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Conversation Pieces
{Vintage Key Plates!}

by | Mar 25, 2010 | Bathrooms, Decorating Inspiration, Details

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Conversation Pieces <br>{Vintage Key Plates!}

Vintage Key Plate – A conversation starter

Did you see adorable key plates taken out of old houses? I used to sell these in my shop, but really you can find them at old hardware parts stores. Here is how I used mine!

I love finding small ways to bring in that old house detail, so these are right up my alley.

Conversation Pieces <br>{Vintage Key Plates!}

Basic builder towel rods
are not conversation starters.

We have these towel circle things in all of our bathrooms. Nothing really wrong with them and they certainly are not ugly, but they are just not special in any way. They are normal and expected.  Builders by them by the dozens and put them in every new house.

Well, I don’t know about you, but that thought makes me cringe a little. Do I really want the same circle towel holder as every one of my neighbors? No. Where is the fun in that?

Will anyone ever leave my powder room talking about my typical builder grade circle towel holder? No, I am pretty sure it will never be talked about. Not much you could say.

Conversation Pieces <br>{Vintage Key Plates!}

I’m working on a little powder room makeover and I wanted something UNIQUE but affordable to replace that towel holder. This door key plate was exactly what I was hoping for.

I feel like life is too short to be normal and expected! It is fun to find ways in your home to show a little more personality. You can really make a statement when you use conversation pieces.

People always leave my powder room talking about the cute things to look at in there. Maybe I am one of the few people who decorate their powder room with accessories and lamps? I think a powder room should be fun. It is so tiny but you can pack it with personality.

Conversation Pieces <br>{Vintage Key Plates!}

Remember, details do matter.

These would be adorable for hanging scarves in the winter, jewelry, keys or even potholders in the kitchen. They would be precious in a little girls’ room, a bedroom, the laundry room, the front entry and I bet you could even use them with a door knob on a door. Really, there is no end to where you could use these!

You could mount them on a board, hang them on the side of your kitchen cabinet or put them directly on a wall with one or more used as artwork. Or, just set them on a shelf as an accessory.

Conversation Pieces <br>{Vintage Key Plates!}

Conversation Pieces <br>{Vintage Key Plates!}

I cannot wait to paint my powder room and use this as my towel hook! Isn’t the skeleton key just adorable? I just love it. The color I chose for the walls is another Martha Stewart color, I’m pretty sure it is called snailshell. I haven’t yet seen it on the wall so I’ll keep you posted how that goes.

Do you have conversation pieces in your home?

Have a great day! PS. I drove down to Portland for the day yesterday and I did mini-drive by for you! I’ll upload the photos and share later!


  1. Heathahleecanblog

    I love those key plates! And I have to say I giggled a little at your picture quotes. : )
    .-= Heathahleecanblog´s last blog ..Angry =-.

  2. krys72599

    I just bought an antique white door key plate!
    Does it come with a key?
    We have some old crystal doorknobs around the house, too – that might give it a different look – I see them at flea markets all the time…
    .-= krys72599´s last blog ..The World’s Best Book Tour! =-.

    • Melissa

      Yes, it has the key mounted in it! Nice and sturdy and OH SO CUTE! :-)

  3. Nouveau Stitch

    I love having a whimsical bathroom … in my home, it’s the guest bath. Black replica typewriter key stickers arranged in a harlequin pattern on the strawberry-shake colored walls. The keys have fun words to provoke smiles. A hand towel embroidered with…I see London, I see France. Black and white awning stripe London shade. I find myself visiting just to brighten up my day!

    Love the vintage key plates!


  4. anita

    Hi, I love it. Just wondering how it is mounted? I see 4 screw holes but no screws.

    • Melissa

      Hi Anita, yes, I forgot to explain that. I just hung it on a picture hook for the photos because i am repainting walls and didn’t want to mount it fully with screws. But to make it sturdy on the wall you could definitely use four screws! :-)

  5. Juanita

    Love this!! Now I need to be on the lookout! have a blessed day!
    .-= Juanita´s last blog ..MMMM Yummy! =-.

  6. Bekki

    What a great idea! Although in my house the key would get “Stolen” to be used by small children for something. :) I have my children’s baby overalls framed and hung in the powder room. They always spark conversation. Although I hung them for purely sentimental reasons.

    • Melissa

      Your kids won’t be able to steal this one! It is safely affixed in the keyhole! LOVE that, no more lost keys!

      • Sarah Kissell

        Love this idea!!

        I was able to find the materials at an antique show!

        What did you use to get the key to stay?

  7. Gina

    Very cute! I’ve got a little lamp in our powder room and some other decorative details-those details sure make a difference. Can’t wait to see snailshell-sounds cool!
    .-= Gina´s last blog ..My Bedroom Has the Blues =-.

  8. teresa

    I add lamps and such to my tiny powder rooms too. I so looking forward to receiving the vintage key plate that I ordered.
    Happy Day
    Thanks for all the ideas.
    .-= teresa´s last blog ..Easter Decorations- =-.

  9. Tracy

    I like that you used your key to hold keys. Obvious but still unexpected. A line-up of those keys would look great by a back door or in a mudroom for keys and leashes and such. I’m sure I’ll spend some time in my house today imagining where I could use one (or more!) for myself.
    .-= Tracy @ Comfort&Luxury´s last blog ..The Color of Happy =-.

  10. MandeeFoFandee

    I’ve already purchased the antique key set from Pottery Barn for my entryway, and one of these key plates would be the perfect compliment for them! I’m buying one right now!

  11. Mary Jean

    Love it! Can’t wait to get my stuff from your Open Sky Shop! That is just too cool that you have the shop! I use a double plate rack as a towel holder in my powder room . I have double towels, one lower for kids and one on top for adults!
    .-= Mary Jean´s last blog ..I can’t get enough Turquoise! =-.

  12. janice

    I know this might sound daft, but do they actually work on doors, or are they purely decorative? It’s gorgeous, and just my kind of thing. I aslo thought they might look good on pocket or sliding doors.
    .-= janice | Sharing the Journey´s last blog ..Why Haiku? =-.

    • Melissa

      Well, I *think* you actually could put this on a door with a knob. Can’t tell you 100% for certain because I left it at home when I drove to Portland so I can’t try it out. But, I am ALMOST positive you could really use it on a door. Really, I can think of tons of uses for it. I was just looking in my niece’s bedroom and I thought how ADORABLE it would be in a little girls’ room! Or a laundry room! I’m gonna add those ideas to my post. The more I think about it, the more ideas come to mind!

  13. gina

    those are bigger than i thought? i don’t have ANY conversation starters and i really want at least one of these!! So, is the group price definitely on? I saw 24 had sold so far…
    .-= gina´s last blog ..UNDER CONSTRUCTION! AND TWO CHANCES TO WIN BIG… =-.

    • Melissa

      Yes! The sale is FOR SURE! We only had to have five of us buy to get the group price and 24 have sold so we are ON IT! So happy you love them as much as I do!

  14. janmary, n ireland

    Great idea for a quirky hook – and SO much better than a boring towel ring – from someone who has just bought some new towel rings for her bathroom makeover! However everything will be chrome and minimal, and I don’t think I can get away with being TOO unconventional …. I keep my quirkiness mostly for the holiday cottage instead!
    .-= janmary, n ireland´s last blog ..Some Shabby Chic Wall Decor for our Cottage =-.

  15. maggie

    I’ve been looking for something unique to use as a robe hook on the back of the guest bath. This will work! Thanks!

  16. Abbie

    Very cute! I would definitely go for something like that … except that we live in a late-Victorian style house complete with original woodwork and doorknobs! So it might be overkill to use those also. But they sure are cute! Someday, in another house.
    .-= Abbie´s last blog ..Gummy worms =-.

  17. Liz

    I had my email open today to this post when my son’s ENT Dr walked in the room. She looked down at it and said “Conversation pieces?” lol
    Anyway…my Father-in-law has moved from their 50+ year farm to an apartment in town, we will soon be visiting him to “go thru” things (3 barns full) I will be on the look out for these. I just think they are so neat! And would go perfect in my big 1926 home.
    Thanks so much for sharing them!
    .-= [email protected]´s last blog ..Easter Bonnet Cookies =-.

  18. meredith

    Love these! I spent the night obsessing about where I’d put them and I’ve decided to get three and set them up down low for my daughter to hang her jacket/school bag/whatever on right near the front door. We live in a historic house and these will fit in so nicely! Thanks!

  19. Sam

    I know this was posted several years ago, but I just came across it and I LOVE this idea. Just bought an antique plate and key to repurpose as a towel hook. How did you get the key to stay in place?? Thank you!

  20. Carla Castillo

    Is the key welded in I’m making some of these but am not sure how the key is held into the plate. I also added knobs to mine for dual purpose



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