Plates on Walls

April 11, 2022

Outdated Design Horror or Stylish Display?

I have never really been a fan of the plate on the wall look. I admit, I wrote it off as a little too kitsch and felt it was never a reflection of my design aesthetic. However, I’ve seen a few recent examples that have made me reconsider my design bias, which I entirely blame Gwyneth Paltrow for. As I will explain…

Now, I realise that Gwyneth can be certainly divisive. She is easy to mock - conscious uncoupling and vagina candles do spring to mind. Despite this, it is hard not to admire her talent, drive and of course, her style. She is a true embodiment of classic elegance.  A recent Architectural Digest tour of her new home in Montecito in California USA, had some breath taking images…

There is a day spa in the home, which features gorgeous tiles, a $40k Atlas shower system, a hot tub, and plunge pool that Gwyneth states is essential for good circulation.

The kitchen was inspired by her time living in the UK and features metallic fixtures and Portuguese tiles. Gwyneth’s favourite feature of the kitchen is the sliding ladder.

For me, what particularly stood out was her family dining area in the kitchen, which featured a stunning display of over $10,000 worth of Hermes dinnerware. It is both eye catching artwork, and a practical display for the space. The display embodies the best of ‘Newstalgia’ where old and new designs blend seamlessly together to create a timeless, personal and elegant look. As Gwyneth herself states “I love plates on a wall. When you see plates with these beautiful patterns, you don’t want to hide them away, you just want to see them!”

Other stylish people have also effectively used this display method with great success.

US Interior Designer, Nate Berkus, has Fornasetti plates displayed against patterned green wallpaper in the powder room of his New York home.

Italian influencer, JJ Martin, has a plate wall displayed in her home. JJ is the founder of Milan-based fashion brand, Double J. The brand includes homewares in its product line and these Double J plates are featured in a casual grouping, against a beautifully coloured wall, in her Milan home. (Image via Instagram @jjmartinmilan)

A colourful example from Melbourne is that of children’s book illustrator Jo Dabrowski. As featured in The Design Files, Jo’s plates were collected from her time living in the UK. The collection is complimented by her custom painted Thonet dining chairs.

This example is from Olivia Restaurant & Lounge in Singapore. Olivia is considered one of the Nation’s most stylish spaces, the Spanish themed restaurant is decorated with furniture and artwork from Barcelona. The plate on the wall in the main dining area is truly striking due to its scale. (Image via Instagram @oliviarestaurant_sg)

If you wish to start your plate collection, the Hermes plates as featured in Gwyneth’s home are available.

And as always, if you need guidance in pulling it all together, I’m always happy to discuss a new project.

B x

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