From as far back as the 14th century, when Marco Polo first introduced Chinese products to Europe, plates have been sought after and prized items. Indeed, it was not until a couple of hundred years had passed that Europeans started to manufacture their own ceramics. Known with the cover-all term of china, plates, saucers and bowls all became less expensive but the plate, in particular, still retained a high degree of prestige.
In short, plates are not just eating vessels but something to be displayed and venerated. High quality fine china with intricate designs have found a place in home décor as well as high art. Even modernists, such as Picasso, worked extensively with ceramics. So, what are the best ways of incorporating plates, and other forms of ceramics, into the world of home decoration?
Dining Room Style.
Do you have a plain wall in your dining room that could do with some enlivening? An eclectic mix of differently colored, sized and shaped plates arranged on a wall will give it an instant lift to not only the wall, but the entire room.
Buy a set of wall mounted plate display racks and a arrange them in a drift, rather than in a uniform way, to get a modern look. Another contemporary style is to clump the plates together in the middle of the wall, like an abstract art installation. If your prefer a less eclectic look, try a simple arrangement of ten or so plates set in two distinct groups as this will help give your room balance.
A great place to display your plate collection is where you are likely to use it – in the kitchen. If you are fond of old fashioned chinaware, with some fun designs, use a wall mounted rack to display the various colors. No two displays will be the same as the arrangement is altered every time you use the plates. A slim line front-facing rack will allow you to show your plates of to best effect, ideal if yours have ornate designs.
White china has a certain purity that is hard to ignore. An arrangement of stylish white plates around a central line will create a symmetrical look, perfect for a more formal setting. Equally, white china is suited to geometric arrangements and patterns. Of course, you can arrange white china in a drift, too, but for a traditional look, stick to the rules.
Plates are not just for the dining room and the kitchen. You can have some fun with them in less obvious interior design settings, too. How about an eclectic range of colorfully designed plates in a bathroom to make yours stand out from the crowd?
Plates can also work surprisingly well behind the headboard of your bed. Remember to keep the tones, here, relatively neutral, however. And for a completely novel look try glass plates to create a mosaic-like screen in a shower room. Not for everyone maybe, but the look is undeniably fun
Plates With Artwork.
Plates sometimes have designs that ought to be displayed, rather than shelved in a closet. A simple rack, in a living room setting is the way to go if you want to show off your ceramics. The ideal shelf/rack unit will allow you to set your plates, with equal status, next to photographs, paintings and little objets d’art. And sometimes the plates are the artwork themselves, so arrange them with just the same consideration that you would other images.