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  • Writer's pictureWendy Elizabeth

The Power of Plastic…

When I first moved into my home, 20 years ago, the outlets and light switches were brown, plastic, faux wood. My walls were white. I kept them both, because that’s what you did. They came with the house, and, honestly, I thought I would electrocute myself if I removed them, so I didn’t. I didn’t like them, but I just accepted them as part of the decoration.

Now, years later, they have been painted or replaced with something that either matches or coordinates with the room that they are in. It was so easy that I couldn’t believe I ignored these important, little pieces of plastic for so long.

Sometimes we want them to be a feature, but often, most of us just want them to disappear, invisible pieces of necessity, erratically scattered all over our home.

Make it simple – if your room is white or cream, match that color. If you have a colorful room, consider steel, black or wood for a subtle contrast. These basic styles can be easily (and cheaply) picked up at your local hardware store. Of course, there are many decorative ones you can buy online, but be wary of creating too much of a “theme”. In your children’s bathroom a fish may look cute, palm trees in your master bedroom, maybe not so cute?

I often paint mine. Use the wall paint that you have, priming and/or sanding as needed. Just dab gently with the paint as you don’t want it going into the outlet (of course, removing the plate first would be the most sensible option, but I have done it both ways, depending on how impatient I am feeling). If you want to, add a matte polyurethane over it for durability.

For less than a dollar let children personalize their room with their own design. As long as you can still move the switch, let them glue, paint or stick anything they want to onto the plate for a fun and useful accessory. Be creative.

A beautiful home is composed of many things, please don’t let this utilitarian piece of plastic become an unwelcome detail…

For more by Wendy and the Blue Giraffe, go to:

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