Your Guide to Decorating with Plates

I am a huge fan of decorating with plates. In fact, S and I recently spent a morning adding a plate wall to our dining room. Plates are a great way to add pattern and visual interest to a wall.

Ang, you want me to put plates…on my wall. Who do you think I am? My grandmother?

I know putting plates on your wall can sound dated, but I guarantee, when done right, it looks fresh, current, and adds a whole lot of interest to otherwise boring walls. As an alternative to hanging them—you can also just display them on shelves.

Still not convinced? Let’s look at some inspiration for both hanging plates and displaying them on shelves.


Cathy Kincaid is one designer who frequently uses plates in her designs. She sometimes even goes so far as to have plates on multiple walls in a room.

In the room below, she added plates on either side of the mirror. This adds a little more oomph than just having the mirror by itself.

Cathy Kincaid bedroom
Cathy Kincaid

This living area, also by Cathy Kincaid, has three plates above each painting. This is a great way to add a little extra visual interest. Try my favorite trick. Cover the plates up with your fingers, a piece of paper—anything really. You’ll be able to see how, without the plates, the walls are still pretty, but don’t have that “wow!” factor.

Cathy Kincaid blue living room with plates on the wall
Cathy Kincaid

This pretty vignette features plates displayed on wall brackets and on the chest.

Cathy Kincaid entryway vignette
Cathy Kincaid

Another designer who frequently uses plates in his work is James Farmer.

In this vignette, he added plates on either side of a mirror (sensing a pattern with this?). These pretty plates add an pop of texture and color to this gorgeous space.

James T,”. Farmer vignette with plates on the wall and large gold mirror
James T. Farmer

I love the plate wall in this James Farmer designed kitchen. It’s so cheerful.

James T. Farmer kitchen plate wall withgreen oyster plates
James T. Farmer

In this living room, also designed by James Farmer, plates are displayed on the bookshelves.

James T. Farmer living room
James T. Farmer

How to Hang Plates

There are a few ways I’ve heard of to hang plates. My preferred method is with plate hangers.

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Basically, these spring loaded hangers attach to the edges of the plate. Once hung, you can still see the prongs. However, I like that this method does not damage the plate.

I have also seen people use adhesive discs to hang their plates. I haven’t tried it myself, but with this option, you have the benefit if the hanger not being seen after the plate is hung.

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