Design Corner – Tray Chic

I am starting a new section of the blog, titled: Decorate.

I am not a professional designer, but in my head, I totally am.  In that part of my head, I am also a skilled ballerina, so I don’t know if that tarnishes my credibility as a designer somewhat.

I love design books and design blogs, and I am constantly moving things around in my own home, until they are “just right”. I figured I would share some of the things that inspire me to not only organize my home, but decorate it.

Every couple of weeks, I will give a new decor suggestion. They will be easy to implement and hopefully will inspire you to continue adding touches to your home, so that your home feels like you.  So that your home makes you feel how you want to feel.

This week I will share one of my favorite decorating ideas…using trays to decorate, cradle, and anchor miscellaneous items.

Traditionally, trays are used for serving food items, coffee and tea.  I keep my nicer, sturdier trays for this purpose.

Decorating with trays

But I also use them all over the house.

Starting with the coffee table in our living room.

This is actually a cake platter from Ballard Designs, that I inverted to use as a tray.  It is perfect for this small table.

Decorating with trays

In the dining room, I have a gray, narrow ottoman (Target clearance…yay!) that is nice on its own, but needed some jazzing up.

Decorating with trays

This gold croco-embossed tray was perfect to anchor the plant that sits on the ottoman.

When you have a soft surface, such as an ottoman, adding a hard element, such as a tray or a stack of books can add structure and interest to an otherwise boring piece of furniture.

I also love the gray and gold contrast.

Decorating with trays

In the family room I have an enormous tray that I found at ZGallerie (also clearance).  It is also croco-embossed.

I should have named this post “The Clearance Crocodile”.  I see a running theme…

Trays are great for tables with miscellaneous items that may not go together.  Once they are on a tray, they look organized and somehow tied together.

This is a great idea if you collect perfumes or figurines.  If they are on a tray, they will look more like a cohesive collection, and more visually appealing.

Decorating with Trays

Lastly, on the kitchen table we have a tray that corrals our vitamins, napkins and ceramic trivets.  When I need to clear the table, I simply lift the tray, instead of all the items one-by-one.

Decorating with Trays

Trays can do more than carry a tea service, they can add beauty and function to a space.

So I encourage you to dust off the trays that you have tucked away in the garage, or in the very back of the china cabinet.

If you already use trays, please share with me how.  I love to hear from you!

I hope you enjoyed this new section of the blog!

In a few days, we will return to the Kitchen Organizing Series but for now, I hope that you enjoy your weekend, your family, your home.

– Maria

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