Monday, February 27, 2012

The Great Wall of China

Last week, I visited "the great wall of china!"
Seriously, I thought I had too many plates, but this takes the cake!
This wall of china is located inside H.D. Buttercup, a fantastic furniture store that I love to frequent.

I saw a similar plate display inside ABC Carpet and Home in NYC last year.
Both displays are by the same British designer, Timothy Oulton.

Hanging plates on the wall is not new.
I've been doing it since I had my first apartment!
I remember collecting bread and butter size plates for 25 cents, all different patterns and hanging them above my kitchen cabinets on the soffit.

Country Living
In fact, I can't remember a house I ever lived in that I didn't hang plates on the wall somewhere!
It is such a great way to fill up a blank wall, especially when on a budget or lacking any kind of art. The above photo is an example of how a few plates, artfully arranged can have visual impact.

You can mix them up, or arrange similar patterns like the red transferware above.

Designer, Jackye Lanham filled a bedroom wall with mulberry transferware plates, creating a soothing and homey feel. Some might say this look is a little too grandma-like.
I think it is quite sophisticated, actually!

She also hung plates on a kitchen wall, surrounding a stainless steel hood using pewter plates.
Genius, I say!

Oh, and Bunny Williams created a gorgeous wall using blue and white platters and plates, surrounding a lovely mirror.

Another one of my favorite designers, Charles Faudree mixed plates and botanicals surrounding a portrait. It's all on a toile background too!
Perhaps that's a little too much visual stimulation....

House Beautiful
A plate display can also be quite simple. The white ironstone looks wonderful on this brown wall, tying in with the white grandfather clock.

House Beautiful
Even just a few plates hung above this bathtub look fabulous.
You wouldn't have to worry about water damage from the steam, that's for sure!

House Beautiful
One of my favorite groupings, using brown transferware and little roe deer trophies.

House Beautiful
Designer John Oetgen created a kind of patchwork quilt effect on his client's family room wall.
I love the Bohemian vibe in this room with the bright pillows and pink cabinet. Perfect for a family with small children.

I'll never forget the first time I saw this arrangement at the Viceroy Hotel in LA.
Designer Kelly Wearstler hung them outside in the patio area. I was blown away!

House Beautiful
Outside or inside, plates are virtually indestructible. That's why hanging them above a stove works. You can always take them down and run them through the dishwasher when they get all yucky from cooking oils.

Don't you just love the way the green majolica looks with the green and white check floor?

I love how fresh this blue and white room looks, especially with the white painted paneling.
I could go on and on...
Let me show you how I've incorporated plates in my decor:

I hung various sizes and colors of majolica plates above the windows in our breakfast room.
These plates aren't particularly valuable and if spread around the house or locked in a cabinet, they wouldn't have been appreciated as much.

Yes, the majolica has replaced the 25 cent thrift store saucers from 40 years ago!
But the idea is still the same.

My two favorite majolica plates flank a European painting above my desk.
I found them at a flea market in Nice and I think they work, filling up this alcove along with the deer trophy.

So if you are intimidated by a big, blank wall and have no idea what to do with it, consider plates.
It doesn't have to be grandma-like. Any kind of plate or platter would work, and chances are you probably already have them in your cupboard!
Consider also, framing a mirror or piece of art with plates, radiating out from the center.
Especially wonderful over a sofa or hall table!


  1. Well, needless to say I LOVE this post, Delores! Thanks for sharing!...hugs...Debbie

  2. Love this post as I hang plates on the wall every chance i get! What really makes my skin peel is when clients think this is "country". Ok, soooooo what is country, and which country?? Absolutely laughable as this is a global classic, just like leopard. It has been going on for ages....... It is up to us to educate the uneducated.
    I have plates hot glued to the bricks outside my home in a seating area on the terrace......What a fabulous little presentation indeed!!!
    * I have been reading your blog for over a year now and this is my first comment. Hanging plates do it for me, and I could not resist! Fabulous post! Thank you for sharing so much of yourself here.OXOX

  3. just love your breakfast room, every time you share i keep wanting a new house to have my own just like it~

  4. So funny you posted this today, I was just thinking that I don't have any plates hanging in this house...a first for me. My mother also displayed dishware on the walls, and I've always had some sort of plate or platter hanging in my house until we moved to this one. I love the pewter chargers in that kitchen, and of course I have always admired your beautiful hanging dishware!

    Kat :)

  5. Great post Delores... LOVE the huge pewter platters in the kitchen. I too have a grouping of transferware with black forest mounted antlers in my office, I adore that look. The great walls of china make our collections look tame. Fun... thanks! ~Jen

  6. I have plates hanging everywhere! One of my favorite old limoges was knocked down and smashed to bits by our kitty, but otherwise they all are safe. My girlfriend and amateur decorator extraordinaire used to have a guest room with all the walls covered in vintage souvenir plates from the states, islands, Europe and even historical events. It was fascinating! And I think the plates in your Faudree photo actually help cool down the room, with the blue, and give the eye a way to move about in that stimulating space! Linda

  7. Oh my goodness such gorgeous displays! I have so much of my mother's blue and white I think I need to buy some hangers and get them on the wall. Thanks for sharing and inspiring!
    Miss Bloomers

  8. The great wall of china does,take the cake! That is a lot of plates! Insightful post.

    I too, have several plates collections in various rooms. It was fun collecting them.

  9. I have always loved plates too. I jokingly say that if I bring home any more my husband may start throwing them at me! Your majolica display is one of the loveliest of them all; some of the displays seem too busy and overwhelming to me but your house just radiates both peace and charm..

  10. Amazing! My favorites are the Lanham bedroom and the black and whites near the bottom...gorgeous!

  11. Birds of a feather ....... guess you know I'm in agreement on this. ;-) Love seeing your majolica plates! The two leaf plates from Nice are gorgeous. ~ Sarah

  12. Every woman in my family is addicted to tableware. Our cupboards overflow and still we want more.

    We all love to entertain, and so we MUST be ready for anything. And, just setting a vignette (as you well knos) is so very satisfying.

    Unbelievable array of plate collections.

  13. I am going to hang some plates this very day

  14. Delores -
    I'm so glad to see you feature Jackye Lanham today. I love her work and , living in Atlanta, I see it in many lovely homes around here. She actually did the interior of our country club. Are you familiar with another Atlanta designer, Dan Carither? He has a remarkable eye for decorating with plates and other porcelin. Loved this post!
    Linda @ A Toile Tale

  15. Wow! As I was scrolling through all the pretty pictures, I thought your breakfast room was another you found on Pinterest. So beautiful!

  16. Love plates on a wall and you have shown some really spectacular and over the top examples. My favorite is in your kitchen! Kathysue

  17. I use the plate hangers that attach with glue to the back of the plate so you don't have those wire contraptions! The glued ones work best on round plates.

  18. What's wrong with grandma, anyway?

  19. Haha! Nothing is wrong with grandma Ann! Good question! Looking back at my grandma, she definitely had style and I was very much influenced by her!

  20. I love your plates on the tastefully done but what really takes my eye is your chandelier. It's fabulous.
    I enjoy you of my most favorite.

  21. I have plates hanging in almost every room in my house. In fact, my friends tell me that I'm obsessed. But that's okay because my plates make me happy, and that's all that matters, right? Love this post!

  22. Great you can see there are a lot of us 'plate junkies' out here. I have plates on several walls. And I'm always thinking about where else I can put them. They are ART. I can see the same sentiments from many comments here..........'they make me HAPPY'. So be it.

  23. I especially love the look of Bunny Williams dining room! So beautiful!

  24. I really enjoyed this post! There were some amazing photos! I always love seeing things in your home, like the majolica plates hung on either side of your painting. Beautiful! Thank you for the inspiration today!

  25. I love this post, Delores. Plates look wonderful on a wall. I am just competing a conversion of my laundry room to function as a butler's pantry. Now that it is painted, it's time to load the walls with plates. Thanks for the inspiration.

  26. Thanks for the inspiration and I love your chandelier over your breakfast table. To die for!

  27. So delighted to find this post, as I've just posted about this, too. I have a number of blue, red and mulberry transfer-ware plates that I want to hang. I photoshopped an image, but wasn't happy. I think I need a center platter and then to space everything around it.

  28. I love this post. Great images, lots of ideas, thank you.


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