A Complete Guide to Displaying Decorative Plates

From intimate family dinners to grand gatherings, decorative plates elevate every tabletop they grace. But why stop at the table? We love displaying our decorative plates and platters on the walls and in the cabinets for all to see and admire year-round. From everyday collections to once-a-year seasonal platters, every decorative plate deserves a little time in the spotlight. Gather around for our complete guide to displaying your favorite serving plates as home décor. 

What is a Decorative Plate?

Traditionally, decorative plates are those that are layered under a dish meant to hold food; they’re not meant to touch the food themselves. But we at Coton Colors believe your dinnerware enhances the menu and gatherings. That’s why we design beautiful decorative plates and platters that are completely versatile, from décor to dinner table. 

Decorative plates are seen throughout history, from Ancient China and the Palace of Versailles in France to our very own tables. Owning decorative plates brings a timeless aesthetic to our tablescape, elevating every meal they’re served with, whether it’s an intimate dinner or a grand holiday gathering. 

Serving Plates vs. Decorative Plates

Both styles of plates are meant for beautiful décor and similar uses, but serving plates are used to easily present and serve all your tasty kitchen creations to guests. Serving plates are typically larger platters meant to hold any course of a meal on the table to serve guests from. Our serving plates come in multiple styles, from holiday themes to classic everyday collections, making the perfect centerpiece for all your meals.

We believe serving plates and decorative plates alike have more than a tabletop use—they both make for traditional yet bold home décor staples. Both on your tables and as home décor, our serving plates and decorative plates are made to be displayed. Some may prefer to set them out or fill them up for the holidays or special occasions, but we love to display ours year-round and hope to inspire you to do the same.

Why Do People Decorate with Plates?

Whether it’s a seasonal plate or a platter designed for everyday use, displaying a dinnerware item is a chance to show off your unique and personal style. An alternative to candles and wall art, a plate stand can help you bring new life to any room. By keeping your decorative plates on display, you’ll have the chance to share elevated patterns while showcasing your personal style.

Why keep your favorite plates and platters out of sight when you can take advantage of their versatility? Displaying decorative plates means your friends and family will get to enjoy them year-round and not just on special occasions.

Is Decorative Dinnerware Only for Special Occasions?

Gone are the days of saving the “good” plates for when guests are coming over. While we love having multiple collections of dinnerware to use for special gatherings, we see this as an opportunity to utilize them for so much more. We believe in treating every day as if it were special, and that includes using our decorative dinnerware and serving plates for any occasion. From hosting a milestone birthday to sitting down with the family for lunch, our pieces were designed for you to enjoy. 

Whether we’re hosting a dinner party, a casual Thai-inspired lunch, or just serving breakfast in bed, all of our plates can be put to use. By decorating or serving with stylish dishes, you can take even the most elegant dinnerware set and turn it into a daily luxury. Once you get the hang of it, it’s easy to coordinate dinnerware for any occasion, big or small.

Our Favorite Everyday Decorative Dinnerware

Choosing an everyday collection of decorative dinnerware is key to a put-together look around the house and kitchen. Look at our classic collections if you want to elevate the table settings for your everyday meals.

Our Signature White Collection is great for a go-with-everything white base, and features everything from the Oval Platter and Ruffle Skinny Tray to Salad Plates and more. Not only are these neutral-toned plates great for setting the table, but they also make for perfect wall décor that adds texture and add an artistic look.

The Iris Blue Collection will fill your table and home will a cool blue hue if you’re after a pop of color. You’ll love making memories every day around the sophisticated pattern of the Large Handled Oval Platter and all the matching pieces.

Use Seasonal Serving Plates as Holiday Décor

Whether we’re under the mistletoe or giving thanks, this holiday season is sure to be celebrated sitting around our dining room table decorated with our best dinnerware. With so many coordinating serving plates and dinnerware sets, you’ll have an array of plating choices for the holidays. But when the decorative plates aren’t being used to serve your guests, display them around the home for all to admire while gathering together to pick the perfect Christmas tree skirt.

Next to the home-cooked food, our serving plates deserve to be the center of attention at every seasonal gathering. We want our seasonal dinnerware to be appreciated as much as possible before they’re stored away for the year, so set out the complete collections. Hang serving plates as centerpieces on your walls, fill your glass cabinets, or use them as functional pieces placed about the home for all to see and enjoy. 

To really go all in, take a look at all of our seasonal collections and decorate your home in coordinating prints and patterns for any season. Match everything from the festive table linens to the stockings hung above the fireplace and focus on one cohesive look to spruce up your home décor.

Holiday Occasions for Decorative Dinnerware 

  • Thanksgiving

  • Christmas 

  • New Year’s Eve 

  • Holiday Parties 

  • Easter 

Our Favorite Seasonal Dinnerware

Give thanks and blessings this year with our festive Dusk God Is Great Platter featuring everyone’s favorite fall colors. For a special Christmas touch, serve up delicious dishes or set out cookies for Santa on the Christmas in the Village Platter. Create a holiday table filled with love and tradition by setting out the matching collection designs before the gift exchange begins.

Throwing a winter-themed event this season? We love the traditional and festive designs of our Balsam and Berry Collection for a merry-and-bright gathering. Decorate with our various winter items throughout the entire season—but when the snow begins to thaw, don’t forget about Easter. Bring out our Speckled Rabbit Ruffle Oval Platter to celebrate that spring has sprung.

How to Hang Plates on a Wall

At first glance, hanging up our platters and plates may seem risky and dangerous—this is not your typical Command Strip job. But with our tips and tricks, hanging decorative plates on the wall will come with ease. To protect our plates in every home, we’ve come up with two trusty methods that we rely on for all our decorative plate hanging needs:
  • Plate stands 

  • Adhesive discs

How to Use a Plate Stand to Display Your Decorative Plates

Whether we’re displaying our decorative plates on a wall or a shelf, our plate stands are our go-to method for security and aesthetics. A plate stand is a perfect way to create stunning home décor with our best decorative dinnerware. With plate stands, our favorite festive platters can be both the center of attention on our walls and on our tablespaces for a beautiful centerpiece at any gathering.

To display on a surface, simply open the stand, set the plate in the rubber-coated hooks for extra security, and rotate the plate to your desired position. Trying to secure the plate to the wall? Designate a spot, hang the plate stand on the wall securely, place your plate on the rubber hooks, and it’s all set.

Our Plate Stand Options

Our Coton Colors plate stands allow the choice of hanging up decorative platters or displaying them on a bookshelf or side table. Choose from gold, white, or black, and find the sizes that suit each need.

How to Hang Decorative Plates with Adhesive Discs

Though we love and trust our plate stands to accommodate almost every wall-hanging job, we have one more option that we recommend. The classic yellow Invisible Adhesive DISC Plate Hangers give a secure hold, are easy to use, and are invisible to the eye. These adhesive discs can be used on any fired materials and could be the best option for some of our bowls and serving plates.

To hang decorative plates with adhesive discs, clean the plate and wet the adhesive side of the disc to activate the glue. When the glue becomes tacky, place the disc on the back of the dish and press down firmly. After letting it dry overnight, hang the plate on the wall and admire!

3 Traditional Ways to Display Decorative Plates

  1. Glass cabinet

  2. Open shelves

  3. Gallery wall

1. Displaying Decorative Plates in Cabinets

Traditionally, a China cabinet is the preferred way to store all decorative dinnerware. Dating all the way back to the beginning of the 18th century, William and Mary brought the idea of China cabinets to England from their travels and popularized them—and China cabinets have been used worldwide ever since.

A China cabinet is a perfect, protective way to display decorative plates. With our plate stands, each plate can be propped up and shown off, while the glass cabinet keeps your favorite designs safely out of reach.

2. Decorate Open Shelves with Serving Plates

Open shelving is a timeless option for displaying decorative plates. Stack and display our elevated everyday plates, like those from the Fundamentals Collection, within the open-concept shelving to show off every plate year-round. When it comes time for the holidays, swap them all out for a festive set like those in the O Holy Night Collection.

3. Making a Gallery Wall with Decorative Plates

Break up the monotonous pattern found on the traditional gallery wall. Bring an exciting and wildly different shape to the wall by hanging one of our decorative plates as a centerpiece. Not only is it sure to be an attention grabber and a conversation starter, but there will be easy access when it’s needed for a special meal.

For a traditional style gallery wall, try hanging the decorative plate with a plate stand in the center for one key focal point. Typically, when hanging a decorative plate on its own, a large serving platter is the best option. Hang canvases, prints, and mirrors around the centerpiece for an awe-inspiring look.

Show off complete collections or mix-and-match combinations of decorative plates. For a more organic look, use multiple decorative plates in a cascading pattern on the wall. No matter the shape or the size of this unique plate-only gallery display, decorative plates on the wall are a unique décor choice for every home.

3 Modern Ways to Display Decorative Plates

  1. Bookshelf décor

  2. Trinket trays

  3. Candle base

1. Decorative Plates on a Bookshelf

Use a plate stand to prop up one of our favorite serving plates for a unique way to bring attention to a bookshelf. Accessorize an average bookshelf and display a favorite decorative plate to bring in personality and break up a row of books.

2. Serving Plates as Trinket Trays

Decorate with our platters in the entryway or on a coffee table or bedside table to collect inevitable trinkets. We love to have one for our keys and another for our rings and anything else we can think of! Serving plates elevate any surface they’re placed on and are a ready-made catch-all for all our needs.

3. Decorative Plates as a Candle Base

For a whimsical yet classic look, situate a candle on a decorative plate and let it catch the falling wax. Not only is this a very practical use for the plate, but it’s kind of like a mini art piece. When the candle has burned out, wash it off, and start again.

 

 

Displaying decorative plates is one of our favorite things to do all year round. Gone are the days of storing away our “best” dinnerware until the time feels right. Whether it’s an everyday dish or seasonal décor, decorative dishes are a perfect way to elevate our home décor and tabletops.

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