Plate Display Ideas

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Plates are an inexpensive and colorful way to decorate. So take yours out of the cupboard and try some of these great ways to display them.

Behind Bars

A simple plate rack is elevated to work of art with color-coordinated pieces of simple china. Place dishes you use often on the rack to make it as practical as it is beautiful.

Biggest Effect

For collectible plates you don't use, why not go for major artistic impact? Install plate wall-hangers and group the plates in a large cluster for a jaw-dropping display.

Simple Beauty

Sometimes the simplest display is the best. Here, rich wood sets off the lustrous green of these plates.

Color Add-In

Plates are a great way to add color to an otherwise neutral room. Try grouping brilliantly colored plates together for a true style statement.

The Great Wall of China

Display your entire collection with this easy formula: paint a wall in a complementary or contrasting color to your china collection. Mount unfinished wood shelves (have them cut at your home improvement's lumberyard) and fill in with your collection.

All Symmetrical

Here, an arrangement of blue-and-white plates and platters gains interest from a range of blue tones and a variety of sizes, framed in a vintage-look pine cupboard.

On View

Take advantage of glass-front cabinets to display treasured pieces of china. Teapots fill this small cupboard with color and shape.

Wall Art

Plate hangers are inexpensive, readily available in hardware stores and antiques malls. Clip the hooks onto collectible plates and platters to hang them up in an attractive display over a mantel.

Color Contrast

Painting the interiors of shelves and cabinets helps set off prized collections. Black-and-white china gets a shot of interest when arranged in front of the coral-hued backdrop.

Circle of Transferware

In this room, pink transferware plates are hung in an arrangement that is circular, creating a large presence on the wall for a very modest expense.

Surprise Inside

Have leftover wallpaper or fabric? Covering the interior walls of a cupboard not only gives you a lovely surprise when you open the door, it highlights the china and glassware as well.

Display Tips

Removing cabinet doors is a simple way of opening up your kitchen landscape. The downside: you'll lose storage space since items will need to be neat and uncluttered. The upside: your view can be updated whenever you wish with new colors and arrangements.

Vertical Lines

Extend the height of furnishings underneath by hanging platters on the wall overhead. This small cupboard, elevated on a small table, looks almost regal with the addition of three platters lined up on top.

Repeating Color

Decorating with plates gives you a good option for repeating colors within a room. The blue-and-yellow tablecloth fabric sets the color scheme, so yellow walls get a shot of interest from the blue plates arranged in an oval shape.

Along the Wall

Plates play a big part in this attractive galley kitchen. Look for their charm in the glass cabinets, over the door, vertically on the refrigerator wall, and lined up along the serving counter.

Shape and Size

Are you stuck with a boring white kitchen? This room shows how interesting it can be with the addition of one contrasting color (here a warm wood tone). The shallow wood cabinet acts like a window over the sink, with a view of sculptural china shapes.

Over the Top

A high cabinet lends a cozy feeling to the sofa below. Glass doors and a lighted interior allow a collection of colorful plates to accent this neutral room.

Striped Sensation

Solid green and white plates hold their own against a strong background of stripes. When working on this kind of arrangement, be sure to group related items and distribute various color on all shelves.

Backsplash Accent

Four saucers stand upright to bring more color to the sink area in this cottage style kitchen. More blue-and-white china is seen on the shelves above, making blue the strong accent color in the space.

Plate Rack

Stock a blank wall with style using a shallow three-shelf plate display rack. When the shelf is painted with the wall color, it blends in and appears more like an architectural element.


A lovely pine hutch can be a great storage and display piece in a dining area. Avoid cluttering the shelves, opting instead for studied arrangements of colorful dishware. For interest, include other items like candlesticks and plants.


Creamware plates add more tone-on-tone style to a dining room done in neutral tones. Propped up on stands, more plates are displayed inside the china cabinet.

In the Pink

Part shelf, part window treatment, this plate display spans the width of a window with color and style. Mixed plates, platters, teapots, and smaller pitchers combine to make an eye-catching display.


A set of plates can become art when hung in precise alignment. A dozen black-and-white dishes bring attention to the focal-point windows and echo the fabric colors.

A Scene in Green

Green relates each of these plates to the others, but it is the woodland theme that underscores the theme of the display. Perfectly housed in a vintage pine hutch, the arrangement is accented with small creamers and a lamp.

Over the Top

The rule of threes, or odd numbers, is evident in this mantel display. Five plates arch over three fern prints. Each corner of the mantel includes an arrangement of a sconce plus two other items.

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