If you’re living through a home renovation, or even just considering one, you probably spend a huge chunk of time watching the home improvement shows on television or browsing through magazines that show off gorgeous rooms. One takeaway from these resources is that the look isn’t complete until you bring in the ‘pretty’ to your rooms. The final details are what elevates the rooms from bland to beautiful. If you’ve already painted the walls and updated your window coverings, it’s time to add those last-minute accents that add the elegance and designer touch your rooms need. High-quality plate coverings in your rooms are a simple and fairly inexpensive way to subtly tell visitors that you’ve paid attention to every detail, right down to the wall plate switches.
Why Change Wall Plate Switches?
Switchplate covers have come a long way from their humble beginnings. No longer are they strictly utilitarian; you can have wall plates that complement the room’s decor without detracting from it. The first step in finding replacement covers is to take your cues from what’s already in the room and try to find commonality.
The most popular materials from which wall plates are made today are copper, brass, nickel, bronze, chrome, wood, or ceramic. Brass or bronze are good choices for a historical or traditional home, while nickel and chrome can enhance a contemporary room. Keep in mind the style of your home, and the adjoining rooms, and stick to one look throughout all the rooms that feed into one another, such as in open concept design.
Once you decide on a material, you need to select a design, which can be stamped steel that provides embellishments around the edges of the plates or cast metal with a sleek look and angled edges that dovetail into the wall. Once you’ve nailed down those choices, select a finish. Oil-rubbed finishes will provide an antique look, but a brushed or satin finish will provide a contemporary flair.
What Comes Next?
Once you’ve made your final selection as to what the plate will look like, you need to take inventory of the configuration of the plates themselves. If you’re replacing light switches, check to see how many single plates you need as opposed to those areas where the switches have been ganged together, two or three in a row. Make sure you specify if you want rocker or toggle switches and if you need dimmer switches. For wall plates, be sure to order any child safety products you’ll need for your new plates. Place your complete order with a company that offers a transparent return policy, in case of damage during shipment. Then, upon arrival, all you need is about an hour of your time and a screwdriver to finish off the look of the room with your new switch plates.