The Ultimate Guide To Decorating With Plates On the Wall

freaking-out-over-your-paint-colors

 

Hi Guys! Hope y’all are enjoying the respite from the bitter cold.

No Dear Laurel today.

This idea just popped into my head.

I have no idea why, but I love to mix things around and I believe that some of you have requested this topic.

 

Today’s post focuses on decorating with plates on the wall.

 

Now, I have to make a confession which may come as a huge surprise.

I know bupkis about decorating with plates. lol

I mean, I have NEVER specified a plate for a wall, nor recommended it to a client.

And, most of my plates came from Pottery Barn.

However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t think that decorating with plates on the wall is a bad idea. I don’t.

 

If it’s done right.

But, if it’s done wrong, it’s pretty icky poo.

Well, what’s the wrong way to hang the plates, Laurel?

 

You know, it depends.

Oh, stop rolling your eyes at me! It does depend! And, one reason is that what would be glorious for some of you, would feel busy (aka: cluttered) and crazy-making for others.

 

For instance. This asymmetrical design, IMO, is not working in this traditional Tudor style home. They look like they’re trying to escape. Could be. ;]

 

In fact, I have never seen an asymmetrical pattern with plates that I thought looked terrific.

 

The exception might be if incorporated with a somewhat asymmetrical art wall. But even there, I prefer things to be more balanced.

I’m a classical girl.

 

Next specimen.

While the basic idea of this is fine, I think it’s too crowded. Plus, there are too many elements on the table. I love the oyster plates, just not on this wall.

I’m not going to put in any more don’ts because I live in fear these days that I’m going to insult someone I know like I did in this post.

The photo came down shortly after the post went up. I was mortified!

However I came across this article on Remodelista and surprisingly almost every one is a don’t. Please know that I am not dissing this blog. As a matter of fact, I link to it at least once or twice a month. I love it, normally, but this is an old post and it might explain why this one is not up to snuff. It is not nearly up to the high level they currently share. But then, many of my old posts aren’t either.

 

So, let’s get into some great ideas for decorating with plates.

 

I am trying to include something for everyone. So, even for the folks who break out in hives if there’s too much going on, I think that you’ll find some images you’ll like.

Okay, just a little warning: The clutterphobes might need to look away for a spell.

However, if you’re into a little Boho/funky, chic, cooler than cool when it comes to decorating with plates, well there’s no better example than John Derian.

 

Yes, yes I know, I know! Now, please settle back into your seats. We have a lot to cover.

 

John Derian and Astier DeVillatte_decorating with platesJohn Derian and Astier De Villatte at his New York shop

 

Well, one of his shops. I really should make a field trip one of these days

John Derian - whimsical wallplates - Astier De Villatte

More Astier De Villatte from John Derian’s instagram

 

For more of John Derian, click here.

 

John Derian - summer themed decorating with wall plates

One more fun composition by John Derian. Some of you may recall that I went to Provincetown on Cape Cod last summer. And damn. I had no idea that John has a shop there. Oh well. Next time, for sure!

Greg Irvine - original the design files - decorating with plates
Greg Irvine found via the Style Files, found on Design Sponge

haha! I definitely do my research!

Greg Irvine is an Aussie chap and you must check out his instagram.

BUT FIRST

Please check out this short video about him.

I insist.

Don’t worry. I won’t move on until you come back. :]

Wasn’t that fun?

 

“If I lived in ugly surroundings, I’d just curl up and die.” ~ Greg Irvine

 

Switching gears completely. And clutter haters, it’s safe to stop wincing now. At least, for the time being.

 

James Farmer - gorgeously styled kitchen - blue and white platter

Above is the lovely, lovely work of one of my favorite designers James Farmer. These are via his instagram

I’ve not met James, but I sure do hope to one day. Not only is he incredibly talented, but I daresay that he’s THE happiest human being on the planet.

 

James T Farmer - on instagram with puppy

Awwww…

I mean, not only is he smiling in EVERY photograph, he seems to be laughing, in every shot.

James T Farmer - gardening on instagram

See what I mean?

 

A Place to Call Home by James T Farmer

James has written a highly acclaimed book – A Place to Call Home

 

A Place to Call Home by Gil Schafer

This is not to be confused with a book with the same title by another favorite designer and architect, Gil Schafer

In case you don’t know, titles of any kind are not copyrightable. Both are terrific books!  If you are interested in more terrific design books, click here.

 

The next three images are by James Farmer and each represents a beautiful use of decorating with plates

All photos by Emily Followill

Decorating with plates and art - design - James Farmer - photo Emily Followill

Love the composition and colors mixed in with the artwork. Perfect

 

Fabulous kitchen - Decorating with plates -design - James Farmer - photo - Emily Followill

And this kitchen! Sublime!

 

Decorating with plates and art -design - James Farmer - photo Emily FollowillA formal, but not stuffy dining room.

 

Traditional Home Decorating with plates and art - photo Emily Followill

Traditional Home – photo Emily Followill

 

maggie_griffin_Ballard Designs - decorating with plates

Maggie Griffin via Ballard Designs

Love these Majolica oyster dishes. And I do spy Barbara Barry’s Indo Day fabric that is also on my kitchen Roman Shade.

 

Charles Faudree - Majolica wall plates - decorating with plates

This is the work of the late Charles Faudree whose work seems to have taken on an almost cult following. And for good reason. It’s beautiful.

 

Some of my favorite walls that use plates for decorating also include artwork, corbels and sometimes lighting.

 

Furlow Gatewood - photo by Rod Collins - decorating with plates

And no one combines all of that together better than Furlow Gatewood. Every room of Furlow’s is like a master class of decorating.

For more of Furlow Gatewood’s beautiful work, click here.

 

The Peak of Chic blog - Furlow Gatewood - Decorating with plates

Another wall designed by Furlow Gatewood. Image from the Peak of Chic

 

 littleaugury.blogspot - decorating with platesLittle Augury

 

An amazing dining room by Anouska Hempel

 

laurendeloach - decorating with wall plates

Lauren DeLoach Interiors – via Instagram

I love this tone on tone with creamware and Majolica plates, it looks like

 

vibekedesign - decorating with plates

Vibeke Design

 

Another tone on tone beauty!

 

Laurel. Where are all of the blue and white plates?

 

You want blue and white plates?

 

Here ya go!

 

transferware - decorating with plates - Victoria Mag

Victoria mag

The only thing bugging me a little (aside from the freckled countertops) is that the shelf is off-center and then the symmetry is broken on the right, but since I can’t see the entire room, I will reserve [too much] judgment. The rest is lovely, I think. Love those Staffordshire Dogs. If you love them too, you can see some that are available for sale.

 

Traditional Home blue and white decorating with plates - photo Werner StraubeTraditional Home blue and white  – photo Werner Straube

If you’ve got it… Right?

Rodolphebeduchaud on instagram - wall plates

 stunning room by Rodolphe Beduchaud on instagram

If interested, I believe he has more images of this amazing room on his insta linked above.

Suzanne Kasler and Les Cole - Coastal home - decorating with plates - Architectural Digest

Architectural Digest

No one does classically inspired compositions better than Suzanne Kasler. This gorgeous home,  designed in collaboration with Les Cole.

 

Kathryn Greeley designs - Thanksgiving platter
Kathryn Greeley Designs

 

Lovely display of lovely blue and white plates with a giant turkey platter!

 

Below, are two images from a magnificent project by Cathy Kincaid

 

Veranda designer Cathy Kincaid-decorating with plates -Spanish-style home - photo-James Merrell

Veranda –  interior design – Cathy Kincaid-decorating with plates – photo-James Merrell

 

Veranda designer Cathy Kincaid-decorating with plates - photo-James Merrell

Here, we can see the opposite side of the same dining room. It is quite apparent that this is a designer who puts her ALL into her work.

 

Mark D Sikes - greystone-show-house-2015/

Mark D. Sikes from the Greystone Showhouse a few years ago.

 

If you’d like to get look of Mark D Sikes for less money, click here.

 

Otherwise, if you’d like to get Mark, click the top link. :]

Well, there it is. I hope that you enjoyed all of these fine examples of decorating with plates.

 

Oh, and if you’re interested in learning how to put the plates up, please check out this fabulous post in Driven By Decor.

 

You can also do a wall elevation with your graph paper and map out your arrangement of wall plates ahead of time.

xo,

 

PS: Don’t forget to check out the updated hot sales pages. And get your promo codes for both the Serena and Lily 20% off catalog sale and One Kings Lane– still going on!

5th edition rolodex-post-graphic - November 2018 - A unique shopping guide with hundreds of sources created by Laurel Bern

  • Libby - February 13, 2019 - 2:37 AM

    Great examples! A wonderful topic and very apropos considering your gallery wall posts (incorporate lates as you suggest) and “help, I have a big, empty wall” posts.
    There is an image of a bedroom ( whites and grays)that incorporates plates in the wall decor in a post from January 2017 “my Bedroom Layout is Giving Me Nightmares During the Day”. I remembered the post and searched: bedroom help and found it. Search function worked perfectly.ReplyCancel

  • Gayle Morgan - February 11, 2019 - 9:43 AM

    Laurel,

    One of your many lovable traits is that you are so generous in sharing the limelight with other designers and decorators. This post is rich. I have marinated in it for days! Added at least six lovely instagram accounts to follow.

    Hanging on your every word in Birmingham,
    GayleReplyCancel

  • susie - February 8, 2019 - 9:15 AM

    I love plates and dishes. I can spend all day browsing patterns online. And I don’t just mean new patterns. I mean vintage patterns on that one website. As your photos indicated, you can also hang tin plates and trays. I’ve done that with just some tape, twine and a picture hook. Vintage patterns bring back memories of days gone by…long live plates and dishes!!ReplyCancel

  • Susan - February 8, 2019 - 9:05 AM

    Laurel you need to add intuitive to your résumé.
    I’ve got the Flatiron adhesive discs already applied to my plates and was ready
    to figure out a plan, et voilà Laurel to the rescue.
    Thank you for acknowledging Faudree, love his style.
    But…John Derian is making my heart sing…his clutter is so pretty 🥰
    Thanks again,
    SusanReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 8, 2019 - 10:50 AM

      Oh, that is so sweet, Susan. About the intuitive thing. I prefer to think of it as the voice of God speaking to me through my heart and soul. Alas, I don’t always listen as there’s another (insistent) voice in my head which sometimes disagrees. And/or fears the message living in my h and s. In fact, the head voice is so strong it can fool me into thinking it is actually my heart and soul speaking to me. The consequences are never favorable.

      How intuition relates to blog post topics is not usually as complex.

      “a bird cannot fly if it is living in a cage”ReplyCancel

  • LINA FLETCHER - February 8, 2019 - 12:43 AM

    Thanks Laurel. My tea room was once my dining room but since it was so tiny I switched things around. I turned my formal living room into my dining room and my dining into my tea room. During the winter the sun comes streaming in through the windows which causes a rush for the reading chair by me, my husband and the cat.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 8, 2019 - 10:35 AM

      I can just see you all crashing into one another as you rush for the reading chair. :]ReplyCancel

  • Ani - February 7, 2019 - 8:24 PM

    LOVE this post! Will be rereading this at least 10 times!ReplyCancel

  • Holly - February 7, 2019 - 1:23 PM

    Love love love this post! I saved so many of the pics to my Pinterest board!ReplyCancel

  • mrsben - February 7, 2019 - 11:31 AM

    Personally as I feel that plates are pieces of artwork and just done in a different medium, I don’t see a problem using them as a decor accessory. That said; excellent post Laurel for those who choose to use them. -Brenda-
    P.S.: Many years ago, one of my favourite walls I did for my daughter (who was on a strict budget at that time) was a display of antique forged metal heating grates which she received many compliments on due to their beauty and uniqueness.ReplyCancel

  • GGG - February 6, 2019 - 9:29 PM

    Thanks for this post. I just find the photos of the plate installations, even the not so good ones, very cheerful! Loved the video of Greg Irvine. What an amazing sketchbook!

    And a bonus–some of my favorite books–James Farmer, Gil Schafer and Furlow Gatewood!

    Although, I do think that your post brings out that it often looks better when the plates have either color in common, or some sense of order, whether all massed together in a block or in some sort of symmetrical arrangement.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 6, 2019 - 10:47 PM

      There’s a lot of logic in design, I think. And, that was such a well-done video. It really captured the man and his work so beautifully.ReplyCancel

  • Donna B Oliphint - February 6, 2019 - 2:42 PM

    Great post! By the way, James Farmer has so fabulous cook books, too! A friend of mine knows him and says he’s really nice, too.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 6, 2019 - 10:45 PM

      Yes, yes. He started out with the cookbooks, I believe. He looks like a helluva nice guy! And obviously, a great talent!ReplyCancel

  • Mary - February 6, 2019 - 2:41 PM

    Hi Laurel,
    I have a plate wall. It has over 100 plates! My collection started off simply enough but then I kept going to make a real statement. More is more! Kelly Wearstler’s Viceroy Hotel was my inspiration.
    Check out my Instagram for pictures. I don’t have that many posts on my feed so they’ll be easy to find. @designfreakReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 6, 2019 - 10:34 PM

      hang on… let me go see. :]ReplyCancel

      • Laurel Bern - February 6, 2019 - 10:43 PM

        Oh wow! You know… I didn’t realize until now, that you are that Mary with the charming home and vanity. And that plate wall is quite a work of art!ReplyCancel

        • Mary - February 7, 2019 - 8:14 AM

          Ha! Yes, it’s me.
          And yes, my plate wall filled my art requirements. I wanted something large & something affordable. Thanks for taking a look.ReplyCancel

  • Donna - February 6, 2019 - 2:36 PM

    Great post, Laurel. I’m a fan of yours and also, James Farmer. Love the plates!ReplyCancel

  • Jillian Merrill - February 6, 2019 - 1:47 PM

    I love this post & it was especially fun to see Kathy Greeley’s image! I interned under her years ago, she truly is a talented designer.ReplyCancel

  • Cindy B - February 6, 2019 - 11:57 AM

    Laurel, can you please share the secret of how these plates are attached safely to the wall. I have looked for hangers, but the most common ones have prongs, which I don’t see in your photos. Is there a source for hangers?ReplyCancel

    • Dana - February 7, 2019 - 9:19 PM

      I find Flatirons Disk adhesives at Hobby Lobby or online. I have used them on heavy platters and never had any fall off the wall! You just have to get the right size for the diameter of the plate. I have heard they do not damage the plate but have never tried to remove one. Hope this helps!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 6, 2019 - 10:31 PM

      Hi Cindy,

      If you scroll down to the bottom of the post, there is a link for my colleague Kris Jarrett who did a whole tutorial and with sources. As I said, I actually haven’t the foggiest of how to put up a plate.

      They do not teach these things in design school, so if it doesn’t ever come up, then there’s no way to learn. But, what I did was to hire the best people who did know, or we would put our heads together and figure it out. There is a lot of learning on the job in this business. That’s not because of a lack of training. It’s because every situation is unique!ReplyCancel

  • Amanda McNeill - February 6, 2019 - 11:05 AM

    You need to check out the dining room pics from the Mas des Poiriers (SB Long Interiors). The prettiest plate design I have ever seen!!!! Check it out!ReplyCancel

  • LINA FLETCHER - February 6, 2019 - 10:58 AM

    So funny you should post about plates on walls as I added some plates to my Tea Room wall last week. Thanks for sharing.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 6, 2019 - 10:26 PM

      It’s a total sync world! And, I love that you have a tea room!ReplyCancel

  • Sallie - February 6, 2019 - 10:37 AM

    Thank you for recommending the James Farmer book. I have found so much inspiration there, and in your blog, of course!ReplyCancel

  • Nathalie R. - February 6, 2019 - 10:36 AM

    This post really spoke to me since I’ve been a wall plater from way back! I love creating a vignette using plates and other wall decor as components. You make your own patterns and it can be like a work of art itself considering the whole. Plates offer a great opportunity to showcase hits of color and break up boring expanses. It’s not always easy to get the right mix but when you do! And you’ve given so many gorgeous examples.ReplyCancel

  • Whitney Evans - February 6, 2019 - 9:27 AM

    Full disclosure: I have some plates on the wall of my own home! They were double difficult because we have plaster walls and everything is hanging from a picture rail. Would love to see some advice in future about hanging things in older homes this way!

    But what I really came here to say – is that this post put me in mind of this installation of art at the High Museum in Atlanta. I LOVED it when I saw it – the pic doesn’t do the scale justice. It’s about 20 feet tall!

    It made me want to do something like this on a wall at my home, but I’m still figuring out how.

    https://www.high.org/collections/physic-garden/
    “Physic Garden” by Molly HatchReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 6, 2019 - 10:19 PM

      Oh Wow! I love stuff like that. It takes a special kind of genius to do something like that. Thanks for sharing that Whitney.ReplyCancel

  • Sheree Johnson - February 6, 2019 - 9:19 AM

    Hi Laurel,

    I just want to say how much I enjoy your posts and your sense of humor! You always inspire me and I love your brutal honesty when something is off. I really appreciate your sense of style and classic taste. Thank you for brightening my morning when I see an email from you in my Inbox.

    ShereeReplyCancel

    • Sheree L - February 7, 2019 - 10:20 AM

      Oops! That should have said “Cherie, with the accent on the SECOND syllable.”ReplyCancel

      • Laurel Bern - February 7, 2019 - 5:10 PM

        I actually have a cousin named Cherie, only that pronunciation instead of Share-EE is Shur-EE.ReplyCancel

    • Sheree L - February 7, 2019 - 9:59 AM

      Yay! Another Sheree! 99% of the time, when people see my name for the first time, they say it like the French Cherie, with the accent on the first syllable. But it’s pronounced just like Sherry. Also, I say “Ditto” to everything you said about Laurel! I LOVE every.single.blog.post!! I can’t get enough 🙂 Sheree & Laurel, have a lovely day!ReplyCancel

      • Sheree Johnson - February 7, 2019 - 5:59 PM

        My name is also pronounced Sherry. But, get called Shur-ee a lot even after they ask me and I tell them. I just go with it. Lol Y’all have a great day!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 6, 2019 - 10:16 PM

      Hi Sheree,

      I’m so glad that you’re enjoying the blog! My best friend in childhood shares your name and spelling which I don’t see very often.ReplyCancel

  • GL - February 6, 2019 - 9:18 AM

    Some lovely displays here, Laurel. I’ve seen 2 asymmetric displays that work, and have used one myself (plates in a curve shape) which I think works. I note that in some pics the symmetric display involves pairs of identical plates, which looks too deliberate to me — I think same size and shape but somewhat different decoration works better and gives a more “collected over time” look.
    Love James Farmer’s work too! I’m always on the lookout for more from him. I do think that the first of the group of 3 you show depends very much on the repeated red-pink colour of the flowers, the modern still-life and the Brookshaw melon prints, with the plates as a visual pause, as it were. Plates mixed with art work enhance each other. GLReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 6, 2019 - 10:15 PM

      Thank you Gilly! I always love hearing what you have to say.ReplyCancel

  • Parnassus - February 6, 2019 - 9:18 AM

    Hi Laurel, I am on a Notebook PC, using Firefox browser, and just freshly loaded your blog. There is still no check box for comment notification!

    I already filled in the name, email, etc. just in case that is required for the check box, but it definitely is not showing up. I am replying from Taiwan, but have been here since September with no problems since the last time this issue came up.
    –JimReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 6, 2019 - 10:14 PM

      Hi Jim,

      We’re working on restoring the subscribe to comments box. Hopefully, my guy will have it back up soon.ReplyCancel

  • Paula Moreshead - February 6, 2019 - 9:05 AM

    I am so happy that you included James Farmer’s designs in this post…he is probably my favorite designer. He is a fellow southerner, after all:).

    Your blog continues to be a great source of education and inspiration and humor for all of us amateurs out here…Thanks for all of the work that you put into making every post a great one.ReplyCancel

  • Em - February 6, 2019 - 8:48 AM

    I went into this post thinking “meh, plates” but went ahead bc you’re so fun to read and I always learn something. And now you have me thinking…”plates!”

    Loved the ones interspersed with artwork!ReplyCancel

  • Christine Goepp - February 6, 2019 - 8:47 AM

    I hope you don’t get so afraid of giving offense that you stop making your funny, ascerbic comments. To me they are a refreshing and unique part of the blog and you have plenty of praise as well to balance out the salty/sweet. In terms of communication they are useful. The “don’ts” really help to clarify what you are talking about.ReplyCancel

  • Anne - February 6, 2019 - 7:52 AM

    Lovely post to start my day with. Thanks SO much for introducing us to Greg Irvine – I don’t like clutter, but he makes it look interesting and inspiring and his paintings are gorgeous. And for the recommend of the 2 books. It’s our birthday month Laurel, I think we deserve to get both!ReplyCancel

  • Barbara Kemp - February 6, 2019 - 7:36 AM

    Good morning! Having my cup of tea and reading your post. Yes, indeed I do like those plates on the wall. Ah, the blue and white, so beautiful.

    Now that Greg Irvine and his stuff! My, my I have a headache just thinking about all the dusting. Yes, some of us do our own dusting!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 6, 2019 - 9:02 AM

      He is an original, for sure! but, I would be happy for an invite and wouldn’t dream of insulting the dear man.ReplyCancel

  • Dolores Pap - February 6, 2019 - 7:33 AM

    Ohhhh..Laurel! Plates on walls make me happy because I love color, the rhythm of multiple plates and I don’t mind clutter.
    And you’ve found the most beautiful, ravishing collection of ‘plated’walls!
    I love plates on walls so much that for the summer, I hang up a collection of antique brown and white plates on the brown shingle wall of my front porch.
    My husband had heart failure when he saw them nailed up on ‘his’ cedar shingles 🙂
    xoxoReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 6, 2019 - 8:57 AM

      haha! Men are such funny creatures, but we love them just the same!ReplyCancel

  • Ann - February 6, 2019 - 7:31 AM

    I love decorating with plates on the wall and have done it many times in my home…often with plates from Home Goods because that is in my budget. Always symmetrical and usually framing a mirror or art. I don’t dislike most of your “don’ts”. They just look more modern to me 🙂

    I just love Wednesday and Sunday mornings…Thanks!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Diana Bier - February 6, 2019 - 6:50 AM

    Wow, Laurel, I just love every single photo in this post. Far from giving a cluttered look, plates as wall decor give a warm, homey feel to a room. I have them in my living room, dining room, and kitchen.
    I know most of the designers you featured, but I’m going to have to research James Farmer. He’s adorable! I had no idea that you can’t copyright book titles. Wonder why?
    And Charles Faudree–I’ve always loved him, and his books are wonderful. He is indeed missed.
    Thanks again for a visual treat!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 6, 2019 - 8:54 AM

      Hi Diana,

      It’s true about the titles and that goes for the title of anything; film, song, etc.ReplyCancel

  • Parnassus - February 6, 2019 - 5:40 AM

    Hello Laurel, These are some beautiful and interesting interiors you have presented, but I am still not sure if hanging plates is my thing. One problem with plates on walls is that they can look spotty. In the how-to-hang tutorial, she states that a certain kind of holder can “let go suddenly” but then shows how it was used to hang an arrangement of plates over a bed!

    Many of these plate vignettes remind me of the old Victorian art of arranging diatoms on microscope slides. If you haven’t seen these, just search “diatom slides” then choose images. They are amazing!
    –JimReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 6, 2019 - 8:51 AM

      I did have to look up diatom slides, but chuckled quite a bit about “then choose images.” I’ve done that thousands of times over the last I don’t know how many years. I remember when my son taught me that. I believe he was still in high school, so it was before June, 2008.

      I would not put plates over a bed unless there’s a way that they are 100% secure!ReplyCancel

  • Mary M - February 6, 2019 - 12:40 AM

    Hi Laurel,

    Genius as usual. Looking at the plate display that’s off center, it looks like there’s a door on the left and on the right is a cupboard door that has to open. Something has to be done differently, but don’t ask me what. Enjoyed more of your brilliance!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 6, 2019 - 1:38 AM

      Hi Mary,

      Thank you so much. I’d probably leave off the two pieces on the right. OR, not put up shelves there. They’re purely decorative.ReplyCancel