Apartment living does have its benefits – low maintenance, extra security and no worrying over structural damage. However, apartment life does have one big downside – STORAGE HEATERS!
For anyone who has lived in an apartment this issue will definitely have affected them. Whether your apartment is 2 years old or 20, storage heaters seem to be the norm. Forgetting the fact that you need to have a NASA qualification and be best friends with Mystic Meg to figure out how they work, THEY ARE UGLY! There is no way around the fact that they are a big white blot on the landscape of your beautifully decorated room – no matter how hard you try to block them out.
So this is when I set myself a challenge – How can I distract from the heater in my hall with an easily movable cover (As storage heaters cannot be covered while in use)?
My first thought was a radiator cover as this could be lifted away if in ever wanted to use the heater, but after a lot of searching (whilst also working my way through a full tin of Betty’s Yorkshire Shortbread with tea), I found that the pre-made covers were not deep enough. Feeling defeated, I thought about a lift on/off shelf but quickly dismissed this idea and went back to the drawing board, reverting to one of my favourite pastimes – scouring eBay for furniture! As I clicked the ‘nearest first’ filter it triggered a light bulb moment – Why don’t I just buy a cupboard, remove the back and cut down in depth to fit over the heater? Well, that could have been an option had it not been for the skirting boards. Undeterred, I pursued this approach by exploring what furniture I could possibly adapt and eventually decided that a table would be the easiest to adapt and the most practical as it can be easily moved and will sit flush to the wall.
I popped the kettle on (and fought the urge to rummage for more biscuits) before narrowing down my table search. In addition to eBay, I also find the local Facebook selling groups a great option – there is nothing worse than finding the ideal piece only to discover it is collection only from the top of Scotland! This is where I found the perfect table for the job, (albeit nearer to Hull that York) but luckily for me, and my very small Mini, one of my friends works close by and could collect it for me.
Once delivered (in exchange for one of my homemade coffee & walnut cakes) I began dismantling the table to remove the lower tier and two of the legs. From there I measured how far out of the wall I wanted the table to be, and importantly, how deep it needed to be for the legs not to get in the way and then sanded the table so it was ready to paint after being cut to size. To cut it down you could hand saw or jigsaw it with a steady hand and careful eye but I however took a more accurate approach (purely for my OCD of not wanting a wobbly line) and took it to a good customer of ours who designs and creates playgrounds and parks. They ran it through their circular saw giving me a perfectly crisp line meaning no more sanding!
For the paint colour I chose to paint it the same colour as my mirror that I already have in the hall. To ensure I was able to get the same paint I took a tiny chip off the back of the mirror and took it to B&Q which they were able to then use to get a Valspar colour match from. The only thing left to do was paint the piece, which, once fuelled by another cup of tea, I was able to complete in no time.
My original plan was to screw a piece of wood to the wall for the table to sit on as this will help prevent it from sliding or tilting, but thankfully the table sat sturdily against the wall on the heater and so this wasn’t required. With the table now in place I popped a couple of candle sticks and one of my vintage teapots on to dress it up a little and it was complete.
So for £18.50 and a little bit of imagination that was how I distracted the eye from my unsightly storage heater without hiding it, permanently obstructing it or affecting the walls around it. This could be a perfect solution for any of you that loathe your heater. Get in touch if you’ve had any other ideas around solving this challenging problem – I would love to hear how others have disguised the horrid heaters that apartment living brings with it.
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