The Decorating Divas
Serving up Style
February, 2006 - Issue #16
What's round, sits on the dinner table and holds food? Of course it's a plate! Or is it art?

Donna: So you have a gaping hole on the wall and you need to fill it with a beautiful piece of art. Forget about the fabulous piece of art and think plates. There are plates available in just about every shape, style and size imaginable! A collection of plates hung on a wall works with just about any style of decorating.

Anne: When I had finished decorating my master bedroom (three homes and four makeovers ago), I knew there was something missing. There was a blank space above my beautiful red- and white-checked upholstered headboard just begging to be filled. I searched everywhere for something that would make a statement and fill in the space nicely. Shortly after my mother came for her first visit to my new home, she sent me three red and white Spode plates. She had no clue what I was going to do with them, but she knew the instant she laid eyes on them that they would be perfect in my newly decorated French Country bedroom. What on earth was I going to do with three plates in my bedroom? Hmmm... I held them up above my bed and voila! My only problem was that three weren't enough to fill up my obvious blank space.

I scoured antique malls, junk shops, and home discount stores. It actually took me less than a weekend to complete the puzzle! I even found some small little red and white plates with Chinese characters on them. I laid them out on the floor and played with them until I found the perfect arrangement; then I transferred the arrangement onto the wall.

Donna: A client asked our advice on what kind of art would look nice on one of her blank walls. I immediately asked her if we could rummage through her china cabinet.

It took Anne and I less than 10 minutes to come up with the perfect solution to her decorating dilemma. We uncovered a set of six dessert plates and three mis-matching pieces, all horse-themed (the client is an avid rider). A quick trip to the hardware store followed to purchase some plate holders, and onto the wall the plate collection went.

Donna and Anne: Perhaps one of the most obvious places to decorate with plates is the kitchen. When we use plates in a kitchen, we like to mix them up a bit and incorporate other items into the mix to make the grouping or collection less predictable. Consider using letters, platters, tiles or even a piece of ironwork.

And last but not least, our tip of the month: Fishs Eddy. If you happen to be in New York City, check out Fishs Eddy for vintage and unusual plates and cups. We have been known to spend hours scouting through their inventory. If you don't have the opportunity to go to New York, you can check out their website at for some of their most popular items!


When not scouring the planet for great finds, Anne and Donna like to answer questions. E-mail them at
- What is the sum of 5 + 2?
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