Blue and White Plate Gallery Wall

November 14, 2016

This 115 year old house of ours is full of character, and when it came to the big blank wall in the dining room I knew it needed something special.  One large piece of art would have worked, but I didn't have one and I didn't want to buy one so that option was quickly thrown out the window.  A typical gallery wall could have worked too, but I had already used most of our art in other rooms of the house and gallery walls are a little overplayed.  After staring at a blank wall for nearly 3 months it finally came to me: use all the blue and white plates I own to create something amazing!  I'm not into the typical use of plates on a's a little too country and kitschy for me, but I decided that if I hung them more as a free-formed gallery wall then it could definitely be the "pop" that this room needed.

I searched Pinterest for some design inspiration and came across this photo of the Viceroy Hotel.

Photo via decorpad.

While I knew I wasn't going to go for a symmetrical look, it was a great source of inspiration for how I wanted mine to turn out.

Here is the process I used:

First, I pulled out every blue and white plate that I own.  Some I collected over the years from thrift or antique stores, some are family heirlooms (my grandparents' wedding china, the gold-rimmed plates that my great-great-aunt painted, blue and white West Point plates from 1930), and a few are just simple plates that are from Williams-Sonoma or made by Fiestaware.  Like I said, I pulled out anything that would work with this color scheme!

Next, I went to an antique mall.  I bought a few more affordable plates that I pulled from all sorts of different booths. 

Next, I measured all of my plates and bought plate hangers.  I just used the simple gold hangers with the springs on the back.  I chose the ones with clear plastic around the prongs so that they don't damage the plates.

I laid all of the plates out on our dining table and played around with the layout for a while.  I didn't want the white plates to be too close together, and I tried to keep the Blue Willow patterned plates separated a bit.  I made sure to take a photo once I had the layout that I wanted so that I had something to reference once I started hanging the plates.  This is what my original plan looked like:

As always, things kind of evolved as I was working.  Partially because I accidentally didn't hang the plates at the exact same angles that I had originally planned, and partially because I did a little flip-flopping.  Also, I was drinking prosecco while there's that :)  The key is to be flexible and to have lots of options to play with.  I made sure to start hanging from the bottom so that I could easily move upwards without having to work around plates.  Here are a few pictures of the process (they're bad iPhone photos, sorry!):

As you can see, the arrangement that ended up on the wall is very different from the original plan.  And it's even better than I could have imagined!

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