“The time has come,” the walrus said, “to talk of many things … ” only this time it’s not cabbages and kings but light switches and things. As this lighting series of objects of design draws to a close, we have spent time not only looking at lighting, but also at flexes and bulbs and the other parts that go towards creating a great, and layered, lighting scheme.
But, I have a horrid feeling that if any of you are anything like me you’re all still turning those gorgeous lights on and off with the aid of a nasty white plastic switch. Yes hands up … you at the back there … sit up straight.
I managed to incorporate brushed chrome dolly toggle switches into my kitchen but didn’t even think about the rest of the house I’m ashamed to admit. And now I find I am really keen to remedy that.
There are two schools of thought on this, so pay attention (007). Firstly, a white plastic switch is, in all likelihood, the same colour as the walls and will therefore disappear into the background. And, I hear many of you say, why draw attention to something that is purely functional and quite ugly?
Which, dear reader, brings me to my second point. You should always pay the greatest attention to the parts of your house that are at eye level and that will be touched. Door handles, bannisters, hooks and, yes, light switches. It’s those details, where people are actually coming into contact with things that will make your home seem considered and well thought out.
These ones are from Forbes and Lomax, established 20 years ago, and who make nothing other than light switches. You can choose the finish and the type of switch. If you fancy the invisible ones, which are perfect for a wallpapered wall, they come with a plate that fixes onto the wall over the messy plaster that inevitably lies behind the white plastic switch. You then paint, or paper this before fitting the toggle and the clear plate over the top. Yes, I know, good luck with matching the pattern.
As a guide price the brass dolly toggles start at £38.25. There are discounts available for trade (get the builder to order them) and obviously prices depend on how many toggles you need per fitting.
I have focused on Forbes and Lomax, but there are other places you can look. Try Jim Lawrence and Living House UK and keep an eye on vintage stores such as Baileys Home and Garden where you can buy one of these fluted dolly switches for £48.
Oh, and Forbes and Lomax also do plug sockets too, although, as they are usually near the floor they are perhaps slightly less important than the switches. See the image above; they can be painted to match the wall. I confess that once I have dealt with switches, I may well be finding the time has come to talk of plugs and wires and electrical things …