Just like suitcases with wheels, recessed power outlets are one of those "I can't believe it wasn't around 'til now" inventions. But even if you know they exist, you might not know how to use them. Here are five places around any home, apartment or loft where you should install this space-saving electrical hardware.
Recessed outlet hardware has a faceplate that is set deeper into the wall than a regular outlet. That means it prevents plugs and connectors from protruding above the surface of the wall. It's aesthetically better looking, and in certain applications, it can be a lifesaver.
• Install one behind a wall-mounted flat-screen TV. Grab a cover like this one and you can run all of the important cables seamlessly between your wall and the TV; if you're running speaker cables, something like the Arlington Industries Single and Dual Gang Recessed Electrical Boxes (shown above) may fit the bill. No more gap between the TV and the wall.
• Recessed outlets behind furniture. Do you have outlets tucked behind furniture you'd like to keep tight to the wall, like a boxy sofa or shallow bookshelf? Switch them out for recessed hardware.
• Install recessed outlets outdoors. Use one with a slim cover and avoid those unsightly bubble outlets you're used to seeing outside.
• Recessed outlets in the bathroom. These can help you maximize small space, and help keep electrical hardware out of the splash zone.
• Use them in the kitchen. This post on Popular Mechanics lists several reasons why recessed oulets work great in the kitchen, but it all boils downt o this: Recessed outlets along your backsplash allow you to push small countertop appliances flush against the wall. Yay for more counter space!
The best part is they're not any more difficult to install than a regular outlet. Just grab one from your favorite home store (we like this clean outlet from Leviton) and follow an online tutorial.
(Images: 1. CableOrganizer.com, 2. Popular Mechanics)