How To Style A Tray

Have you ever gone shopping, bought a bunch of home decor with grand ideas, only to get home and realize you don't know what to do with everything?! One way to bring all those pretty, smaller items together is to style them on a tray. 

Sometimes even the cutest accessories can make a space look cluttered when they aren't displayed in a grouping. Often I find myself putting accessories on a dresser, console table or counter and am not quite satisfied with the end result. Then I add a tray, and voila--there is a cohesiveness that wasn't there before.


As I walk around my home, I count 6 trays in my little apartment--on my coffee table, kitchen table, island, guest bedroom and bathroom, and even on a chair next to me at my kitchen table!

The tray on my coffee table helps to bring my decorative accents together and serves as a functional space--just a few things that make me happy--a plant, my books, a lovely candle, and space for a cup of tea. By putting everything on the tray, I've found it gives my guests the remaining area of the table to put their drinks without needing to move my decor.

Not all of my trays serve a functional purpose, but they definitely help tie together the decor, and provide little moments of pretty.  I think there's a lot to be said for having little bits of happy throughout your home. If you have a few pretty things just sitting in a large space, bring them together with a lovely tray. The tray anchors the area and gives it a less cluttered, more cohesive look and leaves the rest of the countertop clean.

Since I mentioned functionality, let's talk about one of my trays that is more practical than pretty. The tray that sits next to me while I journal is fully functional with all my pens, journals, books, and note cards all quickly at my disposal. It's not the prettiest, but that's why I set it on the chair next to me. 

When I'm done, I put everything back on the tray, place it on the chair, and push it under the table where no one can see it! Sneaky, sneaky I am!

While there may not be rules set in stone for styling a tray, you may find these tips helpful for creating an end result that you love:

  • Odd numbers tend to make decor more visually appealing.
    • Aim for 3 or 5 items on your tray. (A stack of books counts as 1 item.)
  • Vary the heights of your items.
    • Stack books to give short items more height.
  • Add life with something green.
    • A candle ring will anchor your candle to the tray while adding life.
  • Keep things in proportion.
    • Aim to fill 1/2 to 2/3 of the surface area of the tray. 

Mostly, just have fun with it. As the seasons change, add something different that makes you happy. Finally, if it stresses you out, come on in and let us help you! We can make your tray functional and FUN at the same time!

Until next time, happy styling!


1 comment

  • Miss Kristy Skiles DDS


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