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Table Tray Decor Ideas: Ways to Make the Most of This Hot Home Accessory

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Table tray decor is a hot topic right now—in fact, trays have become the new “it” accessories in homes. Gleaming and bright, they sit atop dressers, kitchen counters, and end tables, holding vases, flowers, knickknacks … they seem to be the perfect catch-all for just about anything! They create visual interest, and are less cliche than coffee table books.

Yet using a tray as an organizing tool or to pump up your room’s style takes a bit of practice; You can’t just pile your stuff on top and be done with it. To help, we’ve asked design pros for their guidance with tray materials and size, as well as smart ways to organize a tray so it doesn’t end up looking like a cry for help.

Here’s how to dive in!

Why is table tray decor so hot right now?

Photo by Erika Bonnell Interiors 

Trays have long been popular as a practical decor item, appearing in many designs, from Victorian to Mid-Century Modern, notes Drew Henry of Design Dudes in San Antonio, TX. “You’ll see them popping up on Instagram feeds too, especially when they’re used for breakfast in bed and as coffee tables on stools.”

Trays are also inspiring nostalgia among some homeowners. “Clients of all ages are asking for less clutter and a simpler way of living, so trays will continue to gain in popularity … because they add texture, color, and personality,” says Paul Miller, owner of MakeNest Interiors in Winchester, VA.

What’s the best type of tray for your home?

Photo by Abbe Fenimore Studio Ten 25

Think about how you’ll use your tray, and then choose the right materials for the room. Trays in the kitchen and dining room should be food safe, of course, so think acrylic or ceramic (these materials are more practical than a wooden tray, because they’re easier to clean, too). “For the living room, there are metal, wood, or enameled options, and a mirrored tray in the bar area looks great as it reflects bottles and glassware,” says Henry.

Pick a tray that’s heavy enough to hold what you’re carrying yet light enough to handle. “A hardwood tray or brass are classic choices,” says Miller. If your tray is staying put, white marble with a matte finish is perfect in a relaxed, elegant kitchen, while glossy acrylic with contrasting metal accents complements a more modern room.

There are many price points for trays, but quality is key. Look for sturdy construction and handles or cutouts that are comfortable to grip. But don’t overspend. “You can find a nice-looking tray at Target starting at $20, so think carefully before you buy, as this accessory should value function,” says Henry.

Also look for a tray with a high enough lip or apron around it to prevent things from sliding off when you transport them, offers Miller. “Even if you’re buying the tray as a decoration, it should still function on many levels in the future—and not just sit pretty on your ottoman,” he adds.

Table tray decor styling made easy

Photo by BLACK & POOLE

Whatever you do, don’t overload your tray with tons of stuff. “Anchor your look with one large item, plus a few smaller things, so you can still see the bottom of the tray,” says Henry.

One designer trick you can use is the “rule of three,” so your coffee table tray doesn’t become a mound of magazines. “Keep the look simple, with a box to hold TV remotes, a taller item that adds beauty and height, like a vase of flowers or a bonsai tree, and then add a third, smaller object, as an accent for a bit of whimsy,” says Miller.

From there, “Take some time to go through it at least once a week, if not daily, and deal with the mail and catalogs that tend to pile up on it,” recommends Annie Draddy of the organizing firm Henry & Higby, based in New York. And if you’re using a tray to achieve organization, size it right. “For instance, if you want a tray to hold papers, find one that fits the standard sheet size, because otherwise, it’ll become a drop spot for all kinds of other items,” she adds.

Photo by Adrienne DeRosa 


The post Table Tray Decor Ideas: Ways to Make the Most of This Hot Home Accessory appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights |®.

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