40 Plate Walls That Serve Up Inspiration

There's no need to wait for an occasion to show off your best china.

Turkey Plates

Laurey W. Glenn

A good set of china is a point of pride in Southern homes. As far as we’re concerned, an occasion to break out the china is reason enough to celebrate. We look forward to setting our dining room tables prettily with our best dishes and silver almost as much as we look forward to the actual meal. However, there’s no need to wait to show off your favorite plates. A nice set of china is like a piece of art and deserves to be displayed like it.

Using china as decor around the home is a classic Southern design move. Our grandmothers used plates to decorate their homes for as long as we can remember, and many of our most admired Southern interior designers continue to do it to this day. Give your plates a home on your walls to make a stunning design statement that is as nostalgic as it is trendy. Not only is it a fabulous opportunity to show off your prized plates, but it looks spectacular too. From shelves to cases and permanent fixtures on the wall, here are our favorite ways to decorate walls with plates.

01 of 40

Plate Gallery Wall

plate gallery wall

A gallery wall is a particularly trendy way of showing off an assortment of your favorite wall decor—from framed art to sculptural pieces, and of course, plates. This creative idea pulls from your china cabinet to create a stunning display that shows off your best dishes.

02 of 40

Breakfast Nook Display

Amy Berry Designed Dallas House Breakfast Nook with Tulip Table and Wooden Chairs
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Jenny O'Connor

Having plates on the wall just above where there are plates on the table is just fitting. Hang china in your dining room, kitchen, breakfast nook, or wherever your family enjoys meals.

03 of 40

Oyster Plates

2. A Formal(ish) Dining Room
Maura McEvoy Photography

Dinner plates aren't the only dishes that deserve a spot on your wall. Oyster plates also make for lovely decor, as do other creative dishes like deviled egg plates. These more specific platters come in intriguing shapes to suit specific foods rather than even circles, which adds even more appeal when they're used as decor.

04 of 40

Plate Library

Shelves of books

Jeff Herr; Design by Mallory Mathison Inc.

Plates aren't limited to rooms like the kitchen or dining room where you might also be eating off of them; Try using them to decorate unexpected spaces, too. Here, the designer uses gorgeous china as decor amidst a lovely living room library.

05 of 40

Assorted Collection

Country Estate in Wales
Andreas von Einsiedel

When choosing plates to decorate with, opt for a full set of your finest china, or go for a more mis-matched collection. Individual pieces gathered over time can be displayed together for charming, eclectic styling.

06 of 40

Border Patrol

Repurpose an Unused Room

Rather than a vignette of plates on the wall, style a structured border high up near the ceiling, encircling the whole room. This way, guests will be able to admire your plates no matter which direction they face.

07 of 40

Shelf Life

SL Idea House Plate shelf kitchen
Designer: Charlotte Harris Lucas; Photographer: Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Kendra Surface

Rather than allowing your prettiest plates to collect dust on a hidden shelf in your cabinet, bring them out into the open and optimize your shelf display. Don't stack them on top of another. Instead, organize a layered look with your most artful dishes in front.

08 of 40

Readily Available

Layer Neutrals for a Relaxed Look
Laurey W. Glenn

If you are looking to have your cake and eat it too, arrange a display that allows you to show off your china then easily remove it from its post to serve dinner on. Rather than a more permanent fixture on your wall, use display stands to prop up your best plates.

09 of 40

Bright White

Vary Your Finishes
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn, Styling: Matthew Gleason

While we adore showing off our most artful and intricately designed china, we still appreciate the classic beauty of white plates. Style white china against darkly painted walls to best showcase their simple allure.

10 of 40

Wall To Wall

Install a Plate Rail

China here, china there, china everywhere! As far as we're concerned, there's never too many plates in a room. Display yours across multiple walls in one room, using a variety of arrangements and patterns.

11 of 40

Tucked Away

Add Pattern with your China
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

A china cabinet is a classic way of keeping your best serve-ware safe. A tall, glass-front cabinet can be both beautiful and functional if you arrange your plates tall and proud to shine through.

12 of 40

Here And There

Built in Bookshelves with Pink Backs
Laura Negri Childers

The beauty of a whole plate gallery wall or display speaks for itself, but the subtle style of china shown off one by one as details amongst other decor is equally stunning. Mix in plates on shelves, table-tops, or wherever you have other decorations.

13 of 40

In Frame

Buffett Dresser Display with Large Mirror and Plates
Laura Negri Childers

Organize china on a wall to surround another feature like a door frame, painting, or mirror. Here, the china details are included below the mirror being framed as well, set on the table rather than hung on the wall.

14 of 40

Main Course

Dining Room Bar Cart with Vintage Portrait Above
Laura Negri Childers

A single, big plate can be all you need to make a strong impression. Choose a large and in-charge dish from your collection that's worthy of the main course for serving up style on your wall.

15 of 40

Woodland Whimsy

Dish Display
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn / Styling: Anne Turner Carroll

Cute creatures like birds, dogs, and rabbits are a classic motif that we have loved long-time for china. Use your best woodland plates to create a rustic display that will fit right in a stylish farmhouse.

16 of 40

A Matter Of Platters

Magnolia in Bowls on Buffet
Laurey W. Glenn

Don't limit your wall display to plates; show off your best platters too. These party essentials come in many different shapes and sizes that come together for a fascinating and fashionable arrangement.

17 of 40

Mantel Display

Nicola McLaughlin San Antonio, TX Home Living Room After
Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

Organize china on top of your fireplace for an eye-catching mantel that will never go out of style. Here, display just a few plates—big or small, matching or mis-match—that suit your other decor and wall art.

18 of 40

Stay On Theme

Chest with Antiques

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

When looking to decorate a space from scratch, stick to an overarching theme to guide your decor. Here, plates, framed art, and sculptures stick to a charming farmhouse motif including their color schemes and subjects.

19 of 40

Form A Vignette

Mountain Cottage Living Room with Exposed Beams and Plaid Chairs
Brian Bieder

Get your plates in a row to build a sure-fire statement with just a few pieces. A small space or smaller wall is a lovely location for a limited display of china with a big impact.

20 of 40

Matching Set

Cottage Kitchen with Wood Beams Overhead and Plate Collection
Brian Bieder; Interior Design: Maggie Griffin Design

Mis-matched china with a coordinating color scheme can be lovely, but a matching set on display together is oh so satisfying. Show off your complete set of china hung on the wall or facing outwards on shelves.

21 of 40

Cottage Details

Cottage Details
Laurey W. Glenn

Different plate patterns suit different room styles. Choose china to display that matches your decorating style, like this ornate and delicate platter and costal twin dishes that effortlessly complement this light and bright kitchen.

22 of 40

With Other Best Hits

China Cabinet of Silver China
Laurey W. Glenn

Plates aren't the only table-setting that Southerners hold dear. Show off your favorite china, and your prized silver and crystal, too.

23 of 40

Fanciful Foyer

Norman Askins Gothic Foyer
Helen Norman

No part of the home is a bad choice for plates on the wall. This entryway display is sure to serve up a good first impression when guests enter the home.

24 of 40

Antiques And Heirlooms

The Kitchen
Photo: Helen Norman

Shiny, new plates make for a stellar display, but so do the dishes that have been retired from the dinner table. Handed-down, distinguished dinnerware may have seen better days for eating on, but they hold up as incredible decor, no matter how much wear and tear they have.

25 of 40

Side Dishes

Dapper Deer Wreath
Photo: Hector Sanchez

Dinner plates, salad plates, bread plates... all are welcome on the wall! A combination of different plate sizes is dynamic and interesting when displayed together.

26 of 40

Single File

Treasure Chest
Photography by Laurey W. Glenn,

Arrange your plates in a pattern that seems abstract but is actually well thought out, or go for a simple, straight line. This is a clean, classic, and refined look that we'll never get tired of.

27 of 40

Bedroom Display

Khaki Gingham Guest Bedroom
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

Eating in the bedroom may not be allowed in your household, but plates sure are. Bring the dishes into the bedroom, too. Here, plates are interspersed among framed art above the headboard to create a lovely, dynamic arrangement.

28 of 40

Close Quarters

The Bunkie Kitchenette
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

Rather than trying to find perfectly-sized art to decorate a small space, take advantage of varying sizes of plates. This idea maximizes storage space and can beautify even the tiniest of nooks and crannies.

29 of 40

Brilliant Blue And White

Dining Room
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

Around the home and with china, blue and white is a color combination that can't be beat. Showcase blue and white plates to complement a blue and white room—or any room, really.

30 of 40

Fill Small Walls

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn; Design: Bunny Williams

Not sure what to do with that small, blank wall? Use plates to stylishly fill any space that feels empty, adding as many dishes as you need to cover it.

31 of 40

Spruced Up Storage

Pantry with dark blue cabinetry and walls
Laurey W. Glenn

Functional storage spaces can also be pretty with the help of some strategically placed plates. Display dishes among open shelving or glass-front cabinets in the kitchen to transform a practical space into an art exhibit.

32 of 40

Family Style

Christina Lynch breakfast bench

Amy Neunsinger

Like a meal, your plate arrangements can have multiple courses. This display includes an array of smaller appetizer plates, and one larger platter that could feed the whole family.

33 of 40

On The Up And Up

Meg Lonergan Houston Craftsman Kitchen
Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Barbara Schmidt

We could never say no to a stair-side gallery, no matter the medium. Whether it's a wall of art, family photos, or collected plates like this one, the wall beside a staircase is a wonderful locale for your most spectacular exhibit.

34 of 40

Wash The Dishes

Pale Blue Bathroom with Navy Freestanding Tub
Carmel Brantley

When we say that plates belong in every room, we truly mean every room. Even washrooms deserve the stylish beauty of a china display like in this whimsical bathtub arrangement.

35 of 40

Embrace Symmetry

Entryway with Teal Wallpaper and Molding
Carmel Brantley

When working with a pair of plates, arrange them to balance one another. A twin set can be organized to mirror each other and frame other symmetrical art.

36 of 40


Allison Allen Floral Dining Room with Ginger Jar and Blue-and-White Collection
Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Elly Poston Cooper

One benefit of having a classic china pattern is that there's likely other decor out there to match. In this dining room, blue and white china displayed in a tall cabinet blends seamlessly with a chinoiserie vase of the same pattern and color scheme.

37 of 40

One At A Time

Jenny Keenan Designed Butler's Pantry in Her Parents Home in Mount Pleasant, SC
Marili Forastieri; Styling: Barbara Schmidt

This stunning cabinet set-up gives each plate, vase, and platter its own stage and frame. Plus, behind glass, these dishes have a layer of protection from the hustle and bustle of the kitchen.

38 of 40

Checker Board

Decorative Wall Plates
Laurey W. Glenn

Take advantage of geometric cues in your china to create an appealing checker board. Use two different patterns of plates to do so or arrange one style to include blank space between the plates to form a checkered illusion.

39 of 40

Accent Wall

China Plates Wall
Laurey W. Glenn

Fill a whole wall with a dazzling display of dishes from top to bottom and side to side. This idea works especially well in spaces with wall paneling to carve out an area to bestow with your best china.

40 of 40

Holiday Dinnerware

Turkey Plates
Laurey W. Glenn

The best decor are pieces that hold special meaning and will remind you of good memories every time you look at them. A gallery of holiday platters will do just that. Arrange a festive display using plates that are demonstrative year-round of your favorite holiday or occasion.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles