When renovating or decorating your home, the details can really add to or detract from the overall look. A period feature in a contemporary setting can stick out like a sore thumb, and a contemporary feature in a period or vintage setting can do the same.

Black Nickel 2 Gang Switch

Sockets and switches are a common feature throughout properties, and often appear in very visible places, so if the plan is to have a consistent style throughout the room, then the faceplates need to match the décor style.

What is contemporary décor?

Contemporary décor styles tend to not only suit homes but also commercial spaces like offices too. As a style, it is defined by simplicity, clean lines and subtle sophistication. These interiors often focus around the space, rather than particular focal points (statues etc.)

Neutral colours are the most common colours in contemporary design. Mainly blacks and whites. Strong visible lines are key to creating a contemporary look. These lines don’t necessarily need to be straight, as curves can be used, but they need to be strong and clear. Lines can be found in the architectural detailing, colour blocks and wall art.

What sort of socket and switch finish suits contemporary properties?

When looking at contemporary sockets and switch finishes and styles, consider the characteristics, compared to the characteristics of contemporary décor.

Neutral colours are blacks and whites, so you may want to choose either a white metal or a black metal finish. If you have mainly white features and appliances, and lighter colours then white is likely to be a safer bet, but if you have slick, shiny black appliances or a large black television, then a reflective, yet deep coloured Black Nickel finish is likely to complement its surroundings.

Brushed Chrome is also a versatile finish, which can work well for contemporary sockets. This is one to consider. Polished Chrome may fit in, but this tends to work well with more of a vintage or art deco style.

What sort of socket and switch plate style suits contemporary properties?

Whilst there are plenty of different plate designs on the market, the two key options are traditional (raised) plate and flat plate. Flat plate does tend to fit in with a contemporary style much better, however traditional plate can work too. Flat plate only suits walls that are completely flat, however flat walls tend to be common in ultra-modern and contemporary properties.

The other options for plate types are screwed or screwless. Screwed sockets are sockets that have the screws visible at the front, and screwless have concealed fixings so have a completely flat front.

What sort of switch type suits contemporary properties?

Our article Rocker Switch Vs Toggle Switch covers the differences between rocker and toggle switches. Appearance-wise the three main types are rocker, toggle and dimmer switches. Toggle switches tend to suit period properties, however a toggle switch in white metal or black nickel can still look contemporary, but offers a unique twist.

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