How to decorate your home with plates

Decorative plates are a chic update on the popular gallery wall, and one that can add real texture to your interiors. With the incredible range of ceramics you can pick up, both vintage and modern, you can create a chic take on the 1970s trend of plates as art.

Tableware on the walls can look fabulous and there are so many ways you can style them, from vertical plate racks, curated displays, plates hung on coving or within a gallery wall. Whether you’re looking for something stylish and practical or purely ornamental, here’s how to use decorative plates in your home.

Vertical plate racks

Open shelving is a kitchen trend that’s been gaining traction in recent years for a number of reasons. It gives a kitchen a more homely feel, it’s easy to see all of your cookware at once and, most importantly, as a stylish way to show off your crockery.

Why hide your plates away when you can display them as works of art? The humble plate rack is the perfect addition to your kitchen, as it’s both pretty and practical. They aren’t as bulky as a dresser so are good for smaller kitchens and if your plates are in constant rotation, you can keep switching up your collection.

More Joy in 2024 is another key theme for these decorative plates
Image credit: Dunelm

Wall sconces

Wall sconces are one of the oldest types of lighting, as typically there would be a candle or oil lamp mounted to a wall. These days, they’re often decorative, but Pooky has a gorgeous range of wall mounted sconces that are a riff on a simple plate design. Pooky has both electric light sconces (pictured) and a wall mounted candle holder called Celeste, which is a ‘concave moon of lightly hammered brass with a subtle antiqued finish’. Ideal for adding character to your decor.

Add wall sconces to your decor for a chic take on an uplighter
Image credit: Pooky

How to hang your plates

There are two schools of thought when it comes to hanging your plates. First, there’s the ordered and organised way, where everything is measured out. Secondly, there’s the more laid-back approach, where you have an eclectic collection and pop them up randomly. Here, the insouciance is the charm.

If your style is the former, then start off by measuring your wall, so you know the height and width of the area you want to cover. Then sketch out or physically lay your plates on the floor to get the positioning right, and an equal amount of space between them. If you want to be super accurate, draw a template around each plate, cut it out on paper and stick it on the wall. Give your plates a good clean before hanging them and pick your method of choice, invisible plate hangers or disk plate hangers.

Add a vintage display to your walls with these decorative plates
Image credit: Annie Sloan

Add texture

Bring texture and a rustic feel to your interiors by hanging plates in natural materials. Bohemia Design has a fantastic range to choose from, including brightly coloured Moroccan wool and reed plates, and natural woven palm leaf plates.

The Columbia Collective also has a brilliant array of plates that are handwoven on the Pacific coast of Colombia using werregue fibres. Woven plates will add a touch of boho to your interiors and have the added bonus of being more lightweight to hang than ceramics.

Bring a pop of colour to your decorative plates with these Boho chic designs
Image credit: Bohemia Design Limited

Have a theme

Instead of going for random plates, a theme can work really well, especially if you’re hanging your decorative plate wall in the bathroom. Dunelm has teamed up with the brilliant Brixham-based seafood restaurant Rockfish for an illustrative plate collaboration for Dunelm’s Spring/Summer 2024 collection. Not only are the designs gorgeous, the lobster, mackerel and sardine dishes (pictured) are all £5.

Bring a sea theme into your home with these illustrative plates from Dunelm
Image credit: Dunelm

Have one standout piece

You don’t have to have a full collection of plates or a gallery wall of china to make an impact in your home, you can go for one standout piece. Lime Lace has a collection of unique pieces from The Galerie De Portraits and a designer called Rachel Convers, who uses traditional serving trays as her medium to create hanging works of art.

Hang a tray on the wall as a lightweight alternative to plates
Image credit: Lime Lace

Graphic prints

Abode Living’s bold monochromatic plates made by Casa Cubista are just too pretty for everyday use. Each piece is made in Portugal from terracotta and hand glazed with a striking graphic design. They’re super eye-catching and they come in a range of sizes, so you can layer them on the wall.

Graphic plates add a fun bold touch to your walls
Image credit: Abode Living

China plate wallpaper

For plate aficionados who don’t want to hang their favourite plates on the wall, Mind the Gap has come up with a genius alternative. Their Delftware wallpaper features a layered print of the famous 16th century blue and white pottery, which originated in Holland’s Delft. Printed with eco-friendly inks, you get three rolls for £219.

Make sure you hang them with a steady hand: while they have a wow-factor, installation to line up the plates will take some precision.

Take your china obsession to the max with this plate style wallpaper
Image credit: Mind the Gap

Curate a shelf

Decorating your house with plates doesn’t have to be as a standalone display. You can integrate them in a styled shelf or dresser to add texture and a pop of colour. Stack your plates together, overlap them and hang all your teacups on hooks below. It gives a lovely lived-in feel to a home.

More is more in 2024. Fill your shelves with your favourite crockery
Image credit: Molly Mahon

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