Hands down, the quickest, easiest and relatively most inexpensive way to customize a home is to change out the existing switches with designer light switches and wall plates. As a designer, I go into so many homes and I can’t tell you how many homes have the standard ugly white plastic wall plates with exposed screws – even multi-million dollar estates. A space can be beautifully decorated with thousands and thousands of dollars worth of furniture, wallpaper, etc., but when the first thing that you see and touch when you enter a room is neglected, I believe the designer has not done their job.
Incorporating designer light switches and wall plates may not be first and foremost on one’s mind when pulling together the details on a room design, but adorne by Legrand has so many options, that deciding on the wall plates and switches is completely possible after all the design decisions are made.
Below is a picture of our “Wall of adorne” that we put up in our store. Because most people we know have difficulty visualizing the possibilities, we decided to put together a small sample of possibilities. By changing the wall color, material, or wall covering and wall plate, you can change the look. By changing out the switch or outlet, you change the function, it’s as simple as that.
Designer Light Switches and Wall Plates in the Home
Once you’ve seen adorne designer light switches and wall plates, there is no going back. It’s amazing how something so small can make a difference in a room. With adorne installed, everything looks polished and put together, but an unattended switch can stick out like a sore thumb, and I notice it (and not in a good way) every single time I walk into a room. The details DO make the difference.
For a recent laundry remodel, we designed the custom cabinetry in a cerused oak with a slightly worn and greyed appearance, and we used a titanium wall plate with a GFCI outlet in white to complement the hardware and charcoal appliances. The combination of the wall plate and outlet blends into the decor, and is barely noticeable. Switches are typically not very attractive, so when they can blend in the way they do with adorne, mission accomplished.
In our showroom, we have a comfort center, complete with in-wall coffee system, dual-zone wine cooler, and a speed oven which we use as a microwave or to bake cookies for customers.
When customers drop in for a visit, many need to charge their devices. The area is not a large one, and I don’t like bulky plugs in the wall taking up physical and visual space, so I opted to install USB outlets in place of a traditional outlet. Eliminating the plug and plugging the USB directly in the wall leaves everything looking nice and clean and there is no need for bulky plugs competing for space.
We entertain, but only on occasion, so again, instead of using the traditional outlet, we opted for the Pop-Out Outlet on the left side of the wall. The Pop-Out Outlet pops back into the wall when not in use, leaves everything looking clean and polished. On the occasion that we need a blender to mix up margaritas or whip cream, we simply press the outlet, and there it is! An added bonus is the Pop-Out Outlet provides THREE outlets, and not just two.
Another great feature of adorne is that you can change the wall plates (which I do often) as I go back and forth between the matching the wallpaper and the French Oak, depending on my mood. Also, the French Oak wall plate happens to be one of my favorite plates – it is on the higher end as far as adorne wall plates go, but it is real wood and in a clean, light finish that is current to what is trending on the market today.
Now back to a recent project I completed using the Whisper switch and my favorite Hubbardton Forge steel wall plates. The entry hall is decorative but the wall plate and switch that was there was tacky – white plastic and exposed screws, and did not match the decor. Instead of elevating the space, it took it down a notch.
The high-end furnishings with artisanal finishes were in need of something a bit more sophisticated and textured to elevate the space, and the Hubbardton Forge plate in a burnished steel finish does exactly that. To complete the look we opted to use the Whisper Switch in a magnesium finish.
We installed the adorne Whisper switches in the entry foyer and the rooms adjacent to the entry so that there would be continuity throughout the space. Upon entering the home, a 3-gang wall plate with simple Whisper switches were installed. Dimmability was not an issue here.
However, on the opposite side of the wall, dimmability was key, so we installed the same Hubbardton Forge burnished steel plate but we used the Whisper Wifi-Ready Dimmer Switch as our client wanted the convenience of controlling the light via an app on their smart device.
This same client had an ugly Plug-In Night Light installed in their entry, as the older you get, the worse you see at night, and illumination in key areas of the home is necessary. The Portable Flashlight is one of the more innovative products offered by adorne and perfect for those with young families or the aging-in-place client. It acts as both a night light AND flashlight. There is a small tab on the corner to turn the night light off and on, and when the flashlight is needed, you press on the center of the light just like you would the Pop-Out Outlet, and out pops the light and you have a portable flashlight!
Watch below to see the Portable Flashlight in action.
Customizing the Cozy Stylish Chic Showroom with adorne
Last but not least, for a recent installation in our showroom in collaboration with Benjamin Moore, where we seamlessly integrated adorne by Legrand wall plates and outlets.
While it may look like we designed the wall around the wall plates, the wall plates were actually an afterthought (and a good one). I designed the wall first and when I looked at my wall plate options, it was a no-brainer to utilize the Brushed-Brass to blend in with the gold leaf stripes. Before we redesigned the wall, we had magnesium outlets with simple, white adorne wall plates. All we had to do was snap off the old wall plates and switch out with the new, which took all of 5 seconds. The wall plates truly are interchangeable and all that is needed to remove the old is a flat head screwdriver.
People always ask me if they need an electrician to change out the light switches and outlets, and the answer is NO. They look super fancy, but installation is easier than it might look. It’s just like installing a standard switch and outlet but in a different shape. I’m a bit hesitant when working with electrical wires, so while the electrician knows which wires are live and how to handle them, I opt to go the safe route and turn off the electricity at the breaker box before getting to work. You can use your existing light switch box, except for the Pop-Out Outlet, which requires a slightly deeper box. Believe it or not, I actually changed each and every one of the switches and outlets that appears in this post myself, so there is no need for an electrician and a simple DIY project, as long as you can follow directions!
Adorne by Legrand is available to the public and trade in our Pasadena showroom and we would love to help you find the perfect switch and wall plate to reflect your personality, so please do not hesitate to contact us if you need help, pricing, or would like to see samples in person. There is no excuse for ugly switches so move over to beautiful!
Hi Jeanne, another great blog! Thanks for sharing these clever ways to personalize a home, we love the look of them! We’ve featured this on Studio Designer’s Twitter, as we so often do with your blogs: https://twitter.com/studiowebware/status/927970155396702208