Hang plates on a wall to fill blank wall space

Tour interior designer Maggie Griffin’s home

No room is complete without art and wall decor. It showcases your personality and makes a room feel like home. But art can be expensive and intimidating to buy. That’s why we love mixing things up and adding in unexpected elements to help fill a blank wall. One of our favorite, inexpensive tricks? Hang plates!

Hang plates on a wall over a mantel

1. Create a Collection

A dining room is an obvious place to showcase dinnerware. We recently suggested to one of our podcast listeners to take a piece of family china, and use it as a jumping off point for her dining room color scheme. Then we suggested she hang some of that china on her wall to tie the whole space together.

Let a family collection or favorite dinnerware pattern inspire the design of your whole space. Then use the china as a the focal point by arranging it on your wall for impact.

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Fill a small sliver of wall with a collection of plates
2. Fill a Small Sliver

Every room has those tiny slivers of wall that seem useless. We like to dress them up with art, or in this case a collection of Bunny Williams’ Campbell House Dinnerware. Just a grouping down the wall adds color and interesting pattern to otherwise dead space.

Platters hung on the wall in the Southern Living Idea House

Interior designer Margaret Kirkland’s dining room in the 2016 Southern Living Idea House

3. Above a Door

In her dining room in the Southern Living Idea House, interior designer Margaret Kirkland hung antique platters over the door. The pieces echoed the colors in the rest of the room. Pieces up high like this draw your eye up, making the whole space feel larger.

Maggie Griffin adds plates to a gallery wall in her den

Interior designer Maggie Griffin mixed vintage plates into a gallery wall in her den.

4. Mixed into a Gallery Wall

Gallery walls are a fun way to use lots of small, special art pieces together to make a large impact. To break up lots of little squares, add in a plate. It’ll bring more movement and a break in shapes to your gallery wall.

Hang plates over the wall in a bedroom
5. Over a Bed

Of course, plates don’t just belong in the dining room or kitchen. In this guest bedroom with two twin beds, we used a symmetrical grouping of dinnerware to echo the color palette of our bedding.

Hang plates in an arrangement over a mantel piece 

6. Mixed with a Mirror

The rule of thumb for hanging wall decor over a mantel is that the art piece is roughly the same size as the firebox. In this living room, we chose our Rayne Mirror for it’s scalloped border and coppery-blue patina, but it’s on the small size. To fill out the proper amount of space, we surrounded the mirror in Bunny Williams’ Campbell House dinner and salad plates and a pasta bowl. Arranged symmetrically around the mirror, it adds weight, height, and pattern to the mantel.

Bunny Williams' kitchen in the Southern Living Idea House
7. On a Backsplash

Because of their petite size, plates can easily tuck into narrow spaces, like a kitchen backsplash. Add more color to a neutral kitchen by displaying vintage dinnerware, platters, and bowls on your kitchen backsplash, especially over a hutch or in a butler’s pantry.

Interior designer Maggie Griffin's kitchen with plates on the wall

Tour interior designer Maggie Griffin’s home

8. Over a Kitchen Window

Kitchens can quickly feel cold and sterile what with all the stone, stainless steel, and cookware. Warm up a neutral kitchen by hanging some dinnerware over your kitchen window or in tight spaces. The color and pattern will create a more inviting space that you’ll want to spend time in.

10 Ways to hang plates on a wall

Tour interior designer Maggie Griffin’s home

9. Around Your TV

Collections are a great way to inject your own personality into a space. We love the way interior designer Maggie Griffin used a collection of creamware in her breakfast room to add personality and interest around her TV. 

On the podcast, we’re often discussing televisions and the merits of hiding them away or leaving them in plain sight. Maggie’s creamware collection is a great example of how to hang a television in plain sight. 

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