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… hardly anything had been changed from the original 1930s design…

… the person who owned my new apartment prior to me lived there from the mid 1960s until 2010, when she died, leaving an empty apartment and no one to inherit it. In her time there she had probably added to the countless layers of paint on wallpaper and wallpaper on paint on wallpaper, she had unfortunately relatively recently updated the kitchen and bathroom, but she hadn’t done much else.

… all the doors are original, the windows are original, the wooden floors and granite floors are original, the three fireplaces are original (although sadly not working), and I suspect much of the electrics were original!

… prior to selling in an auction, the solicitor has to carry out all the usual structural and infrastructural surveys. I bought the place knowing full well the electrical survey had a big red “FAIL” stamped across it. That is the first thing I have been tackling – or rather I contracted out. The electricians have been working for a week already, my heart is bleeding as the whole apartment is thick in dust, the walls have gaping gashes that are being patched over, and holes are ready to receive new sockets and light switches…

… when I went back to the apartment after buying it, the second visit after my first 10 minute visit with about 20 other people there, I took the time to look at the details a bit more closely, and I realised it was going to need a bit more than a lick of paint to make it liveable…

… light switches… the place was a concise history in light switches of the 20th century, from the original brass 2 button options, to chunky Bakelite external switches, to inset Bakelite switches, to sleeker square 80s designs (installed with inter-phone wiring, my electricians were “impressed”)… I didn’t actually get round to photographing them all before they were swiftly removed and relegated to the depths of a plastic bag, to be reviewed and assessed at a later date!

light switches @ grt*escp light switches @ grt*escp light switches @ grt*escp… I loved the original brass switches. I am trying to maintain as much original character as I can, while at the same time making it a practical and energy efficient home for the 21st century. I googled and searched ebay and found similar switches for sale, and thought about it, but then realised I didn’t feel 100% comfortable with them, that I actually wanted something more technologically advanced – I have a lot of respect for electricity!

… then I stumbled upon something that caught my eye… their website stated:

Modern and classic – the Berker Serie 1930 in the style of the functional Bauhaus design creates a special ambience. The most modern technology concealed behind a timeless classic façade. A perfect combination for those who appreciate that special touch.

… that ticked all my boxes. I started looking for suppliers, I found one in the Netherlands, I visited a wholesaler here, “no they couldn’t get them for me”, I called the importer “your electrician should be able to get them at the wholesaler”, I sent my electrician back to the wholesaler, “no they couldn’t get them”, I called the suppliers in the Netherlands, “of course we can send them to Belgium”… I ordered my light switches 2 days ago, they arrived today.

… I was like a kid at Christmas as I opened the box, each switch beautifully packaged, my electrician thinks I am mad not taking the cheap basic model, there are some things that can’t be explained…

… now I am thinking I should have ordered the wall sockets too!

light switches @ grt*escp