diy video: plate wall display how-to

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yesterday afternoon i hopped in a zipcar (and promptly got a parking ticket, grr!) and headed up to williamsburg to visit the lovely ms. amy merrick‘s house. in addition to being the d*s editor in charge of “made with love” and “living in” (did you see yesterday’s godfather post? so cool), amy has one of the coolest homes i have ever seen. thankfully she’s going to let us have a peek for the d*s book, but until then she’s sharing some of her styling expertise with us today.

i’ve been dying to figure out the art of plate walls for some time, as they always seem to look so casually cool and sophisticated in everyone else’s homes, but not mine. i have a tiny one in my kitchen (which you’ll see in lonny mag tomorrow!), using a super simple symmetrical layout, but today amy is going to show us how to create a plate wall that’s more free-flowing. this project is a fantastic way to make the most of collections that have been relegated to dark cabinets somewhere- and is a great chance to save some money by purchasing cracked or chipped antique plates that aren’t food-safe. i hope you’ll enjoy amy’s project as much i did while filming it. looking to pick up some china like amy’s? try searching for “blue & white china” and “flow blue” on ebay.

[Today’s video is brought to you by HomeGoods. Find your personal style by taking the HomeGoods Stylescope Quiz. Join the discussion at HG Openhouse.]

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  1. Lissie says:

    Really cool and lovable result! :)

  2. Sania says:

    Ooo, I’ve been looking for a good guide to a plate wall display, so this caught my eye. Thank you!

    (Rooster lamp is beautiful too.)

  3. amya says:

    I love it! Love the color in your bedroom! Now something else for my collecting list! :)

  4. Joy says:

    I absolutely love this idea, but my concern is that I live in California (earthquake country). Any suggestions on how to make the plates extra, extra secure?

    1. grace says:

      joy

      if you want extra support behind your plates, you can try securing the backs of the plates with “quake secure”: http://www.safetycentral.com/qusereeapuad.html

      my friends in SF swear by it ;)

      grace

  5. Jen says:

    I really like the look created here & I’ve done something similar in my kitchen.

    But- and this might sound completely daft- I wouldn’t want plates above a bed where the headboard’s against the wall. If you use the bed for anything besides sleeping, I’d be wary of one clocking you on the head!

    That “quake secure” sounds smart! sounds

  6. Elena says:

    Looks cute, but boy I sure wouldn’t want any china near my head while my bed is banging against the wall from all the errrmmm….comotion.:-P

    1. grace says:

      hi guys!

      just a quick note- if you’re concerned about- err- movement and the plates, just stick a dab of the quake sure putty behind the plate backs- they won’t go anywhere. if a quake can’t move them, a couple doesn’t have a chance ;)

      grace

  7. mark says:

    What is the make/color name of the wall paint?

  8. style court says:

    In love with Amy’s wall color and the free form composition.

  9. Lois says:

    This project has finally been de-mystified for me, thanks Design Sponge! But where can I buy plate hangers- would they be at a hardware store?

    1. grace says:

      hi lois!

      you can buy them at any hardware store, home depot or linens n’ things type shop- or here online :)

      http://www.theplatelady.com/products.htm

      grace

  10. Thanks for the process for this effortless look.

    I have lots of plates that have unusual shapes (scalloped, hexagonal, etc.). Having never done this, are those hangers able to be used for them or are there special plate hangers?

    1. grace says:

      lydia

      we prepped all sorts of amy’s plates for the shoot and the hangers definitely work on most shapes- scalloped plates are especially good because there are deeper dips for the hanger arms to sink into. :)

      grace

  11. I have always wanted to do this! Thanks for the tips!

  12. heather says:

    THANK YOU!! This is awesome and perfect timing! I have been collecting plates for a plate wall and then got too scared to put them up – not quite sure how. This piece was great – and now I feel fully confident to finish this project!

  13. sara says:

    What a beautiful, restful arrangement … I like how unexpected the plates are in a bedroom (and I’m glad I’m not the only one who immediately worried about them falling while sleeping!)

  14. This may be more of a “dear design sponge” query, but I inherited a set of “Sound of Music” themed plates and I can never decide if they’re kitschy cool or just kitschy. here’s a link to what they look like: http://www.mamierich.com/sound-of-music-collector-plates.htm

    I’m thinking they may stay in the box until I have a little girl’s room to decorate.

    1. grace says:

      ND-

      it really depends on the context. i’ve seen some seriously whacky stuffed worked into rooms in a way that took them from kitsch to cool so i’d give it a whirl ;)

      grace

  15. Margaret says:

    I second the request for the wall color?

  16. Sarah L. says:

    Love it! I’m also loving the wall color in that space. Would you mind sharing the information on the paint with me? Please? Thank you!!!

  17. Jill Turner says:

    I got my new Martha Stuart Weddings magazine and LOVEDDD seeing your wedding. Since I am a Georgia girl and a Savannah lover, I thought you did an amazing job. Beautiful!

    1. grace says:

      thanks jill! i’ll be sharing pictures from my photographers on d*s all next week :)

      g

  18. Barret says:

    Love that rooster lamp – where did that guy come from?

  19. catherine says:

    Grace: what are the plate hangers that do not show? And I cannot tell which kind are being used in the video. You cannot see them in the pictures at all. Thanks!

    1. grace says:

      catherine

      we used regular wire ones- my camera just doesn’t pick up all the details in these shots. but you can buy a kind that doesn’t show, i just don’t trust them because they stick on- makes me nervous ;)

      http://www.dischangers.com/

      grace

  20. Tenille says:

    There`s something so vintage about this. Lovely.

  21. Elizabeth says:

    I am about to start my own plate hanging adventure and came across these small foam discs that adhere to the back of your plates (without causing damage, so they’re safe for antiques and valuables) and then… well… the wall.

    Bonus: They’re inexpensive!
    http://www.dischangers.com/

  22. oh, I love this post! I have Greek Spode china that’s not being produced any more. I wasn’t sure what to do with it—UNTIL TODAY! Wahoo! I can’t wait to put this up somewhere in my home…but wait, I gotta get a new home first–rats!

  23. jenny says:

    Oh wow, I have a similar wall of blue and white plates in my kitchen and eerily my walls are the same color as Amy’s! My paint is Martha Stewart’s Rosemary, btw. And to everyone that’s wondering about those plate hangers, they are EXTREMELY secure. I live in California and my plates didn’t move a millimeter during an earthquake we had a few months ago.

  24. amy m. says:

    It’s shale blue by Ralph Lauren, in the vintage masters collection i think!

  25. ikh says:

    I’m in love with blue/white mix&match plates! Beautiful display!

  26. Ashley D says:

    I also live in earthquake country and did a similar display in my first apartment in LA. I used Quake Hold with the plate hangers and never had any problems- and the plates were above my bed, so I must have been very confident!
    Here is a link to the photo of my plate wall:
    http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/la/inspiration/bird-bedroom-wall-art-018405

  27. Kim says:

    This room is eerily similar to one of my own–same wall color, blue/white plate display, and rooster lamps. I have to say you have great taste!

  28. The paint color is fabulous and what a great idea with the plates. I have a bunch of plates from various relatives that have been in a box for years….now I know what to do with them!

  29. Elizabeth says:

    How wonderfully blue and white
    and oddly English.
    In Bikaner in India there are walls of blue and white tile
    This is a sort of echo.
    Charming.

  30. Laurie Jones says:

    Always love the idea of hanging plates on the walls, I’ve been doing it for 20 years. Its cheap and easy. I love the idea of doing it in a bedroom, beautiful!

  31. great idea! and i love that wall color and the variety of shapes and sizes of plates.

  32. That was so fun and incredibly informative. And Amy is really charming and natural. I love that!

    Grace, can you tell me what kind of video camera you used to film that? The quality was perfect. I need one this week!! Thanks.

    1. grace says:

      hi carol!

      i use a pretty lame sony handheld- i’m actually really disappointed in the quality and looking to get a new one. i wouldn’t recommend it :(

      grace

  33. Love this video and the look. Thanks for a really nice instruction. There was a quick scan of a dark grey wall with white armchairs. Smashing :) look! I also love the music – who is the group?

    1. grace says:

      frenchee

      the music is credited in the video- it’s the spinto band: http://www.spintoband.com

      grace :)

  34. hrhkat says:

    My mother would die for that rooster lamp, she collects only white ceramic roosters….but not in that creepy way where they take over the house, she only has about 30 of them, and she lives on a farm so its appropriate…

  35. The plates and wall color are fantastic. I also would love to know the color. Another idea would be to use a collection of different patterns of solid white plates and platters. A grouping of the Juliska patterns Berry and Thread white, Jardins du Monde and Petit Singe on that wall color would be outstanding! In addition to the contrast of the white on that dark wall, the different shapes of these Juliska patterns would give a lot of interest.
    Patina

    1. grace says:

      hi guys!

      amy listed the paint color in the comment section above ;)

      g

  36. Micha says:

    Amy, you are always such an inspiration! thanks

  37. Mily says:

    I have to thank you so much. I just read your entry yesterday and immediately decided to do this with my staircase. Here are the results:

    http://domesticnotions.blogspot.com/2009/10/plate-wall-display.html

    A quick tip for anyone looking for inexpensive plate hangers. It doesn’t get anymore inexpensive than making them yourself! I used thick floral wire and it worked great!

  38. I found the adhesive hangers online at http://www.allplatehangers.com. They seemed to be the least expensive since I needed quite a few of them.

    If you are worried that the adhesive hanger may come off the plate, then you could also use Duct Tape to help hold the hanger to the plate. I have never had one detach from a plate.

  39. Breeanna says:

    Just a beautiful color blue!!!!!!

  40. Debra says:

    I like these I’ve got some plates that I’ve been collecting I found them at one of my favorite thrift stores I knew when I got them that I wanted to do something with them and now I know what I had this in mind but now I know for sure.

    Great video thank you

  41. achei,maravilhoso tudo que vir,muito legal,ok…um abraço.

  42. In my opinion, this website has good information for anyone searching this topic. Truly, people will realize this soon and see how important it is and start using it for their own lives.

  43. Chloe says:

    awesome!

  44. Ms Jasica says:

    Love to Decorate the bedroom like this :)

  45. Gina says:

    Beautiful so beautiful, lhave plates my grandmother collected,, I am going to try to hang , some so old I think they maybe to delicate.

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