It’s a mindless task: First, you pull the clean plates out of the dishwasher, and then you stack them in the cupboards. But if you pause to think about it, you might reconsider your storage method. A neat tower works just fine, but it doesn’t exactly make it easy to grab your favorite from the bottom of the pile. Plus, your dishes are at a greater risk of chipping, and if they rest on your trendy open shelving, they can take away from the artful display you had going. The best strategy for keeping your dishes—and shelves—looking good is actually a plate rack.
First and foremost, a plate rack is not a drying rack (although, in some cases, it can be both). The vertical design is meant to make it easy to grab items on the go and even double as art, depending on how wild your tableware collection is.
In a dream scenario, our prettiest dishes would rest inside this custom, built-in (aka very pricey) frame by deVOL Kitchens. Swoon. Fortunately, you can mimic the bespoke design on a super-low budget. Lipper International sells a slim rack on Amazon for a mere $6.86, and the 600-plus reviewers who contributed to its almost-perfect five-star rating rave about the sturdy bamboo piece in the comments. “It makes it much easier when you have dishes of different shapes that don’t stack as easily or nicely,” wrote one customer. Another fan with an extensive collection of wooden cutting boards suggested using the stand for those.
Really, any open space—shelf, countertop, glass-doored cupboard—will work. Blogger and renovator Deb Foglia of Seeking Lavender Lane put a stand-alone one next to her range. “We mostly have lower cabinets and drawers, so I decided to put it on the kitchen counter for everyday dishes and loved how it looked,” says Foglia. (She scored her triple-tiered one secondhand on Facebook Marketplace.)
Of course, there’s always one caveat to keeping items out: dust. But if you can spare the total of 30 seconds out of your day it will take to remedy that issue, this organization tool deserves a spot in your kitchen. Get your ducks—err, plates—in a row.