Do you think about switch plates, outlet covers and plate covers when decorating?

These little plates need not be ordinary any more. The primary function of these plates is to cover the hole in the wall and the electrical wiring. A secondary purpose is to be decorative and, therefore, offer you, the homeowner, a way to add an additional design element to any room in the home.

A room renovation without complementary plates can make a room look unfinished.

Today, let us explore the world of plate covers.

Think of how often you use the light switch or the outlet in any room. By changing the cover plate, you can make an impact on the feel of any room. You definitely want to choose something that works with your decor.

Switch plate and outlet covers come in all sorts of designs. There are the simple basic plates that are sold very inexpensively at the hardware store. There are metallic plates like copper, brass, brushed nickel or oil rubbed bronze, meant to coordinate with the metallic finish used in your design plan. There are mirrored covers, which require a lot of cleaning because of finger smudges. A good faux painter can paint your outlet cover to mimic the pattern of your kitchen tile backsplash.

The plates can be very decorative or simple. They can be personalized for a child's room or display a theme.

Companies like will allow you to create a switch plate with photos, text, your favorite color or pattern. These are one-of-a-kind light switch covers that will add pizazz, style and individuality to any room you choose.

You can design your own switch plate creating a truly custom feel. You can paint them, cover them with wallpaper, knit a cover, add colored glitter, polka dots or a chevron pattern. If that is not enough, search the Internet. I found more than 10 different websites with offerings of unique switch plate covers.

A company called SnapPower, found at, offers an outlet cover that also functions as a night light. It is called the “SnapRays Guide Light.” While it only comes in a few color choices, what it offers is unique. The outlet cover plate looks like any other, yet it is equipped with LEDs that provide illumination in the dark while still keeping both outlets available for use at any time. Now that is clever!

In the market for something even more unusual, Andrew Harmon, designed a switch plate and outlet cover with faux moss growing on it. While the mosses, lichens and flowers growing in these plates are not real, the idea is to remind us that nature is always with us in the surrounding environment. Visit to view all of Andrew's creations.

What have we learned from all of this? Switch plates and outlet covers do not have to be unimaginative or plain. Have a little fun with your light switch or outlet cover. After all, these are inexpensive items that can be easily replaced or changed.

Sharon Preston is the owner of Decorate in Aiken. Sharon is certified in interior decorating and has been decorating residential and commercial spaces for 11 years. Email her at