The vent covers, light switches and electrical outlets in my house are beige. The doorknobs are dull brass. Beige and dull brass do not work with my color scheme. Plus, the 35-year-old light switches look cruddy despite my thorough cleaning (thorough as in using a cotton swab to clean in between the "on" and "off" letters) and the doorknobs have beige spots from a previous sloppy paint job. Overall, very blah. Some updates are in order!
Doorknobs come in several styles, finishes and price ranges. I chose a mushroom style knob in brushed nickel for about $9. Replacing a doorknob is easy, and you only need a screwdriver. Your knob will have detailed instructions, but the general process to remove the old knob is unscrew two screws, pull the two handles (one on either side of the door) apart, and then remove the center portion. To install the new knob, follow that process in reverse. For the strike plate, remove two screws and the old plate, then install the new one with two screws. You're done! Allow 20-30 minutes the first time; after that, you can probably finish the job in 10 minutes.
|old dull brass knob|
|new brushed nickel knob in simple mushroom style|
Mismatched electrical outlets can be covered with a "decorator" plate. Sold under the Masque brand for about $2.25, these plates cover the entire outlet. Take off the old plate, put on the new, and you're done! Easiest cosmetic fix ever.
|white plate on a beige outlet = not pretty|
|decorator plate looks much better|
Remove the wall plate, then remove the two screws holding the switch in place. Pull the switch out so you can get to the wires. Before you begin disconnecting anything, you might want to take a photo to ensure you can wire the new switch the same way as the old.
|OMG electrical wires!|
|beige switch looks grubby|
|new white switch looks much better|
For an additional splurge of around $14, I replaced the beige plastic vent cover with a far nicer cover in black steel.
|beige plastic looks cheap|
|black steel is swirly goodness|