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The devil’s in the detail

There are some things when you’re redecorating a room or redesigning a space that get forgotten about. They’re not normally on our list of considerations. Your builder, electrician, plumber will just fix in the most obvious, industry standard items. These items are in every room. They’re functional. They do the job and they’re fine. Just fine.

But what if you don’t want fine?

If you just stopped to consider these small, often unnoticed details, it can have a massive impact on a space. The devil is indeed in the detail. And there’s nothing like a build to highlight just how many small seemingly “none-decisions” can make a big difference to the design.

We’re now at the point where the build is kind of complete. The rooms are getting plastered next week, first fix plumbing going in and door casings being built by the joiner. Which focuses my mind on:

  • Skirting boards & architraves
  • Door handles
  • Lights, switches and sockets

Skirting board and architrave

We’ve (and when I say we’ve, I mean I’ve) uhmmed and ahhed over skirtings and architraves for a few weeks now. Should the new second floor match the rest of the house? The skirting boards and architraves at ours had been updated before we moved in. And they’re fine.


Torus by Skirtech – The go-to skirting board

They’re fine. But also wrong for the period of the house, but we’re not ripping out the entire house worth to fit something more mid-century-esque. So should we just carry it onwards and upwards to our second floor?

Then I started to question whether we even needed skirting boards or architraves. Should we experiment with shadow gaps?


I do love this clean, paired back look and as much as it would have worked really well with the overall design we’ve planned, I discounted it as being a little try hard for a suburban 3 bed semi. Open plan city centre apartment? Converted barn? Multi-disciplinary art space? New build? You go for it. And i’ll be jealous, but deep down I’ll know we did the right thing for our 1960’s house. You can only push it so far.

So yes, we’re having skirting boards and architraves fitted, just not 100% sure as to which design yet. Should we follow suit or switch it up? Any thoughts?

Door handles

Something black. Something that’s not £180 (the one I found). That’s as far as i’ve got. Tbc.


I think you may already be aware of my sheer hatred of these:


The plastic ceiling rose. Not. Allowed. Ever.

We’ve finally gotten rid of all of these at home. And i’m slowly working my way around Yorkshire trying to convince homeowners to do the same. The difference not having a white plastic circle stuck to your ceiling makes to a room is hard to explain. If you’ve invested in a pendant light, chandelier…

…or even a ceiling rose with a specialist finish and cool fabric flex, it’s instantly going to give your space an edge. If you’re working on a build, specifically a loft conversion. DO NOT let them just fit a white plastic ceiling rose. And not just because they look gak.

Why then?

A loft conversion kinda needs recessed downlights as the head height is often restricted once you’ve added all the necessary layers upon layers of insulation required to keep the building inspector sweet. You don’t really need something hanging down highlighting the ceiling height (or lack of). We’ve got about 2m 25cm head height, and that’s before the skim and final finish flooring has gone down. So plan ahead.

Light switches & sockets


Our bedroom. As it is at the moment anyway. Just look at that horrendous white plastic squares on the wall. How much do they need to be changed? Especially with the walls being the colour they are. What this room needs is something that’s in keeping with the rest of the design. White plastic isn’t really cutting it.

What we need is…


Just look at all this loveliness from Dowsing & Reynolds.

Their range of toggle light switches, dimmers, sockets and a whole other plethora of other goodness comes in several finishes and combinations. Each faceplate can be added to a different backplate. Brilliant.


White & Gold


Black & Gold


Copper & Gold


Smoked Gold and Silver


Gold & Silver

Our loft spaces, which i’m sure you will have seen by now are going monochrome.





And as much as I adore Dowsing & Reynold’s smoked gold finish, we’ve decided to stay true to the Scandi/industrial vibe and are sticking with a mix of simple, matte black and white.

They’re going to look pretty awesome, if I do say so myself. I received my box of goodies this week and i’m so excited to see them in situ. I’m feeling very grown up getting my very first dimmer switch. Aged 38. Oh how i’ve waited for some dimmable lighting. I’ll never leave the house again!

So there you have it. These are the kind of big (small) decisions that keep me awake at night. Not Trump or Brexit. But skirting board. Welcome to my world.

Collaborative post.


  1. Buying your first posh light switch is (I imagine) a bit like getting a first tattoo. You ruminate for ages because it seems quite expensive for a reasonably small cosmetic change, but then you see it in situ and before you know it your whole house is covered. Hmm maybe a bit of a stretched analogy there, but these Dowsing & Reynolds switches look a class product. Enjoyed the article Karen.

    • Cheers Tom. Glad you like the switches. Just focusing on the top floor for now, but I can certainly see me updating the rest of the house in due course 🙂

  2. Details really make the difference, we’re still working on hours and just finishing off these small things really makes everything seem more and more perfect 🙂

  3. Get some 18mm MDF picture rail from B&Q; turn it upside down and stick it along the top of your Torus skirting; paint. Hey presto! Impressive but understated skirting board!

  4. Ahh I meant to comment on this the other day! I read this post and then was like “Why are my light switches so pants” so off I went and bought gold and black ones for the hallway. Ha! You are my muse 😉

  5. Oh goodness, the copper and smoked gold switches are INCREDIBLE. Actually, they are all rather gorgeous. All my light switches are different in every room. Must rectify that. Don’t even get me started on door knobs though. I know I need to replace all the ones upstairs and I’m clueless what I want considering, ya know, I’m not a millionaire. xx

  6. You are so right. I replaced all my switiches in my home whcih at the time felt like I was splashing out on small things when I had a whole house to restore. But I love them now. Just wish I had seen the copper ones you picked out!

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