How to Choose the Best Fixtures for Your Home

Editor's Note: Eddie Ross, designer and author of Modern Mix, will be sharing his discoveries as he renovates his historic Philadelphia home in our new column, Edgewood Hall. To catch up on Eddie's home renovation journey, check out his previous columns. Follow him on Instagram for more behind-the-scenes looks at his project.

Choosing outlets and faucets might seem like a final touch, but as we discovered at Edgewood Hall, it’s never too early to have a game plan.

The master bath was put two months behind schedule after we learned that tiling couldn’t start before the shower valve was in place — and ours was an eight-week special order. The lesson? Choose your fixtures early. A wiring crisis later put me in full breakdown mode. I’ll never forget walking into the house to find that the elec­­trician had installed switch plates in some very puzzling places. Never assume that people know where you want things. The decisions you make in your electrical walk-through are critical!

That leads me to the most important advice of all: You get what you pay for. Hiring a project manager for $150 an hour might seem extra­va­gant, but you’ll save more money in the end — not to mention your sanity.

How to Choose the Best Fixtures for Your Home

These sleek, Eddie-approved picks are both efficient and pleasing to the eye.

Rachel McGinn

1 and 6. Kallista Pure Paletta by Laura Kirar Bath Fixtures

The fixtures for the master bath were a splurge, but they’re something we’ll touch every single day. Nickel was an option, but it felt too cold; I like the warmth of brass. We chose an unlacquered finish that will build a patina. People worry that brass will go out of style again, but I think unlacquered brass — not the Dynasty-era polished kind — really stands the test of time.

2. Leviton Decora Smart Switch

I’m not a fan of decorative switch plates. These simple ones can be painted or wall­papered over. And you can control the switches from your phone, which makes life so much easier. It’s great for the electric bill, too.

3. Raco Floor Box

Floor boxes will allow us to have lamps in the middle of the living and family rooms without wires everywhere (not just an eyesore but also a tripping hazard). They’re surprisingly easy to install on a ground floor with a basement below.

4. Leviton USB Charger Outlet

I love the idea of having a USB plug right in the wall. No more rooting around in your bag for a charger!

5. Kohler Purist Kitchen Faucet

We’re doing a traditional take on a modern chef’s kitchen, with soapstone and walnut countertops, so I looked for a faucet that would disappear into the room. This one, in a matte black finish, has a really clean, beautiful feel.

This story was originally published in the March 2018 issue of House Beautiful.

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