art nouveau radiator cover cabinet photograph of Samsons Joinery radiator cover/cabinet


The truth is, we have never created a firm set of designs. And, since each maker in the workshop produces their own templates, there are endless minor variations. But since most customers purchase only one or two covers, usually for the hall and the front room, and they are built at the same time by the same person, it has never been necessary to produce a uniform, set design. Both of these cabinets have our standard tulip cut-outs in the slats, but both have an additional "flower" with a bit of red glass in the centre. On the right, the cover is stained to match the woodwork, below the cover has been lime washed to make it stand out less in this very pale coloured bedroom. Note that the skirtings around the radiator covers tend to to be slightly higher than skirting boards in the room.
   Below and to the left (and poorly photographed) is our second standard, known as the Barber, after the first people to order it. Its main feature is the central oval set with colour glass. photograph of Samsons Joinery radiator cover/cabinetThe cross piece under the shelf is curved over the whole length and the vertical spindles or slats in front of the radiator itself are plain. A small bead runs up to the oval creating an abstract flower.
  This next radiator cover had cut-outs to match existing designs in the house. It was extremely labour intensive and is unlikely to be repeated. photograph of Samsons Joinery radiator cover/cabinetBelow are two new designs. The squares have a more obvious Mackintosh feel, because he is so closely associated with squares. The circles with a small vertical upright (not easily seen in the drawing) is more authentically Arts & Crafts and especially Glasgow school. Taken as a symbolic "tree of life", the righthand drawing could be said to be more spiritually Mackintosh.
drawing of a "Glasgow" style radiator cover/cabinet  

American, mission or prairie style
photograph of an oak "mission" style radiator cover/cabinet Here is a brand new design, inspired by the American Arts and Crafts tradition. Just north of Stirling, it may be the only "mission" style radiator cover in Britain. In the USA there are quite a few manufacturers making radiator cabinets in a 1905 style. Far and away the most impressive is Wolf (below and right is one of theirs). They make covers that put ours to shame, building in solid oak, cherry and birch. They are only able to do this by lining the entire inside with heavy-duty reflective insulation. But, then again, the average price for one of their cabinets is almost double ours, not including fitting. Alas, they are one of those firms who claim that covering a radiator with their furniture makes the radiator more efficient and makes the room warmer. In fact, theirs are some of the least efficient around. In this model there is a good 60mm of space under the shelf where the hot air is trapped above the height of the small slits whence it will eventually escape. They are, however, quite beautiful.
  Below are some more fantastical radiator covers, some with built-in lighting, some are more bookcase than radiator cover.  
  photograph of an Art Deco radiator cover/cabinet
The Art Deco and the unbuilt
photograph of an Art Deco radiator cover/cabinet Much as I love Art Deco, it just isn't that popular today as a furniture style. The sketch below was a design I made when first asked for an Art Deco radiator cover. It wasn't built. And since then I've been asked no more than half a dozen times if we make such things. The cover above remains the only one Art Deco radiator cabinet we've ever made. photograph of a radiator cover and bookcase  drawing of an art deco radiator cabinet