driving principle from day one has always been that the front rooms of the house will be kept as traditional and true to the original as possible, while the rooms at the back (where eventually our side return will be built) will be more contemporary.
Although these images (which I found and borrowed from this blog) of white radiators are very pretty, my gut feeling is to get them sprayed gunmetal grey to match the other ones in our house rather than have too many different styles and colours going on. This will also pick up on the colour of the fireplace hearth, cast iron surround, and probably the door knobs (although that is a debate for another time!). Plus I know that grey wont yellow with age like white paints often do. I think if you are going to the trouble of getting a ‘feature’ radiator, then its nice to paint it a contrasting colour to the wall, rather than making it blend in.
The btu’s required for the room, and then consequently the radiator size, can be calculated quite accurately here on Stelrad. Alternatively, I recently discovered UKAA’s handy online ‘build your own radiator‘ site which gives a rougher btu calculation (as it doesnt take into account windows and wall build ups), but gives you a handy diagram of the victorian radiator and its size.
So a visit to the Old Bathhouse Architectural Salvage is on the cards soon!