09 September, 2008

New Push Button Switch in Dining Room

This, I believe, is the ugliest switch plate cover in the house. Uglier than the Winnie-the-Pooh one we replaced upstairs for the tenants, and uglier than the "God Bless This Home" one we still need to replace in my mom's bedroom. Seriously, look at that thing.

One of our long-term goals is to replace all of the switches in the main living areas, the "show rooms," with good ol' fashioned push button switches. It's a long-term goal because, individually, these switches are not cheap. The only one we had switched out so far was in the stairwell by the front door. Hmmm. Now that I think about it, maybe this was the ugliest switch we had. What do you think?

The new one in the stairwell is soooo much better!

So, having saved up enough pennies for another one, we decided to swap out the seriously fug dining room switch with a three gang push button switch from Classic Accents. It was $20.95 for the cover plate itself, and another $65.00 to get the three switches that would control it, including the dimmer switch for the chandelier. (Seriously, I can't believe I just typed that. Eighty-six bucks? It will be another half year before we replace the next ones, I think! Or else I need to find another source for push button switches.)

One of Ted's major accomplishments last week was to map the electrical for the downstairs unit. He had previously done so for the tenants' unit, but until this week, the downstairs was a bit of a mystery. So, while I essentially baked my concord grape pie by candlelight, he was flipping breakers on and off to see which fuse serviced which outlets. The goal is to get as clear a picture as possible of our wiring, a combination of old and new.

These are the switches we found behind the ugly dining room plate cover. They're ceramic.

Here is Ted putting on the finishing touches to the switch; I'm not supposed to be peeking, so don't tell him I took this shot.

And voila! Another nifty new switch. The one on the far left is actually a push button dimmer. The top button turns it on off, and the bottom controls the brightness. It blends in nicely with the true push buttons.

Please don't look at our dingy wall, or the fact that we still need to strip and refinish the wood.


Mits said...

Yes, these electric switches and board are very safe and beautiful also.


Joanne said...

Thanks, Mits! They're definitely safer than the old ones.

Why S? said...

Your new one is beautiful. Worth every penny of your 86 bucks. Glad I'm not seriously into restoration.

Joanne said...

Thanks, why s?! The rest of them won't be so pricey, since they're just single switches. It's the dimmer aspect that jacked the price up for this one--just not a lot of competitors manufacturing them, I guess.

Jen said...

I am so hating I used the normal plastic switches now.....Those are lovely. Maybe I can replace one at a time to the classic button ones.

My focus at the time was safe and clean.

Karen Anne said...

We actually had those pushbutton switches in my elementary school. How old am I :-)

Joanne said...

Jenni--I hear you on the safety factor. It's amazing some of the fire trap hazards that can be found in these old homes.

karen anne--One or two of the other houses we looked at still had the push button switches, which led us to think that nothing had been updated in those homes as far as electrical. But the garage of the house we ended up with has the really old dial switches. How cool is that?

Marilyn said...

The pushbutton switches are so cool, Joanne! We put in all plastic for our new ones and I am so hating them - the plan is to change them over to oil-rubbed bronze one at a time. But I'm seriously loving that pushbutton board - it looks great.

Joanne said...


We don't even have light switches in some rooms. You have to walk to the middle of the room and pull the cord to turn on the overhead! Talk about not up to current code. I'd prefer a plastic switch in those rooms to nothing at all. :-) (By the way, the pie photos are up.)

Sandy said...

I remember push botton electric switches! They look absolutely great!

Joanne said...

Thanks, Sandy! We're quite thrilled with them.

Karen Anne said...

This sent me off to look at the Concord grape pie posting, and your comment there about grapes being dangerous to dogs.

I looked on the web, and raisins are also dangerous, I guess QED, but that hadn't occurred to me.

I don't have a dog, but a fox visits regularly. I thought foxes ate grapes (Aesop, etc.) but just to be on the safe side, I will take out my beginning grape vine. It has never had fruit anyway.