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The 5-Minute Rental Upgrade You’re Probably Overlooking

It makes a world of difference.

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We get it: Light switches aren’t the first thing most people dream about when they imagine the dramatic design changes they want to make to their living spaces. That glory usually goes to paint colors, funky chandeliers, or unique tilework. And you know what? We completely understand.

That said, the generic switch plates that come with most apartments are one of those tiny roadblocks that can keep you from fully feeling at home in a temporary space. The good news is that swapping in a stylish light switch is a minutes-long project that’s swift and fairly easy—and, most important, it makes a surprisingly major difference in your everyday quality of life. The even better news is that with so many elevated pieces on the market right now, you’ll surely find something to suit your style—and light up your life—in no time. 

For a Modern Pop

A sunny color meets on-trend silhouette in this plate—which, by the way, was one of our Good Design Award winners in 2022. Snap one up now before they sell out. 

For an Antique Touch

Lewis Single Toggle Switchplate, Rejuvenation

$20
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Not all of us are blessed with crown molding and French doors in our rentals, but you can definitely fake charm via your light switches. We love the way that the eventual patina on these dimmers will deliver a hint of old-school luxury. 

For Full Transparency

If you prefer a bright and breezy look (or just want to show off a vibrant wallpaper), this acrylic option won’t weigh you down. 

For a Hint of Nature

Zaha Switch Plate, Anthropologie

$38
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A burl-wood veneer gives even an apartment in a skyscraper a touch of Mother Nature. Against a moody paint color, it’ll really pop, but we also love the way it looks against whatever white shade your landlord chose.  

For a Slice of the Rainbow

Dyke & Dean’s collection of Technicolor light switches is a color-blocking fan’s dream. They come in almost every hue imaginable, though we’re especially taken with this Kelly green one for a slightly retro feel. 

For a Classic Accent

The hexagonal shape of this brass plate jazzes up a room without going overboard, which makes it ideal for a space that toes the line between traditional and contemporary. 

For a Cool Finish

Buster + Punch 15A Metal Complete Toggle Switch, Lightology

$110
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White rental walls and a matte black light switch—it’s a classic pairing that adds a major dose of cool contrast.