|In my powder room.|
Switch plates: I try to gang plate switches whenever possible. Not only does it look better, it keeps you from running around the room trying to remember which switch turns on which light source. Generally, I go with plain white unless the room is wallpapered, then I have the plates covered and love how they disappear.
|Gang plate that controls all the family room lights. I prefer the screws to all be vertical. |
Men don't seem to notice such details. Guess I'll be the one to fix it!
|The switch plates of my dreams! Clear with a toggle switch, made by a British company.|
The perfect solution for both painted and papered surfaces as well as panelled walls.
I am usually not a fan of decorative or painted switch plates. Here's why: painted plates always scratch and end up looking dirty and covered in fingerprints. Try scrubbing them and the paint will come off over time. Decorative plates just become a big distraction on the wall. Something that is necessary and utilitarian becomes a feature instead of blending into the background. Especially avoid decorative plates if the walls have paneled molding or wainscoting. Nothing worse than having a beautiful architectural element ruined with a blemish that your eye will automatically rest on! And, decorative plates (specifically outlets) are really not a good idea for kids rooms. Putting something colorful, that may also look like a toy, on the wall provides an invitation for a toddler to play with the object or at least investigate it. Scary, considering it has the potential to harm. Same with kitchy night lights, better just to avoid them, especially in kids rooms.
I have two friends that have faux finished switch plates in their kitchens. One space does present "the look" better since the walls are rich tan and the room has a nod towards Tuscan design. However, in my other friends kitchen, they just look dirty on her light colored walls. Don't worry, I am smart enough to keep such observations to myself! But, if either were to ask my opinion, I'd be honest and suggest plain ol' white.
Outlet covers: No question they are ugly. All I can say is that if you have the opportunity during construction to select locations that are as convenient and unobtrusive as possible, do it! And, consider yourself very, very lucky to have had a say! I prefer to have them low. I would love to have them all close to the floor, because it cuts down on dangling cords. Electricians hate doing this because it's a pain and depending on where you live, not to code. I recently learned the codes in my state for new construction are changing for switch plate heights to conform to handicap standards. And, that the outlet which is controlled by the wall switch will now be installed upside down. In other words, it won't smile!
Floor Vents & Wall Vents: If your lucky enough to live in an old or historic house, chances are your vents are beautiful. I just love the artistry and design that once went into creating them and will be forever sad that home builders don't see the value in incorporating such details into newer construction. I for one would pay extra for a beautiful option. A lot extra! I've collected a few vents from salvage yards and one in particular may one day be the template to have my wall vents re-designed.
|Your basic white vent wallpapered.|
post, so hopefully this will answer your questions about the process.
Here's how it works:
|Before: vent sits on top of the floor with a raised edge.|
|Next: floors are stipped of old stain and wood is cut to receive the frame and new vent.|
|After: The frame and vent are stained to match and are now flush with the floor. What a difference!|