If you're looking for a way to dramatically boost the charm and functionality of your kitchen, consider adding an open plate rack. It mounts to the wall, leaving counters uncluttered, and gets your dishes out in the open—easy to grab and hard not to admire.
The fine example at right features shapely sides and Shaker pegs to hang cups or towels. To build it, you'll need a few pieces of poplar or equally solid lumber for the sides and shelves, a piece of beadboard for the back, and hardwood dowels. It mounts with a French cleat, which you can make from wood or purchase in metal.
Alternatively, if detail work with dowels doesn't sound like your cup of tea, there are any number of options you can buy instead, ranging from mass-produced models to handcrafted marvels. No matter what, you'll feel good giving your dishes a proper place to shine.
Download and print a cut list for building a plate rack.
Step 1: Learn the anatomy and go to the store
Download a printable cut list here.
1x12 poplar: two @ 32 inches
1x poplar: one @ 4 by 20 inches
1x poplar: one @ 7 by 20 inches
½-inch beadboard: one @ 32 by 20 inches
5/4 poplar top rail: one @ 1½ by 20 inches with a 1-inch-wide 45-degree beveled face ripped along one corner
5/4 poplar front rail: one @ 1 by 20 inches with a ½-inch-wide 45-degree beveled face ripped along one corner
5/4 poplar back rail: one @ 3¼ by 20 inches
Diagonal dowels: nine @ 13 inches
Horizontal dowels: nine @ 7 inches
Consider a DIY Kit to Make This and Other Kitchen-Storage Upgrades