We are slowly chipping away at the many projects to refresh our Sacramento Carter Sparks designed, Streng Bros. built home. This month we want to share three tips on how to solve some common design problems.
It is tempting to save our budget for only the big items like landscaping, replacing the floors or switching out the kitchen counters but we found these design hacks to be both immediate mood boosters as well as functional.
Inconvenient Wall Outlets
As typical in many older homes like ours, the power outlets operated by the main light switch in almost every room are located in the most inconvenient place in the wall. And the switch almost always turns on the outlet that you don’t want to turn on.
For example, the outlet operated by the wall switch in our living room is located in the middle of one of the walls farthest from the furniture and the one we use as our salon wall.
We would much rather hang a piece of art on our salon wall than plug in a lamp or run an unsightly extension cord from the corner of the room to the middle of the wall. It would be great if the wall switch operated all of the lamps in the room instead of having to cross a dark room to manually turn on the lamp.
Instead of hiring an expensive electrician to relocate the outlets, we discovered three solutions.
HumanHome designs and manufactures architectural lighting that solves this annoying problem in a very design friendly way. These lights from HumanHome plug right into the wall outlet and attach to the wall. Solves the problem and looks like a piece of art. It saves floor space in our small bedroom as well!
The second solution was from a company with the very jaunty name of Switcheroo. Plug a Switcheroo box into your switched outlet and then another Switcheroo into as many outlets as you want to turn off and on with the wall switch. Set them to the same channel, and that’s it. We wished they looked a bit sleeker, but this was an easy and affordable way to have all our lights in the living room operated by one switch.
Another fix for our inconvenient wall outlets is not a new one but a very Mid Century Modern one. Swag lamps! A swag lamp attaches to the ceiling and has a cord that plugs into an outlet. Such an easy way to improve the poor lighting in our rooms without having to install a ceiling fixture or take up floor space.
This lamp from The Hologram House was in great condition when we bought it but if you find one that needs a new chain those are inexpensive and easy to find at most hardware stores.
If you find a pendant light you love you can convert it to a swag light without having to be an electrician.
Bonus Tip: Think Big
Our last design fix only involved purchasing an ottoman but it solved another annoying problem—fighting over the ottoman! As mentioned in an earlier article, we purchased a sofa from Burrow along with one of their ottomans. Each evening one of us would be stuck fighting for couch space with the dog while the other stretched out comfortably with legs propped up on the ottoman.
We could have purchased another ottoman from Burrow, but that seemed a little too boring. The solution was an oversized ottoman from Kardiel in a contrasting orange color. We use this color throughout the house so it serves as another opportunity to create a cohesive look with color.
This addition also solved another problem of not having enough seating for guests. This ottoman can be pushed away from the sofa to create another seating area.
Stay tuned for more on our progress of our Sacramento Modern Makeover and pick up tips to apply to your own home projects. You can access past posts on our SacMod makeover such as our most recent post as well as at patriciakline.com.
There you will also find profiles of other Mid Century Modern enthusiasts written for Atomic Ranch Magazine as well as articles on Mid Century Modern finds such as where to shop, eat, drink and stay in Palm Springs. You can follow me on Instagram .
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