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Monday, June 15, 2015

I Have Been, "RACKING," My Brain For Ideas


Lantern, platters, cream and pale blue/gray...

To say my mind is busy spinning with ideas would be an understatement. With the purchase of a new home I can see new possibilities around me everywhere.

However I am the kind of homeowner that keeps her home pretty much in the same vein with tweaks here and there.

In looking around at new ideas I always refer back to my pins on Pinterest. I do have a board that is called,

10 Simple Plate Rack installation results, including this gem from >> Tricia Foley !! Plate Rack | Remodelista - well done, Ms. F. ~

This is the board I pin things that I keep being attracted to for some reason. I have found by pinning lots of ideas like this  helps me either want it more, or I realize I probably couldn’t really live with it in reality.

If we get caught up in the moment, or a new trend and just dive in head first without thinking of how it will relate to our existing pieces, or the over all feeling of our home we can end up with a hodge podge of ideas plunked down in our rooms therefore creating a, “Hot Mess!”

Shallow plate storage for a big, statement wall.  Same idea for use as picture ledges.

I spend a great deal of time mulling over ideas, and making plans on the over all design before ever jumping forward with anything. 

In my career when asked what is the biggest mistake homeowners make, I would always say, “They start decorating without a plan!” 

If you don’t have a flexible plan in place you can not make good choices, or adjustments as needed.

There will always be adjustments that need to take place for a few reasons, availability, affordability, and practicality.

We as home owners always have to keep these three things in mind when decorating our homes.

Charming Checkerboard-tiled walls and a rack lined with faience plates energize the kitchen of this Long Island guesthouse.  Custom plate rack; faience plates. Image originally appeared in the May/June 2013 issue of Veranda. INTERIOR DESIGN BY KELLI FORD AND KIRSTEN FITZGIBBONS
With all of this in mind I thought I would share one of the ideas I am just thinking about for our new home, in fact it is an element I thought seriously about for our old home as well. 

You have probably guessed what it is by now because of the images I have posted!

Are you a tray collector? Don’t let your collection get dusty in your cabinets. Display trays in a kitchen or breakfast room with pride. Tell friends all the stories behind each tray.


In thinking about a plate rack I think the positives for me are it is decorative, and functional at the same time.

It can add charm to a blank wall. The down side, or just a bit of apprehension on my part is, will it be too much going on for my eye. 

I like simplicity, and not too much visual clutter. Because of this I have to think it through completely before committing.

Let me show you the wall that I am thinking about putting it on. This wall is one of the problem children in my homes design. 

With a new build or a reno we sometimes have to work around/with problem elements. The only way to get around this is to build a custom home that you design from the ground up.

My problem child is the end wall in my dining area it has two 18in. square awkward looking windows at the top of the wall.

I understand the reasoning behind this was probably to allow those that have a hutch or a serving piece to be able to place it there. 

I have NEVER had, or even liked a hutch so for me I would much rather have a nice big window there, but I did not design the home so no one is listening to me on this count so I am going to work around my two awkward windows.

I am trying to look at this as a design lesson for me, and for you and I will figure out something once we actually live in the home, but for now I am dreaming, and making plans for the possibilities, so that is what we are going to discuss today.

Ribbet Edit Mallorca dining room wall
I think I have about 6ft high of wall space to work with under the windows. Now use your imagination and picture white cabinets, white quartz counter tops and medium brown hardwood floors……

P1150179 (453x800) new house kitchen - Copy
These are my actual finishes for this area.

Before we start I have two other ideas that could work for this wall as well. I will discuss those in later post. 

But for now lets look at some plate racks that could possibly work on that end wall…

Ideally I would like that entire wall clad with paneling of some kind so that the plate rack looks almost like a built in feature, something like this…….

could platter storage be made as inserted panel? back wall of scullery. Top 25 Must See Kitchens on Pinterest - laurel home

I love the simplicity of this design with only one platter per shelf. I will display some plain white platters that I have collected over the years. 

The one feature I would change on this  plate rack is the curved corner pieces, that makes it a bit too cute for my style. I love the idea of  having sconces included in the design. That is very appealing to me.


Nice and simple, however I think the top needs to be capped off with some time of header.


I love the way the white plates pop off of the darker background. I use black in my home, just not sure I could do this.

If I did do this, I would keep the frame and the rails white and only have the very back wall black. It is a thought and one I will consider.

In my consideration I have to keep in mind that I do not want to get too many black and white areas in my home, making it look contrived rather than well designed, it is a very fine line that I try not to cross.

A large kitchen island supports both prep space and seating: http://www.bhg.com/decorating/decorating-photos/kitchen/cozy-and-clean/?socsrc=bhgpin021415cozyandclean&kitchen

I really liked seeing this particular plate rack  because of it’s white surroundings, which is what I will have. It is also wider than some of the others I have seen. Again, I would eliminate the corner corbels for a cleaner line.

This is one of the ideas that I have for my problem child wall!!

Next question:

Should I do the plate rack right below the windows, and put nice big molding around the windows to make it look like part of the plate rack, or should I include the windows inside the plate rack on the very top shelf?

Hmmmm? Something to think about.
I have two more ideas up my sleeves, more on that later!!!



Shabby Brocante, Karen said...

I cannot wait to see how everythign turns out. Great kitchen! Love all the plate racks in this post!



You are so lucky you're in a new house. I'd love, love this, but I have no wall space left to do a wall wrack.
Go ahead and make one please.

Mary said...

I think the windows need molding around them & I would incorporate them into the plate rack. The windows would then look intentional.
I also think instead of doing sconces on the sides of the plate rack, you should use a picture light. Or something that shines down onto the platters. I've always liked the Boston Library Lights from Circa. But that's just my opinion. I'm sure whatever you do, it will be perfect.

Kathysue said...

Mary thank you for your input and I agree, that is the plan to mold it out and make it integral if we can. Yes, a library light is on my radar as well, actually a picture light is what I have in mind a long bar, and I have a picture of one in my files. Love hearing from my readers, thankyou!!

Victoria said...

I love a plate rack -- especially the one from Windsor Smith's, now Gwyneth Paltrow's home -- and I have some of these very pins on my pinterest boards. I like the idea of all white with heavy moldings, not back. Black will chop up an already narrow wall. I agree about the curved corners, too whimsical...I don't like whimsy.
This may be out of the question, but I cannot understand why your builder could not simply eliminate those windows...no extra cost to him in materials, an easier install, and he would be saving the cost of the windows. There; problem solved.
XO, Victoria

pve design said...

Love your plate rack wall plan and cannot wait to see how it ends up!
I think Everyday Occasions, Jenny Steffens Hobick has lovely plates and her new kitchen is so great too.

Robbienae said...

I would choose the same materials for my kitchen. I love the hardwood flooring with white cabinets.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kathysue! if you are not in love with the windows just do the plate rack you love with the paneled back and go right over the windows on the kitchen side and do a bookcase or leave as a niche on the other side? Not sure if there is glass or if they are actually open but I can't wait to see what you come up with. If you like the windows I would definitely add molding to incorporate into the plate rack design. Beautiful room - such potential especially for a designer!

Liz@ HomeandGardeningWithLiz said...

I would include the windows in the plate rack. In think it will look great and create a very unique look. You'll like it better with the added height rather than going below the windows.

Sharon @ mrshinesclass said...

These are fun and exciting times for you! As I read your post, I kept realizing how much we have in common when it comes to design: we both prefer clean, simple lines., we don't prefer "cute", and we're cautious about jumping into a plan without a lot thought...so I KNOW you'll make the best choice.

As I'm picturing the two options you described, I would choose framing the windows to incorporate into the design.

Sharon @ mrshinesclass said...

p.s. I LOVE the choices you've selected for your kitchen and can't wait to see it all together. If I didn't have darker wood cabinetry and black countertops, I would have chosen that lighter wood for my floors and carried it into my kitchen. I just love that look....it carries me back to earlier days and it just feels so authentic to me.

Shirley@Housepitality Designs said...

I think you are moving in the right direction in planning some type of plate rack for that area...great inspiration.

Julie Taylor and Danni Greenwalt said...

I love what you have chosen so far and love the idea of a plate rack..you could dry wall the windows in...that way you can have your plate rack and hang a beautiful piece of art on the other side.

Karena said...

Kathysue a plate rack woulds be absolutely wonderful in your space and I truly think you will be very happy with it!

The Arts by Karena
Closer: Michael Clinton

Susan said...

I'd close those "windows" up-some sheet rock, some Spackle, some paint-and your problem disappears ( as they should-what a silly design element! )

It's not a hard DIY, but even having someone do it professionally wouldn't break the piggy bank.

Then you could do a rack that would fill ceiling to floor/etc anyway you'd like.

michele said...

both of those options are sooooooo smart and winning ones. i love this whole idea, esp for a newly constructed home as it will give it so much added architectural interest. you're a superstar.

Lea @ CiCis Corner said...

Oh, wow, so impressed with all your thoughts and ideas. It makes my head spin. Love the plate rack and I think I would incorporate the windows into it. A neat idea! Can't wait for next episode........

Calypso In The Country said...

Love those plate racks and your beautiful ideas!