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Vintage to Modern: The Evolution of Wallplate Design

Wallplates, although often overlooked, play a significant role in interior design. Serving as both functional elements and decorative accents, they offer a glimpse into the artistic and cultural sensibilities of different periods and technologies. As a leader in the industry, Amerelle believes it’s important to understand the roots of your passion. Believe it or not, there is a rich and interesting history of wallplate design. Let’s take a look at the story of wallplates, tracing its evolution from vintage ornate styles to sleek modern interpretations.

The Vintage Era: A Showcase of Ornate Elegance

The history of wallplate design begins in the Victorian era, in the middle of the 19th century, with the invention of electricity and its gradual introduction into the home setting. During this period, intricate patterns and embellishments were celebrated in the home, and even the most practical hardware such as wallplates, window latches, hooks, doorknobs, and even door hinges were treated as highly decorative focal points to delight the viewer. Wallplates were often made from brass or porcelain and featured elaborate designs, reflecting the opulence and grandeur of the time. Art Nouveau further extended this trend, introducing more sumptuous fluid and organic forms. The emphasis on craftsmanship meant that wallplates were seen as miniature works of art, with meticulous attention to detail.

The Transition to Modernism: Simplicity and Functionality

As the 20th century dawned, a shift towards modernism began to take shape. The Art Deco movement embraced geometric patterns, symmetry, and metallic finishes, reflecting a fascination with industrialization and the machine age. Wallplates during this period became less ornate and more focused on sleek lines and functionality. The Bauhaus movement further solidified this trend, advocating for the integration of art and industry. Wallplates of this era were characterized by minimalism, with a deliberate move away from excess decoration. The emphasis was on form following function, and materials like chrome and plastic began to gain prominence.

The Contemporary Period: Versatility and Personalization

Today's wallplate design reflects a melting pot of influences, ranging from the revival of vintage styles to the embrace of cutting-edge technologies. Contemporary designs often favor clean lines, neutral colors, and versatile materials like stainless steel, glass, and recycled materials. Personalization has become a central theme, with homeowners having the flexibility to choose wallplates that match their individual tastes and interior design themes. The rise of smart homes has also brought about innovative wallplates that integrate with technology, providing both convenience and aesthetic appeal.

Amerelle: On the Cutting Edge of the World of Wallplates

Looking ahead, the evolution of wallplate design is likely to continue, shaped by technological advancements, cultural trends, and individual preferences. The journey of wallplate design is a rich tapestry that mirrors broader artistic and cultural evolutions. From the ornate elegance of the Victorian era to the sleek sophistication of modern design, wallplates have transformed, adapting to changing tastes and technological innovations. In the world of decor, the humble wallplate is a microcosm of history, style, and innovation, offering insights into the ever changing landscape of human expression and need. Amerelle remains on the forefront of this ever-evolving story. For the better part of a century, we have provided some of the industry’s most trusted source for wallplates of all finishes and design. We can guarantee that Amerelle will continue to lead the charge when it comes to the progression of the history of wallplates.

Related Decor Styles

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Transitional spaces combine aspects of the Modern and Traditional décor styles, enhancing them with modern touches. It's an unintimidating style that provides a timeless appeal.


This turn-of-the-century design style is a simple, clutter-free aesthetic that steers clear of frills and bold color. It was born of a distinct historical movement that introduced the concept of the open floor plan.

Art Deco

First appearing in France after WWI, Art Deco was not just a style but a movement. Characterized by bold colors, luxurious materials, and geometry, this style influenced interiors, product design, art, fashion, jewelry, and more.