How to Curate a Plate Wall Display

Tips and ideas for mixing and matching vintage plates for a chic plate wall display!

Top down perspective of varied vintage plates laid out on rug with hammer, nails, and measuring tape. Great way to curate a plate wall display.

Plates, plates, plates EVERYWHERE!

Each one of these round beauties is a little work of art in my opinion, and I love to hang them on my walls to enjoy. Seriously, I don’t think there is one room in my house without a plate on the wall…OK maybe the bathroom, but I’m coming for it eventually!?

Love decorating with antique and vintage plates as much as me?

Decided you want to decorate your wall(s) with plates too?

Now what? How do you go about curating a grouping of plates for maximum effect?

That’s what this post is all about: how to curate a plate wall display and mix and match the right vintage or antique plates!

First off, decide whether you are decorating around something like a mirror or work of art. If so, you’ve got to coordinate those elements and let the style and colors of that piece direct your plate grouping.

Next, think through the wall space. How much is there? Is the space tall and narrow or are you going to take up the whole wall? The amount and shape of the space will dictate how many plates and possibly their size.

Additionally, let’s not forget sentiment! Is there an heirloom china set you’ve always wanted to do something with from one your grandmothers? Or maybe there’s a plate you picked up antiquing while traveling….Use those sentimental pieces, and your plate wall display will mean so much more!

Tips to Curate Your Plate Wall Display:

By the way, almost all the plates in an August 2020 flash sale on Instagram!

You can shop available plates on P&P here.

Dresden floral plate wall idea with brass sconces

Stick with one style, theme, or motif!

If you are a fan of matchy-matchy or really love a particular style china pattern or motif this tip is for you! You can choose a particular style, time period, pattern, or geographic location as a theme.

Take the Dresden florals to the left – they harmonize in this amazing way because the florals are rendered in a similar style. The colors coordinate and this plate grouping just pops off the wall!

Go for a bold color combo!

Pink and green like the plates pictured to the right is a fantastic color duo that will always be chic and whimsical. Other classics include blue and white, blue and green, or brown and white.

Whatever colors you choose for your plate wall make sure they coordinate with the overall color scheme of the room. But don’t be afraid to make this wall decor stand out by choosing a bolder accent color(s).

Pink and green vintage plates laid out on rug for curating a plate wall display

Vintage plates laid out on rug in blues and yellows for a color coordinated plate wall idea.

Consider the Busyness of Each Plate Pattern!

I’m a huge fan of mixing patterns, and I don’t believe every plate has to coordinate perfectly as long as the colors harmonize.

But you should pay attention to how busy each pattern on the plate is and give the eye a break by including a plate or two with a less detailed or hectic pattern.

For example, the grouping to the left features several plates with blank centers this gives the grouping balance and lets the eye rest moving from one detail to the next.

Mix florals with Classical motifs!

One of the best partnerships for a plate wall display is the match of Classical scenes with pretty florals. It’s timeless, chic, and just feels right!

Think Wedgwood Jasperware or Spode’s Italian Scenes paired with Dresden style florals or sweet Victorian roses. Many of the classically themed plates will include florals on them as well, so take a cue from those designs for your partner plates.

Scalloped edged plates add visual interest to a plate wall display like this pink petal dish

Vary the Size and Shape!

Add in plates in varied sizes with different shapes and interesting rims for the most visually appealing plate wall grouping. Most plates are round that’s a fact, but you can find platters and dessert plates in oval or square designs. Mix those in to keep your plate wall interesting.

Additionally, many plates have beautifully scalloped or gadrooned rims. Use these plates to create contrast with the other perfectly round edges. The more decorative rims will also let your wall color pop through in a fun way!

Mix Other Decor with Your Plate Wall Display!

Use other wall decor like sconces and decorative moldings to break up the repetitiveness of the plates. Candle sconces are easy to find in a variety of styles that will work with your plate grouping. The touch of candlelight reflected against the plates will also create a gorgeous sparkle effect in the evening!

You don’t see gilt or brass wall moldings very often anymore, but they are out there and come in beautiful motifs like florals and bows that will amp up the femininity of your plate wall.

Pink and green antique plates with vintage bow wall moldings

Vintage plates laid out on rug to curate a plate wall with Katherine's feet in the corner.

Get you hammer and nails ready my friends! These plates are coming in hot for Thursday’s sale, and I just bet you’ve seen one you love! How could you not — these little round beauties are works of art.

I hope you feel inspired and more confident to decorate your walls with plates! If you need some help figuring out how to hang them, I’ve got a great tutorial here that shares my secret method for installing a plate wall.

If you love the look but just don’t want to decorate a plate wall on your own, I’m happy to design a custom plate wall just for you. I’ll hunt for and find the plates, design the layout, and order the supplies. Fee starts at $150. Email me to get started!

Ta ta for now!

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  1. […] sources from left: Kitchn, Pender and Peony, One Kings […]

  2. Laura on July 1, 2023 at 12:48 pm

    Where did you get the light blue wallpaper? It looks beautiful with the dishes. I have dishes that I want to display in my kitchen.

    • Katherine on July 12, 2023 at 2:40 pm

      Hi Laura, the blue background is actually a rug. These were all photographed on the floor. The rug was a bargain buy from Target years ago. Check out York Diamond Gate wallpaper for a similar design.

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