The Devil is in the Detail

You’ve heard Interior Designers saying often enough that lighting should be planned at the very first stages of a design process. We all know that it’s important to plan before any work takes place, exactly where lights, lamps and consequently sockets are going to go. But how many of us consider the design of our sockets and electrical plates in tandem with our other many design decisions? You’re not alone. But, if a high-end finish is one you’re after, a little planning will make all the difference.

True edge stainless steel sockets via Focus SB

Stainless steel.

  • Choose your metal wisely. There really are no rules and this all comes down to personal choice. Polished or satin chrome look at home in a contemporary setting but can look spectacular when juxtaposed with bare brick. Antiqued bronze will not jar if used in an industrial loft type setting but will also suit a traditional home with period features.

standard and bespoke Horizon plates via Focus SB

Standard and bespoke Horizon plates.

  • Investigate the different styles on offer. You may think that there is a limited choice but small details make all of the difference. I personally love a dolly switch. It’s a nostalgic touch that comes into its own when used alongside antique furniture and voluptuous fabrics.

Prism Clear Plate with Dolly Switch via Focus SB

Prism clear plate with dolly switch.

  • Consider making your sockets and switches disappear. No, it’s not magic. Clear plates, when used with wallpaper will make light switches become almost nonexistent. And paintable ranges will give you the option of painting your sockets to match the wall.

Paintable plates via Focus SB

Paintable plates

  • Include your switches and sockets when you are preparing your moodboards or your Pinterest boards (Focus SB have some great pinnable images!). Again, this is all to do with forward planning and considering every small detail before you make choices that could be expensive to rectify at a later date. So if you want my advice, order a brochure and get cutting and pasting, or start a Pinterest board.

Focus SB

Ambassador, Horizon and Prism.

Bronze finish via Focus SB

Bronze finish.

  • Get Creative. Sockets don’t always have to go on the wall. In fact if you have a console table or desk in the middle of a room (not so rare these days with more and more of us adopting open-plan lifestyles) then it is a good idea to plan for floor plates. Trailing wires are messy and dangerous too.


Architrave plate.

  • Explore the latest technology. It’s true that we need more and more sockets in our homes these days. It seems everything we do needs to be plugged into the electric! And while we can consider this in our plans and provide more sockets than we currently need, there are innovative products around that will help out. I personally will be changing sockets in the future to ones that include USB chargers as standard.

This post has been written in collaboration with Focus SB who are a UK based company that manufactures electrical accessory decorative plates to an unparalleled quality. Their accessories are suitable for both stylish homes and commercial interiors of distinction and have been used in a variety of refurbishment projects. They can also tailor-make accessories to your design needs with their unique bespoke service.

September 18, 2015
September 23, 2015



  1. Reply

    Kate Watson-Smyth

    September 21, 2015

    Hi Carole, completely agree with everything in this post. Have just replaced all my light switches for a soft black/dark bronze plate with dolly switches. It makes such a satisfying click when you turn them on and off. Have also replaced all the plastic cable on the pendant lights with fabric in varying colours. My detail has been devilled XK

    • Reply


      September 23, 2015

      Sounds lovely Kate. I love that satisfying click from a dolly switch too. Missed you at the Magnet filming day. Hope you’re well xx


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