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diy video: plate wall display how-to

by Grace Bonney

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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  • 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.)

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

  • 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?

  • 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

  • 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

    • 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 ;)


  • 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?

  • 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?

    • 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. :)


  • 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!

  • 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!)

    • 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 ;)


  • 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!!!

  • 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!

  • 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!

    • 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 ;)



  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

    • 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 :(


  • 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?

  • 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…

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

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