No detail too small: Bamboo and thatch switch plate covers

The blog has not been “epic” lately — but I assure you, my ongoing project — creation of my Mahalo Lounge — is. Epic, that is. And proving that (1) it’s good to collect things over time and (2) no detail is too small: I remembered that I had these vintage antique brass bamboo and thatch-design switch plates in my hoard. I bought them three years ago, when Kate and I discovered them on ebay. And guess what: There are still more available >>> click here for the link to the huge stash of vintage Leviton tropical switch plate and outlet covers (affiliate link).

As you can see, I installed the first switch plate cover directly on to my leopard print fabric wall covering.

I know — since “no detail is too small”, especially when creating a statement room — that I also need to switch out the switch, to brown (rather than ivory.). 

Above: My stash. Bottom right: The staples I am using to get the leopard print fabric up. Thanks to reader Rick S., who suggested that I spray paint the staples black. I did! It’s working great!

Below: The original story on these vintage Leviton switch plate covers, originally published by Kate in September 2014. I repeat, click the linky-loos and there are many still available. They are super heavy duty — very very nice!

Kate’s original story:

tiki outlet coversI’ve been in a tiki-hoarding mood lately, so when I happened to find a huge stash of vintage Leviton bamboo, tiki themed switch plate and outlet covers (affiliate link) on ebay, I had to snap some up for my own future tiki bar. At between about $4 and $8 each depending on size and quantity purchased, these decorative brass outlet covers are a deal.
They can be purchased singly, or in sets of five or 50. The seller has outlet covers and single or double gang light switch plates available. It seems like the ebay seller got their hands on quite a stash, so thankfully there’s plenty to go around.

tiki outlet coversWithout knowing how many outlets and lightswitches my future tiki bar will have, I decided on a five pack of outlet covers and two, double gang switch plates would be sufficient to add to my hoard. Thinking Pam might also be interested, I sent her the link. Sure enough, she bought a bunch too. We both got our packages quickly, on the same day and agree — these are some nice outlet covers.

tiki outlet coversIn a room like a tiki bar where you are trying create the illusion of being transported to a distant place — the little details can make or break the room. These Leviton bamboo and thatch outlet covers will help everyday wall receptacles blend in with the tiki theme instead of screaming “here’s where you plug in the lamp!” Their design is wonderfully executed and the aged brass finish provides a wonderful patina that will feel right at home amongst jetsam and flotsam.

Link love:

More fun: This is the book that I am using to make all my cocktails — the drinks all have stories — they’re historic!

Categoriestiki and bars
  1. la573 says:

    Those are very nice, but still way too mundane for my tastes 🙂 given they simply dress up common Leviton switches. The real gem (IMO) amongst mid-century switches are these Remcon “momentary on” switches, which return to center once you let go. And just look at ’em:


    Kyle Electric (no, I don’t work for them) sells replacements for some of their ilk but not others. They have a great ID-your-old-switches page:


    Other nice mid-century switchgear includes Despard switches and outlets which have the advantage of still being available in many styles (check Kyle’s page for them too, as well as Amazon and elsewhere); most are made by Pass & Seymour/Legrand. These guys also sell replacements for even older two-button pearl switches common in 1920s homes, courtesy of Classic Accents which still makes them.

    Sadly not made since 1989 but still frequently showing up on the big auction site and elsewhere are Honeywell Tap-Lites, single convex pushbutton switches surrounded by a clear, screwless wallplate that shows your paneling or wallpaper uninterrupted. Or, if you prefer, you can instead use one of several placards Honeywell included. Some of these are just AWESOME – check some of them out at the link below, including two space-age backgrounds plus a clown face that turns the light on by punching its nose. I have an extensive collection of these – single, double, triple, and quad plates, different color buttons, switchplate pattern cards (which changed every few years) and switch buttons that toggle high-low-off. The switches themselves are easier to find now than the switchplates which crack or yellow in some environments.


  2. Mary Elizabeth says:

    Switch plates today usually come in solid colors, including white, ivory, beige, gray, and brown. But remember that you can spray paint them or cover them in fabric or wallpaper to match your wall.

    1. linoleummy says:

      Use the ebay link to support RR! Just think, where would we be without Pam? Yikes- perish the thought.
      It’s crazy how a detail like switch plates can make such a difference but that’s just another layer of luscious on that luscious leopard print in that already luscious room.
      In my kitchen there are 3 different colors I’m trying on but the high contrast ones really need the switch or outlet painted too.

  3. Jay says:

    You haven’t overlooked one detail. Great choice, looks elegant against the leopard print. Funny, I remember someone telling me brown electrical devices was the default in home construction years back as ivory was supposed to be a premium.

    “Epic” describes this website’s content so no need to worry about posting, the faithful know what you’re up to, we can hardly wait!!!!!

    1. Stacy says:

      I was just going to wrote the same thing, Jay! I am never disappointed when I visit RR. Even if there is nothing new for that day, there is plenty in the archives to keep me busy.
      I, too, can hardly wait to see more of the Mahalo lounge. Love the outlet covers!

  4. karin says:

    I saw these online a while ago, but forgot about them. Now that I’m planning my forties bamboo tropical/tiki bamboo lounge, they go perfectly. I just clicked “Buy it Now” for one. Thanks!

  5. Barbara says:

    Your right, those Crazy Al tiki plates are amazing!
    I would buy them if my decor was tiki.
    Nice craftsmanship Crazy Al!!

  6. dkzody says:

    Those plate covers are wonderful. I remember these from years ago, and so glad you are able to have enough to use in your Mahalo Lounge.

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