Decorative plates have long been used to enhance the decor of a home, but they wouldn't be as great to display without a decorative plate rack. The wide variety of available stands makes it simple to find one that perfectly fits the style, size and overall mood of the plate. Decorative plate racks are sometimes as decorative as the plates themselves--or they can be not noticeable at all.
The purpose of a decorative plate rack is to support and showcase a decorative plate. The racks themselves can also be decorative, but they are also available in fairly mundane varieties. Others are nearly altogether hidden, with barely a hint of the stand showing. After all, the plate stand is usually fully hidden behind the plate. A truly fancy stand may detract from the main artwork on view.
The most common decorative plate racks are freestanding, which means they are propped upon a shelf or other flat surface to display the plate. These racks look somewhat like easels, with three feet at the base and a taller column protruding from the back feet, against which the plate is propped. Other racks are meant to hold multiple plates and look somewhat like an accordion, with a slot where several plates can be lined up and inserted. Still others will be flatter, and often use small springs and other attachments so they can secure plates to the wall.
Decorative plate racks are made from a wide variety of materials. Freestanding racks can be constructed from wood, wrought iron, Lucite, acrylic, brass or other metals. Some will be plain, while others may have ornate knobs, swirls or other decorative features at the top or base surrounding the plate. Colours vary from clear to a deep black or shiny metallic.
Decorative plate racks do not have to be limited to holding only plates. They are great bases for smaller artwork or other ornamental items around the home. Plate racks also work to prop up unbalanced statues or other figurines. Plate racks that provide a flat base for the plate can double as candle holders, with a glass or metal candle base propped on the holder rather than a plate.
Decorative plate racks should be chosen with several factors in mind. The most important aspect is getting a rack that is sturdy and large enough to hold the plate. The room layout is another consideration, which may determine if the plate should be displayed on a flat surface or hung from the wall. This will also help decide the colour and visibility of the rack. For an overall effect, it is also wise to choose racks that match the general style and time frame of the plate. For instance, an antique, gilded plate may work best with a thin, gold rack, whereas a heavy, ceramic, southwest-style plate will fare better with a decorative wrought-iron or other heavy rack. Since the prices can vary, budget is also a factor.