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Posts tagged ‘electrical’

To Switch or Not

Let’s talk about those pesky light switches. I’ve never  really paid attention to them before. Probably because most houses I’ve visited/lived in had matching switches in every room, or they seemed to. Maybe I just didn’t pay attention to all these silly details back then. Or maybe other people have mismatched switches and I just don’t notice because it wasn’t important to me. Kind of like that talk I got in high school, ‘don’t worry about the spot on your face because everyone else is thinking about their own and won’t notice yours’ except instead of spots we are talking about switches. Though, I’ve never owned a house to pay attention to before, but maybe it’s the same principle.
As with many choices the previous owners(I’m saying that plural because I don’t know which of the 4 previous owners it was, though I have acquaintances with all of them, I could probably find out) made, the colors/materials/time periods don’t match from one end to the other, and the switches don’t match even on the same walls, let alone rooms. The replacement of the switches will be slow going, along with all the other projects we are in the middle of that are slow going mostly because I must have some sort of creative attention disorder. Painting walls, furniture, trim, actual paintings, cooking crazy stuff, decorating- they all get in the way of each other. So this post is not a reveal so much as it is a mid-week laugh at the conglomeration of switches we live with on a daily basis. How about a tour?

This lovely floral number with the cream switch lives on the master bedroom side of the library. It’s on a white wall, so the cream switch really bothers me, but the colors actually relates pretty well to our bedroom so I can almost justify keeping it. Almost. But as soon as we start fixing up the library this one is going to go! Any takers? One white switch with white cover plate will ensure this beauty is on it’s way to you! (I’m mostly kidding because I don’t think anyone wants even part of my crazy collection of switches, but maybe today is my lucky day!?)

It’s definitely a crummy iPhone picture, but this switch is just on the other side of the door jamb from the last switch we saw. It’s mirror, and has a lovely etched pattern in it. Did I mention it’s a mirror? What decade does this switch come from? At least the switch matches the wall…not. Since I’m going for white trim (at least to start) I’d prefer my switches & outlets are white as well. The cream takes away the crispness. Oh well.

Isn’t this one great? It’s reflective, but not a mirror (meaning it’s all warped and crazy because of the screws and a real mirror is glass with silver applied to the back). This is back in the library, tucked in the desk nook. Every time I turn my head to the left when I’m working at the computer I get this lovely view of myself in a hole-y (because of the switches) carnival mirror. Yes, all of these switches are used, and I haven’t seen a switch plate at Home Depot or Lowe’s to replace it in a non-reflective, or really any material. Tips?

At the other end of the library we have this lone ranger. A black switch with a white switch plate. The thing is even more of an eyesore because of the contrast. Oy vey. It’s on the same wall as the first floral one we looked at, and there is a reflective outlet cover just on the other side of a corner.
It’s time for the master bath. This might be the first photo I’ve shown of the master bath. Don’t worry, I’ll show befores before we rip it out, but I have months and months and years before we get to that point so you’ll just have to wait, along with my camera since neither of you have gotten a tour. Where can I start? Hm, the switch plate isn’t big enough to cover the hole in the wall (yes I’ve looked for replacements again to no avail) the outlet and switches have been painted over, at least twice. Once a lovely pink, and then it cracked and crumbled and then a tan. Aren’t they just beautiful?


This lovely set of whatever they are is in the wall between the kitchen and the library. This used to be an exterior wall, so I’m wondering if that’s why the one set of outlets is in a bumped out box? I’m also wondering why we have outlets at eye level. If moving them was in the works I’d be happy, but as it is I think they are staying. Five points to whoever can tell me what the ‘outlet’ is on the left! Once again the crazy switch painting person was let loose on these suckers…blue. ha. ha. And we aren’t done yet. boo.



Upstairs in the purple bedroom we are lucky enough to have the Three Stooges grace our walls. The screws actually are printed to match the switch plate cover. And it’s a hysterical conversation piece. This one is for the golf fan, which we aren’t. But when we give the house tour it’s one we always point out.

On to the last one on our tour!

We almost forgot about the near extinct wall paper covered switch. So far we have removed the wallpaper off of two switches, and already thrown one two holed switch plate away (it was an aquarium scene, sorry you missed it!) But this wall paper switch is a real beauty. It was part of an accent wall in the master bedroom (that I am still halfway through peeling off the un-permeable layer to get down to the glue to get rid of it entirely). Soon there won’t be any textured paper left in our house and we will be in business.

And just think I didn’t even begin to show you the outlet covers, I forgot to snap a picture of the black outlet cover with paint chippy switches and there’s also the motion sensor pair of covers to catch an intruder, just like the movies (except this was from the seventies and doesn’t work).

Well, there you have it. A glimpse into the crazy previous owners design choices (as if we didn’t already know that they were crazy with their liberal use of royal blue shag and pepto pink walls). As we get the switches and trim in each room to be the same color I just know our house is going to look even more pulled together. So we will be switching the switches. Slowly but surely. Anyone want to trade some matching white switches for one of my crazy ones? I just know that three stooges one is a collector’s item!

Anyone else rescue their house from mismatched switches? fixtures (we are rocking gold, silver, chrome, and brushed nickel in the master!)? appliances?


Road Trip Survival

I survived Hurricane Sandy. In fact, rather than hunkering down in a safe place, I drove though it. Before you think I’m some crazy daredevil tempting fates let me explain.

In the past few months I moved to Connecticut. While here I clicked well with a girl from the area. A few weekends ago I drove her to the airport to fly to Nashville to interview for a job. It turns out she got it! The only problem was she needed to move down and had to drive her car. Her parents couldn’t help her out since they were going on a business trip so I offered. Unbeknownst to me there was a crazy storm chasing us down.

Friday night the 26th, my husband and I drove down to PA to see my family and celebrate my birthday. We had a great weekend and the plan had been that I would drive back to CT Sunday night with my husband and leave Monday morning to drive south with my friend. Thankfully the storm had us both freaked out. So instead of trying to leave Monday when all of the bridges were closed from eastern CT on through NYC we left PA late Sunday night. All told the drive was 16 hours. By the time my friend got to my parents house it was stormy, windy, rainy and dark. We decided we’d drive as long as we could Sunday night. So I piled into the driver’s seat of the Mini Cooper (yes that’s right. A mini cooper stuffed full of all her stuff with a roof rack that had almost a car’s worth of stuff on top, which I imagine looked quite comical) and off into the night we drove. We drove west and then south driving hundreds of miles through Pennsylvania, then Maryland, West Virgina, and finally Virginia where we stopped barely after midnight. Not only does long drives in a car make me sleepy, but driving in the dark does too. The poor mini was pushed around by the wind like it had a sail on top, thankfully we weighed so much (ok the stuff, not us two girls!) and sat so close to the ground we made it through just fine.

We fell asleep to the sounds of brake retarders on 18-wheelers and the wind howling around the hotel. The next morning we still had a 9 hour drive ahead of us that stretched through the Shenandoah valley where we were snowed on, and continued being snowed on up into the mountains.

Looking back I am so thankful we left when we did! If we would have left Monday I doubt we could have made it out of CT with the road closures, or if we had, I doubt we would have made it through New York. But if we had we certainly would have been stopped by the gusting winds, or the feet of snow that were dumped on our drive just hours behind our crossing. Luckily for us we had gotten a head start on Sandy. Even so, we had our wipers going a mile a minute, and our stops were only for necessities, we couldn’t risk getting caught up deeper in the storm. That huge monstrous storm was in our way the entire drive up and through the mountains until we were about an hour from the city of Nashville. Then suddenly the rain clouds disappeared, and in it’s place was a bright glowing sun, and the honks of rush-hour traffic. We’d made it!

(Forgive me that there are no pictures of driving through the Hurricane. I was a bit preoccupied with staying on the road, and when I was a passenger there wasn’t much to see beyond blinding rain and wind across the countryside!)

However, once there my worries weren’t over. I’d left my husband and a house we just bought in a shoreline town of CT where the sound grew several blocks, beaches were in the streets, power was out for days and people trapped in their homes. I left my family behind in PA where they are still without power and stuck with downed trees and will be for days to come. My parents house on the jersey shore had an entire island flooded and still under a state of emergency and nobody really knows what to expect when they get back to the island.

Of course all the airports were closed and even though I flew out on time from Nashville I hit delays and malfunctioning airline equipment on the way north.  I arrived safely in Providence two hours after I was supposed to be there, but my husband was there waiting and had a bouquet of roses for me. What a sweetheart. We belong in sentimental movies. Even though I’d heard voices of all my loved ones on the phone as first they called me to check on my safety, and then as I called them to check on the status of their situations finally seeing someones face was a relief!

In spite of the devastation and destruction that has hit the East Coast the only thing that really matters is the lives of the people effected, and the rest of it is just stuff. I’m just so thankful my family is ok and all in one piece! It was really hard being far away from everyone and knowing there was nothing I could do but pray. But I’m amazed how the community of people impacted by the storm can band together. My facebook feed is flooded with dear souls offering hot showers, a warm meal, a place to do laundry or even sleep in a warm house to those who are still without. These people warm my heart. I know who they are, and I know they are good loving people. But even so it gives me hope that ‘we’ can be snapped out of our selfish little bubbles to spread the cheer of the upcoming Thanksgiving season to those around us.

Today I am most thankful for the lives of all those spared who are so near and dear to my heart ❤

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