Decorating With Serving Dishes

I have a ton of serving dishes and hostessy type items. I guess I could pack them away safely until I was serving someone something or hosting a baby shower but, I’d rather use and enjoy them all the time.

I use this two tiered platter thing {what are these called? I know they have a name} in my bathroom.  Stocked with soaps and brushes I’ve collected or been gifted over the years it looks lush and reminiscent of a bread and breakfast.   For those of you wondering, I don’t have a sofa in my bathroom, just really bad lighting so I had to take the photo in the living room.

You are sick of me talking about my plates on the wall.  I reserve this space for serving dishes and platters and plates that I don’t really need to use.   Dishes can be found so inexpensively that you can cover a wall with them for a lot less than a piece of art.

I use plate hangers found at Hobby Lobby or Wal-Mart or Lowe’s Depot to hang my plates.

I’m not sure if this urn is a serving dish, but I use it for silverware when we have a buffet so I’m calling it a serving dish.  When we don’t have a buffet, I use it for markers and such.

Our fall centerpiece was anchored on a square tray.

Some other fall stuff looked all nice tucked in a pitcher and square urn thing.

Grouped with my apothecary jars is a cheese cover and a dessert stand.  Can you find them?

And of course the hutch is another great way to decorate with your serving dishes.

Look, another one of those things, this one has 4 tiers and I usually keep it in my office, again, bad lighting today.

This over sized white ceramic tray looks great holding a turkey but for all those nights when I don’t prepare a whole turkey for dinner, it serves up candles and other pretty items.

Sometimes I use a ceramic tray on the coffee table to hold the remote {warning, do not try this at home if you have toddlers}.

Other times I pretend like my platters are art and set them on a display thing.

How are your serving dishes serving you?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. I love it all! AND, I want to know what paint color is on the wall under your kitchen’s bar??

  2. When my Mom died, I inherited her china cabinet which I luuurrvve…it’s tall but not chunky, mirrored inside back so it’s got some extra sparkle. My china and crystal had been in our server all these 12 years, used only for the elusive special occasion. Now it’s in the cabinet, which is in our living area because it’s so pretty and I love our china and mixed with our various antique silver pieces and large platters it is art. I am enjoying as is for now, but ultimately I would like it house a mix of what we love….some old books, antlers on platters, found on the ground thing-y’s., ferns in sugar bowls, etc, like one big still life with a moveable installation. Behind glass doors, so I don’t have to dust it. Amen.

  3. So many wonderful idea’s. You have such a great eye for arranging. I’m sure to always find inspriation on your blog.

  4. I do have some platters hanging or sitting on those easel type things. They are not pieces that I actually use though. I love old dishes and use little bowls, etc. for flower pots, a bone dish for a soap dish, a small transfer ware piece for a planter, etc. I do decorate with dishes, but don’t swap between using and decorating with them. If that makes sense!

  5. One of the first things you inspired me to do (after mistreatments) was to use my cake stand in the bathroom. It is holding a photo of my babies on the beach and some shell/coral pretties. I think I’ve pulled that dish out to hold a cake only ONCE since repurposing it for the bathroom! What a shame it would be to keep that pretty dish under the cabinet the other 364 days a year!

    Also…I glued a pillar candlestick holder to the bottom of a glass jar type-thingy (maybe an apothecary jar?) so the glass jar would be taller. I absolutely love it! I got that idea from you, too! :)

  6. I have a plate and platter fetish too!

  7. “How are your serving dishes serving you?”

    I really like that question. Far too often I allow myself to be ruled by my possessions, carefully using them only for one purpose, as if they were sacred. I love this reminder to make my things work for me, not the other way around!

  8. I think you need to do another pants-on-the-ground remake: “Plates on the wall, plates on the wall…”

  9. I used mine last week to serve up a little Rachel Ray’s Steakhouse Shepherd’s Pie, green beans Julia Child style and some Sister Schubert’s. We were all smiling.

  10. Service with a smile! Love your creativity! I am currently looking for a tiered serving tray!

  11. What a great post! Such a simple but wonderful idea! Just yesterday, I put a silver-ish tray I got at a thrift store on my bedroom dresser and put all the little random items I use on it with a little lamp. It makes everything look so much fancier and more intentional, instead of just like everything landed there.

    I love how your blog makes me think outside the box. I have to tell you, I found your blog just before Christmas and around that time I was having friends over for dinner. I realized at the last minute that I didn’t have a centerpiece. I briefly contemplated a quick run to the store but then remembered a small Christmas tree I had used on my desk last year and did not use this year. I grabbed it and bent the branches apart in the middle to make it look like a garland and cover up the trunk. I laid it on a pretty linen towel and threw a bow and some other leftover items from wreath-making into the branches. Presto! A centerpiece in ten minutes that cost me nothing! I thought to myself, I think the Nester would be proud of me. :)

    It wasn’t perfect, but I thought it was beautiful.

  12. I’m the fool that lets those fancy serving racks sit in my cupboard. I come across them and think to myself, “I need to use these more, they take up a lot of space in these cupboards.” DUH. Thanks as always!

  13. This is one the tips in my kitchen organization guide! Using pretty dishes around the house is lovely. I have these tiny bowls my Japanese mother-in-law gave me that sit stacked on a simple white platter on my mantle. I use that tiered thingy, too, except I use it to hold fresh fruit and vegetables on the counter. And I have pretty bowls holding keys and junk on the desk and entry table so at least that clutter is contained in something nice. Yay! I love this tip!!!

  14. I love the idea for the bathroom, it’s a great way to display beautiful soaps.

  15. TJ Maxx is a great place to find them inexpensively, too. I have some that range from $4. to $7. from there.

  16. Love it! I use serving trays for makeup and toiletries in the bathroom and I also use a serving tray for condiments on the kitchen counter. I like how it looks, but I also like that I can move easily and clean under them.

  17. Omg I love serving dishes, I’m attempting to make a collection so I can decorate like this.

  18. I love the plate display, and often decorate with plates and tiles. I usually use these adhesive plate hangers since I don’t want the wires to show.

    You can even use the adhesive hangers on plates like the square plate with ridges shown above. I would just use two small adhesive hangers to avoid the ridges, or even cut one larger hanger.

  19. Hi Nester! I just found your site via TheBlogFrog, and I’m so glad I did! I love these decorating ideas, especially the plates on the wall. What I like best is simply using what you already have, and enjoying your items rather than leaving them hidden in kitchen cupboard. That’s just wonderful. Thank you for the inspiration :-)

  20. I just instituted a “Plate O’ Praise” yesterday when I couldn’t find a ding or even a dang piece of paper. I grabbed a dry erase marker and a platter and wrote a thank you note to each member of my family and put it on the dinner table. Imagine my surprise today when my husband had written me a thank you note on it today. My older two boys were arguing over who got to write a praise on it tomorrow. I think it’s here to stay. Or at least until the novelty of it wears off.

  21. It goes without saying that I love your ideas. Because I am a blog stalker I also inspect every detail of your pictures. I love the door on the wall of your bar. I would love to see more wide angle pictures of your home. Your home is simply gorgeous! It has lots of color without being overwhelming–which is where I am afraid my home is getting to-overwhelming. Love your site, love your taste and love your ideas!

  22. I love using my big platters and fancy plates as decor. I have an easle on top of my entertainment center that I change out regularly with my nice platters or seasonal dishes. It’s a great way to display family heirlooms, too. I have a platter from my Great-Grandparents 50th anniversary that I use as a decor item. I can see it often, without the worry of using it as a real dish (which is worrisome with an heirloom).

  23. I have a few on the wall (which I LOVE) and I use a really pretty plate with handles to put my napkins and salt and pepper shakers on. I’m thinking I want to replace it and put the pretty one back on the wall where it was originally. I would love to get more from thrift stores to use around the house.

  24. Thanks for some wonderful ideas! We are moving into a smaller space soon & I look forward to using some of these ideas to actually display more/store less!

  25. I love, love, love the wide ribbon bow on the lamp shade! What a great idea!

  26. The last few posts have been so, so awesome. I’ve really been inspired. Thanks!

  27. I am going to drag some of those big suckers out of the laundry room and put them to work right now!

  28. Very cute, right now my serving dishes-cake stand-holds up a vase on my table. I wish I had the covered dishes.

  29. Hi Nester!
    I really love your approach to decorating with ordinary things in unordinary ways. I guess your style makes the unordinary extraordinary! The plates always catch my eye. I love to use them to fill wall space cheaply but with panache! My personal style is rather traditional and classic and most of the tips you share translate really well to my house and to some of my customers. I just wanted to stop by and let you know that I really enjoy your blog and your unordinary, extraordinary flair! I’ve pretty much stopped blogging for a season. So much to do, so little time but I try to get over here to visit you at least 3 times per week! Keep up the inspiring commentary. God bless you today!

  30. I love how those soaps and brushes look all piled up on that serving tray. You truly are a born redesigner–you have such a talent for making anything look good!

    PS- I’ve never heard the term “bread and breakfast” before. Is that where people go to stay when they go AWOL from an Atkins retreat? :)

  31. Love all of the ideas. I have 3 – two tiered serving “things”. I keep one on the counter with colorful, everyday dishes in it. I think I’ll pull the other 2 out and find a good use for them. I really like the 4 tier one you have – never seen one like that before. Thanks for all you share.

  32. Oh, I laughed 80% of the way down when you gave the “don’t try this at home with toddlers” warning! It looks gorgeous but I am 20 years minimum away from this kind of decor!
    And the tiered servy-thingee? Is called an epergne. It was one of my mother’s very favorite words and she had a lovely, dainty one. (Pronounced ay-PERRN.) Thanks for the thoughts of my mother and her collection of fun words! (Her very favorite? Laigniappe, which is the “little extra freebie thrown in.”) Thanks for the smile today!

  33. hi there, just found your blog while reading my cousins ‘reluctaant entertainer’. Love what you did with you dishes. I am passing this on to my daughters.

  34. These pieces are perfect to adding some life to any room !

  35. Shelly Conlon says:

    Not sure if you will get this, but I have a question. Under the bar area by the stools, is that a door you painted and hung there??? I love it! Want to make sure-I have a space similar to that and my try it!

  36. so cute all the ideas.

    Anyone have any for me i appreciate them.

    I have a star of david collection i would love to set out but no real china cabinet just a hutch

    Some older pottery pitchers and huge Turkey tray .

    Need ideas on how to display them so they look nice

Speak Your Mind