Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Decorating with Junk-Shop Plates

In the summer of 2010, we updated the kitchen, and I'm still loving it. One thing we never got around to, however, is putting back the blue-and-white china plates that were displayed along two walls of the kitchen. You can see the empty plate rail in the top of this photo, looking all lonely and sad:

With Lovely Daughter #2 home from grad school on her winter break, I finally got the job done! It takes two people to do the work: one on the ladder, setting the plates in place, and one on the floor, handing up the plates and attaching the little gizmos that hold the plates securely to the wall.

First, we got out all the candidate plates and took a look at them:

Decorating with plates in Southern California means two things: 1)They must be attached securely to the wall so they don't fall during the inevitable earthquake and hurt somebody (or some pug, in our house), and 2)Whatever you put up, you have to be prepared to lose in said earthquake. The best rule of thumb for living in Earthquake Country is, if it's too special, don't hang it up.

Most of these plates are junk-shop finds, nothing fancy or precious, and easy to buy again should I lose the whole lot in a shaker.

These are part of a series called "Romantic England," which my mother found for me in her retirement home's thrift store. Cheap and easy to replace, so they go up:

One of my very first junk-shop buys, when I was still in college. Other than the nostalgia factor, it's not precious, so up it goes. I like the unusual shape of it:

Any Blue Willow plates I own are either from a junk shop, IKEA, or the grocery store--yup! I bought some there. Blue Willow is endlessly appealing and ridiculously easy to find, so up they go:

This is a commemorative plate from my husband's college, showing the large, central "Quad" that dominates his campus. It is part of a series no longer in production, so it's too rare to go on the wall. I'll tuck it back in the cabinet to use for meals, instead:

I got this Peter Rabbit plate in a junk shop, but it's getting harder and harder to find these Wedgwood pieces, and when you do, they cost a good deal. So back in the cabinet it goes:

This is the product I use to hang plates:

"Command" strips hold well and don't leave a mark if you want to pull them off the wall later. One strip goes on the plate and one strip on the wall; then you press the two together like hook-and-loop tape. Easy peasy!

LD#2 got a little assist from Mu Shu in attaching the stuff:

We lined up the plates on the floor to get an idea of how they'd look when hung (that's one of the pugs' many dog beds, on the right, there):

And then we stuck them up on the wall:

Almost done, here:

And there they are! Nothing fancy, nothing precious, but a welcome addition to the kitchen's slightly retro look:

Now it feels a little more like home in the kitchen again.

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