It’s always the little details that complete a space. The finishing touches are what elevates something ordinary into something beautiful. And that’s especially true of the all the small, functional things that you might not think matter, or that you might not always be aware of, but which you undoubtedly use every day. I’m talking about stylish sockets and switches.
Think of your sockets and switches as jewellery for the home. You might feel a bit naked going out of the house without your makeup on or your favourite necklace around your neck. Put on some red lipstick and you might instantly feel refreshed and more powerful. The same can be said for a home – fit standard white plug sockets and things might appear dull or ordinary. But replace them with a sleek black metal plate that’s neat and flush with the wall and suddenly you have a much more stylish, elegant space. And your home will thank you for it.
First impressions count – you want to pay attention to your touch points (door handles, plug sockets, light switches, cupboard handles, etc), because they’re likely one of the first things you come into contact with when you walk into a room. These functional objects will likely tell you a lot about a space, helping to set the scene for what is to come. Architect Juhani Pallasmaa once said that ‘The door handle is the handshake of the building’. I love that idea – that your touch points aren’t just an afterthought or purely there for just function. They’re an integral part of the interior design, helping add that little cherry on the top.
As we go into our own renovation project, I can’t but help look ahead to all the pretty details. Here I’ve rounded up seven of the best places to buy stylish sockets and switches in a variety of sleek, simple finishes.
Corston Architectural Detail
This British company was started by a team of creative designers and engineers who sought to create a collection of hand-finished architectural details that could flow seamlessly from room to room. Their timeless range includes everything from matching solid brass switches and sockets, through door handles and furniture handles, to hardware and lighting. Corston Architectural Detail work with manufacturers around the world, but everything is hand-finished in their factory in Wiltshire.
They say: ‘Perfect proportions are important, which is why our designers spend a lot of time making sure everything is to scale. If you’ve ever held one of our products, we’re sure you would have noticed it’s reassuring weightiness. We aim to bring this high quality feel to every touch point in your home’.
I love their Bronze range, which is designed to subtly patina over time and add refined character to a space.
Find out more at corston.com
Clear white single socket, £27.60
Corston sockets are designed to blend into a room, these work well with paler, neutral schemes
Bronze black double socket, £34.80
Hand finished in Corston Bronze to subtly patina over time
Antique brass toggle switch, £51.60
A modernised version of the timeless dolly design that’ll add character to any room
Clear toggle switch, £72
Made from 2mm transparent Perspex, which gives the illusion of the outlet being built into the wall
Antique brass double socket, £34.80
Designed to fit neatly against the wall, Corston’s Antique Brass finish is aged by hand and patinas over time
Bronze dimmer switch, £55.20
Made from solid brass and hand finished to subtly patina in time
Buster + Punch
Buster + Punch was founded by London-based architect and industrial designer Massimo Buster Minale in 2013. While he was working for the likes of Foster & Partners and Richard Rogers by day, he was also enjoying a side hustle making custom motorbikes by night. So the story of Buster + Punch began, inspired by London’s fashion, music and sub-culture scenes.
Today they collaborate with street artists, bike builders and fashion designers to ‘inject attitude’ into everyday functional fittings. ‘In a nutshell, my mission is to reinvent forgotten home fittings into the unforgettable,’ says Massimo.
From kitchens and door handles to plug sockets and pendant lights, Buster + Punch offer sleek home details made of rare, solid metals. Their signature is the textural, knurled detail you’ll find on handles and switches.
Find out more at busterandpunch.com
Dowsing & Reynolds
Dowsing & Reynolds began life as an online store selling light bulbs and lighting accessories from an old mill in Leeds. Founder James Dowsing-Reynolds was making concrete sculptures in his spare time when he decided to try his hand at creating concrete light fittings with vintage-style bulbs – to much success.
Today Dowsing & Reynolds is known for more than just lighting – they also sell stylish switches, sockets, door handles, showers, taps, luxury paint and even faux foliage. Their ethos is all about creating striking finishing touches that can match your interior personality style perfectly. I love their new Cafe Culture Collection, a range of stylish sockets and switches that come in a warm palette of comforting neutrals, like cinnamon, caramel latte and whipped cream.
As well as their online store, Dowsing & Reynolds also have a bricks and mortar showroom in the Victoria Quarter in Leeds.
Find our more at dowsingandreynolds.com
swtch is an online shop that sells a range of architectural, style-led switches and electricals. Their curated edit of modern, well-engineered accessories includes European light switches that haven’t previously been directly available to UK consumers before. They say: ‘We think that small-scale but significant design decisions should be put in the hands of those who will live with them: homeowners with an interest in making not just big design statements in their decor, but small ones, too’.
Swtch’s collection includes Le Corbusier’s classic LS990 design, manufactured today by Jung. The minimalist switches, sockets and dimmers come in 63 colours based on the unique colour system Le Corbusier created in 1931. Each product is hand sprayed with a matt lacquer for a simple, tactile finish.
Find out more at swtch.co.uk
Dyke & Dean
I featured Dyke & Dean in my post on Where to shop for affordable lighting. They’re a Hastings-based company offering everything from modular kitchens and garden furniture to unique gifts and utilitarian lighting.
They also sell a range of retro-style porcelain wall plug socket manufactured in Europe by Katy Paty. These traditional enamelled porcelain fittings are abrasion resistant, as well as UV and dust resistant (I like the sound of the latter!). They come in a wide variety of colours that will suit any style interior, whether you go for bright yellow or plain simple white.
Find out more at dykeanddean.com
And if you’re looking for something more affordable:
I always recommend Varilight to my clients if they’re looking for a more affordable version of the likes of Corston Architectural Detail or Dowsing & Reynolds. Varilight is a British manufacturer of decorative dimmers, switches and sockets. They can be found on Amazon or online electrical stores. I’m a particular fan of their screwless brushed brass finish and their Urban collection in matt black. They also offer a primed range that can be painted to match the colour of your walls, for the most seamless of finishes.
Knightsbridge is another affordable name to know. Their stylish sockets and switches can be found on Amazon, among other places. I particularly like their screwless design for a clean, minimalist finish – we have their brushed chrome sockets and switches in our home at the moment.