Decorative Switchplates

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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Using decorative switchplates instead of the humdrum off-white or wall-color variety is one of the easiest ways to add a note of distinction to your decor. Given the number of artists who have picked up switchplates as a medium, your choices are far wider than simple brass or chrome or porcelain or wood. It doesn't matter if your home style is a conservative baroque, a country cottage classic, a modern art stark, or something else altogether. Decorative switchplates are evolving almost into an art form.

Maybe you want an accent point, a subtle emphasis, a note of whimsy. This might mean a hieroglyphic design, a metal etching. If you know a collector, or someone with a specialty interest--whether a sport or a hobby or an animal--they might be ideal candidates for a gift of decorative switchplates. Whatever the interest, whatever the decorating theme, you can find switchplates to reflect it.

Decorative Switchplates in Action

Your widest choices, clearly, will come if the switchplate is among the standard sizes. These configurations include the ubiquitous single, double, triple, rocker, GFI and double outlet plates, dimmer knobs, and more. Many decorative switchplates are also available for telephone jack plates and other applications. Oversized switchplates are also fairly easy to find.

The standard height for a switchplate is four and a half inches. Depth is three-sixteenths of an inch. The width varies, of course. The most common are single switches at two and three quarter inches and double at four and a half inches.

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