Tuesday, February 23, 2010

SMART DESIGN: CLEAR LIGHT SWITCH PLATES - MY PET PEEVE SOLVED!

Invisible Rocker Lightswitch
Forbes & Lomax - The Invisible Lightswitch - (Rocker switch shown above only available in the UK. Other switch versions available in the U.S.)(above)

I do not like going to a beautifully designed home where every detail is thought of...every detail except the opaque off-white plastic light switch and outlet plates peppered all over the walls and near the baseboards - switch plates that eventually and invariably turn a weird looking yellow color.

To me, these ubiquitous yellowish-turning plastic outlet and light plates can be an eyesore if not properly hidden. I'm not being overly picky and understand that some of you have homes with many concealed or semi-concealed plates and changing them all out would be a bit much OR that some of you are way too busy dealing with life in general (i.e. kids, family, friends, job, breathing, eating, managing your road rage as you drive down a canyon every morning behind the slowest drivers on earth (oops this last one really only applies to me I'm sure) and the overall pursuit of happiness) to address such a minor detail. If you do have the inclination, however, to change and have plastic plates out in the open and feel the same way I do and have the time or energy to even deal with making a switch (pun intended)...there are answers to getting rid of my pet peeve!

Three ways to avoid plastic off-white light switch and outlet plates: 1) Buy wood plates at Home Depot and paint them your desired color, 2) Find metal or porcelain plates at your local hardware store or decor shop and change out the plastic; or, 3) Use these clever clear plastic light switch plates pictured here from London, England based Forbes & Lomax (yes, the switches have been adapted for the U.S.) to make light switches virtually vanish.

These clear light switch plates are the perfect solution to my pet peeve. A little expensive but could work beautifully over wall paper or in a really conspicuous wall area on which you just want the light switch or power outlet to disappear!

Invisible Toggle Lightswitch
Forbes & Lomax - The Invisible Lightswitch - approximately $60 USD (Toggle switch available in the US/Canada. Approximate price for metal toggle switch and clear acrylic light switch plate)(above)

What do you think???? Would love to know.

xo
Coco

13 comments:

  1. FANTASTIC IDEA! Thank you for making us aware of this company and their product!!

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  2. They are splendid...really. smiles.

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  3. Great solution - love it!

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  4. Much easier than papering the plate! I like the retro-ish euro look of the switch too!

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  5. I've always just painted my plastic ones with wall paint. They blend in nicely and I've had no durability problems over the years.

    These are gorgeous though, even if its a much pricier fix.

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  6. Hi Jenica,

    Thank you for the tip on the painting the opaque plastic. Didn't know you could do that!

    Thank you for sharing!!!!

    xo
    Coco

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  7. Is there a solid backer that covers the big hold where the wires and outlet box are? I've seen these before, but I could only imagine using them if there's some sort of solid piece behind to support paper or paint.

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  8. What a great solution, fantastic product.

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  9. love it. I'd buy one for every single outlet. But mine wont show through such beautiful wallpaper!!!

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  10. I think they are awesome however the price is ridiculously expensive after all it's just clear plastic and metal.

    My pet peeve. Electrians who place switches and Hvac controls in the middle of walls. I was on a project site Monday reviewing the progress with the builder and owners. The electricians placed switches dead center on a wall.

    And after I pointed it out got every excuse in the book why it couldnt be moved. Didnt matter to me, it should not have been placed there ... ever. I stood my ground with the builder until he agreed to have it moved.

    My clients later took me aside and thanked me for my tenacity. They would have caved :) but not me.
    Susan

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  11. I always paint the plastic switchplates with the color of the walls. They blend nicely and can be washed lightly when they become soiled. I rub them with some fine grade steel wool to rough up the surface a bit before applying the paint, to ensure adhesion. Works nicely for me!

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  12. My number one pet peeve as well....why make a focal point of a switchplate cover! I've always instructed my painters to spray "Kilz" on the plastic plate then paint them to match the walls...such an easy way to deemphasize an eyesore. Love the clear plates for papered walls. thanks for posting!

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