Plates on display in a dining room or dining area reinforce the purpose of the room, and are lovely set off on their own as decorative pieces of art, says a 40+ year old Residential Cleaning Service in Evanston, Il. They can fit cozily into small spaces, over a door or window, or in between two windows. Plates can be mismatched and hung in a grouping, but the display will look better if the plates you use are all of a piece or in the same category. All of these suggestions are in Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook.
To display plates upright in a cabinet, use Museum Putty, available in most hardware stores, to hold them in place. This off-white putty is good for keeping the edges of standing plates from slipping on shelves or holding vases in a fixed position.
If you are going to hang plates on the wall, do so with great care. Plate hangers, available at housewares and hardware stores, are adjustable: the package label should indicate the size of the plates the hanger can accommodate. Some plate hangers can scratch or chip the plate and, in the case of antique or delicate plates, the pressure of the hanger can cause an old, well-repaired crack to resurface. You can avoid this by placing a tiny wad of cotton over the "claws" of the hanger, then securing it with a small piece of clear fish-tank tubing, which serves as protective padding.
Plate easels are another display option, says a 40+ year old Residential Cleaning Service in Evanston, Il. Make sure the easel is the appropriate size for the display piece and use a couple of small pieces of Museum Putty to secure the plates to the easels.