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Plating Up: How to Decorate with Plates

Decorating your walls with plates is a unique and creative way to add a touch of personality to any room in your home. They’ll not only add visual interest to a space, but can be easily changed or swapped-out as your style evolves.

At The Whitby Hotel, we created a gallery of plates on a slice of wall that could well have been forgotten. Each plate was slightly different in terms of design but we established a theme when it came to size and colour, which created cohesion. The value of a given plate doesn’t matter that much individually. Instead, what gives power to this feature is the fact that several plates hang together. We love how this small space between the desk and the door is now full of interest.

Another way we would suggest you use the plates would be to create a plate feature wall. This can be done by hanging a group of plates on one wall to create a focal point in a room. The starting point could be the colour palette, shape, style or Century. At The Whitby Hotel, we created a collection of plates acquired on eBay – a great source – each displayed in a Perspex box. The Perspex box contains the shape in a balanced manner and makes the feature look contemporary.

When decorating with plates, it’s important to consider their position on the wall as this will affect how they are viewed and how they interact with other elements in the room. For example, hanging plates at eye-level will naturally draw attention to them and make them much more of a focal point. In contrast, hanging plates higher on the wall will make them a less prominent part of the scheme, allowing other items to take centre stage.

Consider too what you are displaying plates on, or with. In this countryside house, we used a traditional plate rack, which feels much more informal than framing them.

We love the work of ceramicist, Robina Jack, so when one of our clients enquired about commissioning her for a project in the USA, we couldn’t have been more delighted. Below you can see the finished result. Despite the variation in shape and size, there is a narrative that runs through the series, held together by the themes of animals and nature as well as Robina’s unique illustrative style.

You can also see Robina’s work in the Drawing Room at Ham Yard Hotel. Framed in Perspex boxes, they add colour and character to this pilaster. Don’t forget to take a closer look next time you’re visiting.

For a house in Barbados, we decided to use plates created by a local artist and frame them in a fun and colourful way – we were delighted with the result.

We would love to see how you have decorated with plates, whether antique, made by yourself or sourced locally. Share your pictures with us over at @kitkempdesignthread.

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