How to Hang Plates & Art Groupings

As an interior decorator in the Nashville area, one of my favorite things that I get to do for clients is to create art groupings on their walls.   They are usually amazed at how quickly I can come up with an arrangement and get them up on the wall.   Here’s how I do it:   first, I gather up like items with the colors I’m looking for to tie in with the room and start playing around with different arrangements. 


I layed out these gorgeous plates on my client’s bed this week, working until we got an arrangement we both liked.   This is what I came up with – it’s kind of like an inverted Christmas tree shape over her dresser:

hanging plates



I also did a plate grouping for her on a small wall in her office.  I chose three sizes and two different patterns to create a grouping that worked with the colors in this room.

hanging plates and grouping



See how the colors tie into the gorgeous rug?

hanging plates on wall


Of course, you may want to hang photos or other items on your wall in a grouping.  Again, you should start by trying out some variations on the floor.


I was dealing with different shapes and sizes here, but the black frames united the whole grouping.  I hung these in a client’s house over the summer:

hanging photos in groups



Pay attention to the shape of the wall space you want to fill.   What can you do with two slivers of walls between doors? 


Let the shape/size of the wall space be your guide when determining how to hang your items.  Tall, thin wallspaces call for tall, thin arrangements like this: 

hanging photos on walls


Make sure you gather things to hang that mean something to you.   I put together this grouping from one client’s collection of her grandmother’s art and some other items that held special meaning to her family.   When displayed as a group, your collection makes so much more of a statement than it would if it were scattered around a room. 

hanging art in grouping


The most important tip I can give you is to be brave – don’t be afraid of putting a few nail holes in the wall!   Creating art groupings requires creativity, an open mind, and fearlessness – just go for it!

Oh, and if you live in the Greater Nashville area and really screw it up, admit you need help and call The Decorologist.



  1. Julie

    This is very helpful. Thank you! What hardware, etc. do you like to use to hang plates?

    • Kristie Barnett

      I use all different kinds, depending on what is being hung. For plates, I use wire plate hangers that are found at Lowe’s or Home Depot.

      • Angela Gravino

        What other items do you use to hang with? Thanks

  2. Sheila Zeller

    Bang on! What a great post… and your call to action is so cheeky! You always make me laugh 🙂

  3. a ferrell

    Plates! You know I can’t get enough. Plates! I love them so. 🙂

    • Kristie Barnett

      Hmm, think I need some photos to share of plate-hanging, AF-style!

  4. Ragan Corliss

    Great idea for a blog post. A lot of people need help with this area!


    I love the circle picture frames mixed with the square and rectangular ones! Great job!

  6. Linda

    LOVE plates on walls. I wish I had a photo from my last house where I hung plates all the way to the ceiling over the bed instead of a head board. Great post as always!

  7. jill

    i am terrified of hanging things on my walls other than large mirrors and family picture frames. however, I think you may have changed my mind…I’ve been thrifting for silver plates lately and can totally see them on a wall. thanks!!

  8. Erin @ Carolina Country Living

    Invaluable advice, Kristie! I’ve lived in my house four years now and have hardly hung anything on the walls because I don’t know what the heck I’m doing. Thanks for so generously offering your expertise. I have a friend who lives in East Nashville–I’ll be sure to pass your blog address along to her.


  9. Rory Vanlandingham

    Really great post! I love the plates. What about decorating behind two recliners with an end table between them? I have a big empty wall and since rearranging and putting my two can’t-get-rid-of recliners in front of this wall, I am at a loss as to what to put on the wall behind them. Any ideas? Should I try to keep it symmetrical over both recliners?

    • Kristie Barnett

      Do you have a lamp in between the recliners on that table? That might complicate things for the wall space. But I recently hung a pair of large square art pieces behind a pair of chairs with a lamp/table in between. I hung them symmetrically between and above the lamp and each chair respectively. Not sure if that makes sense – I’ll try to post a photo sometimes soon.

      • Rory Vanlandingham

        Yes, there is a lamp. 🙂 I wondered about two pieces symmetrically hung like you are talking about. Now to actually find those two pieces is the problem. 🙁 Thanks for responding!

  10. Elaine

    I have a colonial mirror and 5 plates. I am having the hardest time hanging the plates around the mirror. I have placed one plate at the top of the mirror but can’t seem to get the other four placed correctly. Any suggestions?


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