Random Plate Wall

Lately I’ve wanted a little change in this front tiny living room so I layered and randomized my white plates {you can see the before photo at the bottom of the post because I like to keep you on your toes}.  It’s the first room you see when you walk in the door and I wanted the wall to have more personality.  But, I have an aversion to most wall art {have I told you that?} I normally only like mirrors and shutters and such.  I guess I have some rare disease  where paintings with much going on drive me crazy. Since we already have a gallery wall, and since I have a collection of odds and ends white dishes that I already had hanging,  I thought I’d just play around with the layout.  I really didn’t know where to start.

Weeks ago I was inspired by Christina’s random plate wall. And I only had my phone to take a photo but, it’s still worth seeing.  Even after looking at other people’s random plate walls, making my own and allowing it to feel organic was daunting.  So, I decided to give myself a challenge to use as many of the current nail holes as possible.  I’ve found that parameters like that usually bring out more creativity than just having a blank slate anyway.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
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If you are in the mood, this is a super cheesy little slideshow showing the process. Watch out, it has music. I couldn’t get iMovies to work right to make my own slideshow and I’m at Blissdom and just spoke to a group of beautiful home bloggers and in this one post alone,  I’m pretty much breaking every suggestion I gave them.  But whatever, rules are meant to be broken.

And because I am writing this post backwards and inside out, I’ll end with the before photo and then immediately move into talking about how I feel about the top photo on this post, the after.  So far, I love the look of the random, layered plates, but, they easily get turned crooked with the closing of doors. And in case you are wondering, here’s how to hang plates on your wall.

Do you have plates hanging on your walls?


  1. oddly enough I loved the music. I watched it three times just to listen to it. I tried to shazam it but it wasn’t recognized! Oh and the plates… they look great!

  2. I had the same problem (with pictures getting crooked — drove me crazy). For several years now, I have used a little ball of poster tacky (you can get it at Wal-mart or any office supply store) at the bottom of each frame to stick it in place. It works very well and will continueto hold until the pic is moved. (Do read the directions, though — it can leave a mark on some surfaces, and since you like to move things a lot, this may be an issue. Our walls are semi-gloss and never have had a problem — I think it probably depends on if you use semi-gloss or flat paint.)

  3. I hope you are having a blast at Blissdom!!! It sounds like so much fun! I love your ever changing plate displays. My favorite plate on the wall is the really tiny one near the bottom, so cute!

  4. For a year before our wedding my mom shopped flea markets and thrift stores for pink and gold vintage china. She eventually collected enough that every place setting at our wedding reception was a different collection of a main plate, a bread and butter plate and a salad plate. We had over 200 guests too, so you do the math! It was gorgeous. I now have 11 of the prettiest plates in various sizes hanging on my dining room wall. It is so fun to look at them and be reminded of our wedding day too.

  5. Laura Douglas says

    What paint color is on the plate wall. Super pretty! Thanks!

  6. love the plates! i just put up a wall of retro mirrors. pretty proud of them (http://caniwalkwithyou.blogspot.com/2011/01/what-else-have-i-been-up-to.html). thanks for sharing your ideas!

  7. I ‘think’ I love your blue paint on the upper half of your walls. Could you please give me the info on it? Thanks so much. And the plates look great!

  8. You’re random plate wall is a THING OF BEAUTY!!! I love how they’re overlapping too. Great job!
    I have a thing for plates on the walls too, but most of mine are wooden with a particular style of Scandinavian painting on them – Rosemaling.
    Hmmpfh…funny that you say you have an aversion to most wall art. I’ve never heard anyone say that.

  9. What a lovely plethora of plates!!
    But, I miss the blue lamp from the before photo. Just sayin’.

  10. This you will love and I cannot believe you haven’t found them yet…they sell these perfect plate hangers at AC Moore and Hobby Lobby only (not at Michaels). They are these little adhesive discs that glue onto the back of a plate. No more messy wires like the old plate hangers have. And, they help the plates hang flush against the wall. Here is a link to what I’m talking about:


    Once you get these hangers, you’ll be in love with them forever! AND…they are not permanent. They easily come unglued with just a little water if you ever want to actually uses your dishes for serving and not for wall art :)

  11. I used to have a ton of white plates but have moved to white frames. I love how tight your plates are now…I am finding I am pulling in all my wall groupings as well…they seem to help small itmes hold their own when they are more tight like that!

  12. Wow, that looks awesome. Who knew plates could make such appealing wall art.

  13. Love it! I love how layered it is and it kind of looks like you are looking down at a table that is stacked with dishes. I would like to see even more layering. Like it’s coming out of the wall. So cool! I might just steal this idea! :)

  14. I do, in my old bedroom, they are random and quite colorful, though I really love the look of your whites for a front room! You can see my plate wall here. I need to get them back up since I’ve moved:


  15. Did you paint that antler white? I would so love to do that but I’m afraid my husband would kill me if I painted one of his. I “hide” our antlers in odd places (like use them as organic material in flower arrangements) because my hunter of a husband thinks that he has to keep them all! eeekkk!

  16. The overlapping makes me nervous and excited…kinda like wearing a 2-piece for the first time. kinda.

  17. Love the look! I dont have many plates on the walls,unless they are mixed in with other “annoying” :D art, mirrors or arranged over the collections on the gorgeous plate rails Daddy made for my first home close to 30yrs ago. They have moved a few times! He built some beauties for Mom, and “angel roost” shelves for her collections,but since he built corner china cabs in the DR when I was 7, I have been hooked on china cabs,with a vignette on every shelf. Having a collector Mom & an artsy fix&build Dad, I just cant get to a place of hanging my “stuff” unless there’s no where else to put them. And since I put weatherstrip on the cab doors to cut down on dust (am allergic) that’s another factor. Love the look tho! Just makes me wanna sneeze. :( -s-

  18. I love it! I especially love how they look as though they overlap. It’s such a beautiful display. We only have one plate hanging in our house. It’s of a chihuahua. Jim’s mom got it for him before she died, so it’s staying even if it isn’t the look I’d like.

  19. How do you hang the plates and not have a zillion holes everywhere, especially since you move them around?

  20. This is totally off topic but I was wondering if you have shared your boys room or have address the topic of decorating a boys room. I am in the process of trying to put together a more sophiscated look for my teenage boys room. I love your style and thought I’d ask.

    The plate arrangement looks great..and I have the same problem with art. I have very little “traditional” art in my home more collages of people I love and mirrors.

  21. It looks great! I really love the random, organic pattern. The video is so fun too…always interesting to see the process.

  22. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE….I especially thought the layering look turned out great!

  23. I LOVE the look…but my husband would have a STROKE at all those nail holes!

    • yes, because as we all know, nail holes are the most impossible, time consuming, and huge repair to make in a home.

      or at least that’s what some men seem to think.

  24. I’m in love! I loved the film and music, I felt like I was watching a silent Italian movie. I was just hoping someone would hand me a glass of Vino! I love the color on your wall also, could you give me the name?


  25. Is your sofa on the plate wall from Pottery Barn? And if so, what is the fabric and color. I was in PB yesterday and saw a sofa I liked, but unsure if the color was right. Also, is it comfy and does it hold up well – 5 kids!!!! Thanks!

  26. I told you via Twitter, now I must tell you via “comments”. Those plates look fantastic on the wall! Especially the overlapping bits. And I want your dough bowl. Immediately. Ship it as soon as you can. ~ karen!

  27. Loved your smilebox…

    loved the plates….BUT

    what was more fun was watching the pillows and throw change on the couch as each plate(s) was hung…they really told a story…Good day to ya!!!

  28. Love the plate wall! You are very creative!

  29. I agree with you about “art” on the walls. Anything to busy or colorful makes me crazy too. Maybe we should start a support group! I do have a few vintage white platters on my wall but I won’t do a lot more because my husband isn’t a fan. Although that probably won’t stop me if I decide to go for it!

  30. Love love love this! Can’t wait to try it in our Dining Room.
    Question: What is the name of the paint color you have on your walls? Do you also have a color on the ceiling?
    New to your Blog, Can’t wait to see more!

  31. I don’t have a plate wall, but I love the look. Your’s looks wonderful…I see a project coming on…

  32. I thought your slide show was cute, btw! Yes, we have a few pictures on our walls but not a whole lot. If I start covering every surface it drives me crazy after awhile and I just want to make things bare and “clean” looking.

    Hope you had fun at Blissdom.

    Elisabeth @ Treasuring the Moments.net

  33. What is the wall color shown here. I have been looking for something like this for ages…colors I see in paint chips are either too blue or too grey…Would you share the paint name/brand ?

  34. I love the look! Matter of fact, I love your whole house. But, I have a question.
    How in the world…..do you have a perfect looking house all the time?
    It’s a bit intimidating to see so much perfection.
    Just tell me…..YOU ARE HUMAN and that you have messes to hide too?
    Or that you stage some of your photos?

    A Mom with a busy/cluttery family! : )

  35. I confess, I liked it better when you had fewer plates. Now it looks more like you are just trying to fill a space. The individualness and intriguing shapes and patterns of the plates is lost in the jumble. But that’s just me:) I do have plates hanging in my kitchen above the cabinets. They are each a different hand-painted design but all the same shape and size. Design colors are blue, yellow, and green on white and my walls are butter. I bought them in Europe because I loved the designs but discovered they are just fired clay so for decoration only!

  36. I prefer the before picture… the plates look too crowded and too busy, it’s so distracting from all the lovely things in your room :) JMO!

  37. ooooooh…. layers…. how fabulous…. i love love love it…. and the artsy asymetry is perfectly executed…. and how the heck do you take such great pictures ALL the time, even with your phone?! goodness me, how you endlessly inspire….

  38. HA! just realized my little photo has grandma’s plates in the background. that’s wicked awesome.

  39. hello nester…my name is kristen….first of all, i just want to say thanks for your blog. a few months ago, i began wanting to fluff my house, but was not sure how to go about it, or what exactly it was that i wanted, and now, after following your blog for a few months, i feel like i have some direction, and am starting to move forward. thanks for all your tips, tricks, and ideas. i have a question….i love the white shelf you have in that last “before” photo. it’s the white one next to your window….i have been trying to find something like it when i go to certain stores, and when i look online, but have been unsuccessful….where did you get it? i totally get that this is a longshot, but i just really like it, so i figured i’d shoot you a message in the off-chance that that would help. thanks again!

  40. Love your plate wall! Thanks so much for linking to my blog and sending some traffic my way. Your blog is fantastic and can’t wait to follow along on all your decorating adventures!

  41. I have recently started collecting plates on my thrift store adventures and need to figure out where and how to hang them…. thanks for sharing your lovely plate wall(s) – the before and after, or after and before ;)

  42. Hi! I was referred to your blog just a few days ago and absolutely love it. I know this is an old post, but I thought I’d share my plates with you anyway. I checked out a few of your links to other folks’ plate arrangements, and the inspiration photos I used for my dining room were some of the photos I saw at those sites. I used to have a large, traditional home and loved hanging transferware plates. Then we moved in May, to a smaller, very modern home, and I wanted to try something unexpected with my plates. So I put blue with red and with black – am still wondering if I love it or not. I have black granite counters and a red fireplace with lots of blue doodads from my other house. Yikes! I haven’t decided what I’ll put on the mantel in our DR yet, but here’s a link to the plate arrangement I settled on. I will be back – God bless you and yours, and your blog is great! Here’s the link so you can see the plates I just put up: http://www.justjulieb.com/the-empty-mantel/

  43. Oh I loved this idea and boy do I have something for you! My Simply Hang it marker tags are perfect for your project! I will send you some…

  44. Patti-Ann says

    I love how you laid them out on the floor and then put them up differently :) The music is awesome BUT how did you get them to overlap???

  45. Hi,

    Do you know where I can purchase the coffee table in the photo above?

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