Wooden radiator cabinets and wooden covers for radiators can add a very great deal to a room, as well as helping to take away a great deal from a room as well. But there are several important points to consider when choosing a wooden cabinet for your radiator.
The risk is that by assuming wooden covers which disguise radiators are inevitably going to be an improvement it can be easy to overlook the fact that the colour of the wood, and indeed the style of the cover or cabinet itself, can help to tie a room together, or create too much of a contrast if the wrong choice is made.
Let's be honest, the vast majority of radiators in homes are pretty ghastly things to look at. Not only are they great slabs of dull white metal, invariably they dominate a large section of wall, and can't even be adequately hidden by furniture. It is also ironic that the one thing a radiator is very bad at doing is radiating heat, since in most cases those great slabs of white metal are sending most of the heat directly up the wall to the ceiling. This is why often it takes quite a long time for the air to start to circulate within the room, raising the ambient temperature.
So it is easy to think that beautiful wooden covers and cabinets fitted over radiators will both disguise something rather unwelcome, as well as potentially offering benefits in terms of heating efficiency. Properly made wooden radiator covers will help to stop the heat escaping directly upwards, venting it out through the grill at the front and directly into the room where it is felt more immediately.
But if you take a look at the range of wooden radiator cabinets available you can see that they vary widely in the type of wood used, as well as the overall style. A crisp white wooden cover looks extremely stylish in modern homes as well as older properties, whereas a walnut effect wooden cover will usually look best in rooms which are fairly large. The darker the colour of the wood the more likely it is that it will help to reduce the overall sense of space, creating a warm and cosy atmosphere.
If you're looking for something which will blend in with a room in which there are a variety of colours and styles of wood then an oak veneer can often work well, being a warm colour which is not over dominant, and which helps to draw together the wood colours within the room.
For modern properties cream or maple work extremely well, but as well as the colour of the wood it is important to be aware that both the style of the cabinet and the pattern of the grill at the front will make a big difference. So for a modern property a crisp white wooden cover with straight edges can look stunning, whereas for smaller rooms or for older properties cream-coloured wooden covers with a softer, rounded design can help to transform a stark white radiator into a feature which looks far more at home, and helps tie the look of the entire room together.