When I removed the upper cabinets from my kitchen plan I had very good reasons: it was annoying to open and close a door every time I needed a plate. I also was tired of lifting heavy stacks of dishes from the counter to upper cabinet shelves, and I didn’t care for a high-use cabinet that would require a climb to clean. So I customized a kitchen plate rack that holds 3 dozen plates and half a dozen mugs even though the woman at the kitchen cabinet shop tried to talk me out of my idea. Every day when I unload the dishwasher, I’m glad I didn’t listen. My kitchen has three plate racks and I will never have upper cabinets again!
Even a minimalist kitchen can support a plate rack although this mode of open storage is usually associated with vintage, country or traditional styles. A wall-hung, white-painted plate rack [top] provides a tone-on-tone backdrop for platters collected by a New Jersey jewelry designer. The rack has a top shelf – handy for additional storage – but no back. Platters tilt forward against horizontal rails and are held in plate by a vertical lip on the back of each shelf. One bonus is the ability to double-up on the storage, as the owner does.
A shadowbox white-painted kitchen plate rack, with a plank back, was expanded to occupy an entire wall on a kitchen aisle. It’s a clever use for an otherwise unusable large space adjacent to the refrigerator. By coordinating plate color with the green-painted lantern lights over the island, the open storage does double duty as an accessory wall and focal point for a lovely kitchen that otherwise might lack personality.
The ends of islands are often closed by flat panels but in this Ohio farmhouse kitchen that dead space is put to good use for platter storage. We saw a similar idea in the Antique Island Kitchen. An especially clever island design (the counter top is wrapped in zinc) also includes bar seats and conceals storage on the working side (the telltale cabinet base peeks out behind the handbag on the floor).
In a large kitchen with windows on the entire sink wall, a pair of custom plate racks without backs flank the farm sink. Ditching the backs allows natural light into the kitchen at all times, illuminates the dishware, and solves an obvious storage issue.
While the owner stores colorful dinner plates (this rack is to the left of the sink), the racks are tall enough to hold chargers or platters.
A vintage French provincial green plate rack (the color was popular during the late 1940s) is small enough (26” h. x 25” w. ) to hang anywhere. Open at the bottom, it was designed for plates to drip dry over a small sink.
One of my favorite plate racks appeared in Mrs. Miniver, the 1942 Oscar winning WWII movie starring Greer Garson as a courageous English middle-class housewife who finds a desperate, injured German flyer (the guy with the gun) in her kitchen while her husband (played by Walter Pidgeon) is out on his boat helping with the evacuation of British and Allied forces from Dunkirk in June 1940. Much of the action takes place in her typical mid-century kitchen — which has a wonderfully old-fashioned above-the-counter built-in rack with slots for dishes, pans and lids plus a shelf just within reach of the sink.
Smallbone of Devizes, the bespoke British cabinet company, makes a plate rack in their Pilaster line, inspired by 18th century cabinet style. This signature piece, topped by a handsome cornice, holds a ton!
A large wooden plate rack in the hip Parisian accessories store called Astier de Villatte, shows how effectively dark wood contrasts with white dishware. Racks like this one, set over a shelf or console table, are often found in Swedish manor house dining rooms.
Another dark French rack – in an industrial Paris loft converted from a carousel workshop – offers a double tier place to stash larger objects high over the sink. Vintage fans might expect an open on the bottom but a dishwasher is likely concealed behind one of the salvaged base cabinets. Too high for daily use, this one is accessible via a library ladder kept in the living room. The steampunk-style base cabinets are fabulous with the concrete floor and exposed brick walls in this thoroughly boho apartment.
A rustic plate rack, created from salvaged shipping pallets, is part of a rustic line of re-purposed bespoke home furnishings created by Katrin Arens.
The rack, called a piattaia by the Italian-based artist, (piatto means plate) is substantial at 100 x 100 cm. (39” x 39”). Bent nails driven into the shelves help keep dishes in place.
(Source: country living, lynnemorgan, country living, southern living, jcovingtonhome, Mrs. Miniver, smallbone of devizes, French blue, the guardian, mandarineditalie)
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