It is probably the bottom of most interior designers and clients lists for specification priority but the quality of switchplates in a project can make a dramatic difference to those with finer tastes. Often times it is the first thing a designer notices when walking onto a construction site… mis-matched switchplate colors and sizes, askew mounting and even a mixture of styles can all happen when you let the contractor have his run of plate selection. Here are some of my new favorite lines in the Luxury switchplate market. I figured I should share as I had a hard time myself finding these “wall jewelry” items. All of them work especially well in Hospitality projects & private residences and are perfect for the MENA (Middle East & North Africa) market. Us designers know… “God is in the details” ~ Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Fontini (Spain) at over 50 years in business has a beautiful collection in a variety of finishes and styles but stands out most for me is their Swarovski elements collection seen below.
Fede (Spain) “The Art of Illumination” knows how to play with finishes and forms to create recognizable, elegant and even flashy switch plate covers in anything from crystal, wood, brass or more to suit almost any decor or taste.
Meljac (France) is a recent find of mine with timeless contemporary and classical styling options as well as an array of customization options. This line has been spotted in the likes of the Four Seasons George V in Paris, Aman Resort Montenegro, Hotel Royal Mansour in Marrakech Morrocco, Hotel Meurice in Paris and Castiglion del Bosco in Tuscany, Italy.
Lithoss (Belgium) is the sleek streamlined switch + socket company for upscale modern installs with its clean lines and LED options. As they describe it the design is “clean, sober and simple”. The Crown Plaza in Brussels and the Puerta America in Madrid. Famous designers such as Jean Nouvel, Andree Putman, Alvaro Siza and Piet Boon are all claimed to have specified Lithoss switches in projects. Also, this company was a 2006 Red Dot design award winner!
Luxonov keeps sleek and simple but with a variety of traditional and unique metal finish options.
Bendheim (NJ USA) my dear favorite specialty Architectural glass manufacturer has also come out with a backpainted glass range to compliment their backpainted glass wall panels.
Finally lets not forget Lutron which is an element all its own with entire home controls and electronics fixed in with fancy customizable colored plates. This company enters the world of sustainability with occupancy sensors, roller shade controls and dimmers hooked up in a techie array to make any guy smirk. This company is best when you can do the whole meal deal and is more about the technology than the looks… don’t rely on them for a classy traditional switch plate cover or they may laugh at you.
There are many other manufacturers whom I have not showcased that have great product just not of the same unique aesthetic I have shown above. Here are some more options:
BTicino owned by Legrand contemporary switch plates (Finishes included: leather, glass, stone, lacquer, steel aluminum etc.)
ABB Light Switches owned by Siemens (LED technology, Finishes: slate, exotic woods, stainless steel, glass, plastic)
BJC contemporary switches (waterproof switches, finishes: metal, wood, glass etc)