Today Confused in Connecticut writes:
Dear Diva, I recently made over my family room and I think it looks wonderful! But my daughter thinks I need to change out the old switch and outlet covers. She says they are an eye sore, but I don’t think you can even notice them. What do you think should I change them? Thanks, Confused in Connecticut.
When it comes to making over any space, often times it is easy to focus on the big objects in a room and forget the little touches that can help unify the new look for that space. Switch plates and outlet covers are one of those little touches. As your room changes, so does those items in your room that remain unchanged.
If the switch plates and outlet covers are white and your old paint was white or a light color, you may not have noticed them. However, if your new paint is bold or bright, the white switch plates and outlet covers might now be very noticeable. On the flip side, what if you’ve painted a light color paint over old wood paneling and your old outlet covers were brown? Now you’ve got a very noticeable dark outlet cover in a room you lightened up. This means no matter how great the new design is, your eyes keep coming back to those light switches and outlet covers that stick out like a sore thumb! In instances like this, it’s time to change light switch and outlet covers to keep the room flow running smoothly.
Here are three tips to help minimize the impact your switch plates and outlet covers are making on your design:
#1 Replace old, dingy or poorly colored switch plates and outlet covers with brand new ones. If you suffer from the old brown, almond colored or just dingy plates and covers, go to the local hardware store and pick up new ones. Sometimes just replacing some old ones with new ones will help minimize the impact they make in your design.
#2 Paint or order custom colors. You can paint over your existing switch plates or outlet covers, you just have to clean them, then lightly sand them so paint will be able to adhere to the plastic. You can also can get switch plates and outlet covers that are designed to be painted as well. One company that offers these kinds of switch plates are Plaztex. The Plaztex plates even come with different levels of texture so you can match your wall surface to the switch plate.
Now if you don’t feel like painting the switch plates, there are many companies that make switch plates and outlet covers in a multitude of colors. Check with your local hardware store or look online to find the color right for you. Just use your favorite search engine as a resource or even stop by the Home Makeover Diva Store.
#3 Find a design that works best with your space. There are many switch plate and outlet cover manufacturers out there from large retailers to small artisans and crafters. With that in mind, finding the perfect switch plate or outlet cover for your space shouldn’t be too difficult. One such artisan is Tin Can Sally. She makes switch plates and outlet covers out of vintage tins and collectible advertising. My favorites are the ones made of vintage baking pans. They’re perfect for just about any style and will definitely be a conversation piece without taking over your design and being an eye sore. Now if you like old advertising, don’t forget to check out Tin Can Sally’s other pieces for options along this line.
No matter what room you’re making over, don’t forget to consider the little details. Because if you don’t they may become an eye sore that takes away from your design. Something as simple and inexpensive as light switches and outlet covers should not be over looked.
Do you have questions about the selecting or the installation of: tile, carpet or wall treatments (window blinds, etc)? Then email me your tale of woe(diva(at)homemakeoverdiva.com) and perhaps I will be able to answer your questions right here at the Home Makeover Diva Blog!