I Tried the “Plate Wall” Gallery Wall Trend, and I Won’t Ever Do It Again

published Jul 4, 2024
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An eclectic kitchen with a large sage green cabinet and decorative plates hung on the wall.

Hunting for treasures at antique malls is one of my lifelong hobbies. When I was a kid, things like random sets of old keys tied together on a pretty ribbon or a pair of 1950s cat-eye glasses with the lenses popped out piqued my curiosity. As an adult, it’s the thrill of finding eclectic decor and starting new collections of unique pieces that keeps me coming back. So, of course, the viral plate wall trend felt meant for me. 

To be honest, I wasn’t even planning to partake in this style — I was excited about the idea of hanging plates as wall decor but didn’t want to subject my apartment to more clutter. On a recent trip to Palm Springs, though, I stopped by my favorite antique mall, and all the adorable vintage plates that lined the booths had other plans. By the time I left, I had accidentally curated a mini collection, ordered plate wall hooks on Amazon, and plotted the perfect location for a trendy plate wall setup. 

I don’t have a ton of space in my kitchen for a large display, so I pared down my assortment to five small plates that I couldn’t part ways with — a small black and white cat dish, a tulip-shaped spoon rest, a mini mosaic plate, a terracotta dog dish with a gorgeous yellow glaze, and a small tangerine dish. I spread them out on the kitchen table, and they all looked so cute together, I couldn’t wait to get them up on my walls.

Credit: Jessie Quinn

My kitchen already houses several decor collections. I have a mini gallery wall above my sink featuring watercolor pug art, a pair of oil paintings that a friend created for me in my dining area, and way too many plants to count. But I’m a firm believer that a plate wall belongs in the kitchen, so I found a spot above a door frame and began hammering all of the nails in place. 

Credit: Jessie Quinn

Much to my surprise, I didn’t instantly love the way the plates looked on the walls. And now, months later, I’m still not a fan. While I love the plates I chose, there’s something about them all clustered together that doesn’t feel as intentional as I’d hoped. On top of that, I have a small kitchen that’s prone to clutter, so the added arrangement of plates looming over me (literally) makes the space feel a bit chaotic. 

After a few months of testing out the trend, I can confirm the plate wall isn’t worth it for me. But that’s not to say you shouldn’t try this out in your own space — especially if you’ve already started gathering pretty plates. You can always swap out different groupings to get the look just right, or move them to a different area altogether. Worst case, the display isn’t permanent, so you can always restyle the pieces elsewhere. I plan to take the plates down and sprinkle a few into my apartment’s gallery clusters, and maybe use that adorable cat dish as a catch-all for my jewelry.