Trays are a decorating staple and offer a lot more than simply a way to carry something. What makes trays of all shapes and sizes a versatile decorating accessory is that they are a fast and affordable way to add style to any room in a variety of ways. Read on and learn a few creative ways to use trays that you may not have considered.
Decorating on a budget and using what you have on hand to create a home that you love, is pleasing to your eye, as well as functional. It is one of my favorite posting topics.
Add to this – easy and affordable and it about sums up what gets me most excited about decorating my home. This type of decorating is what I am sharing today in my first post joining the 20 Minute Decorating series with 5 other bloggers.
Normally around this time of the year, I am busily decorating my house for spring, buying flowers and freshening every inch of my home to welcome the season.
This year, we’ll – you know… life is different for all of us. I am keeping things very simple and using what I have. My local supermarket no longer has a great selection of fresh flowers and I don’t have any blooming in my yard yet to use.
So what did I do? I remembered I had a floral design tole tray up in my attic decor stash that I haven’t used in a long time. I decided to bring it downstairs and place it on my coffee table to add a little bit of spring color to the room.
Doing this reminded me how much I LOVE TRAYS!!!
So I went back to my attic decor stash and then to my china closet, and my kitchen cabinets and pulled out every tray I owned. From silver plate, wood, porcelain and painted trays. I gathered ten. When I added this count to the trays already in use around my house, it brought the count to 17. Like white pitchers... I have a thing for trays.
Over the years, I have collected quite a few trays. I also view porcelain serving dishes as trays and use them more for decor than for serving food.
What kind of trays do you have? Go take a look. In 20 minutes you can have a whole new look for any table or countertop in your home.
Choose a tray that you like and think of a way to display and use it decoratively in your home.
Here are a few ideas to inspire you to use the trays you own in new and different ways. All can be done in 20 minutes or less.
Why Are Trays The Most Versatile Decorating Accessory?
Trays are practical, portable, and easily cleaned. They are also pretty and can add a shot of color to your space and style.
A tray can become a desk when you don’t have one.
Seasonal decor needs to be stowed away when not in use. It causes clutter and takes up room. When you use a tray as a base, what you place on top of it can be changed for the seasons with small accessories. No need to buy a coastal candle holder that can only be used in the summer. Instead make one using a tray, stones and votive candle holders.
When the season changes, replace what is on the tray. As you can see, simple works.
With each season, change what is on the tray…
…or move it to another room and restyle it with a few small seasonal items.
Trays make decorating easy and organizing small items, stylish.
Trays are classic and never go out of style. If they do, then they can always be painted to coordinate with a new trend or color scheme.
Or you can add tiles or decorative paper to the bottom to change it up for a season.
If you have a wicker tray and want to use it to carry drinks, you can make a cardboard insert for it.
Try Layering Trays
There is no reason to think that only one tray is enough: Smaller trays placed within larger ones create visual order and make it easy to organize or separate small items.
Match the Tray Shape to the Table on Which it’s Placed
Here is a great example of how to use a tray on a table in a decorative way. Match the tray to the shape of the table for an eye-catching display. It looks like the table and tray were meant to be.
Why I Like Organizing with Small Rectangular Trays
I like to use small rectangular trays to corral smaller items on my bathroom and kitchen counters.
The small trays keep counter clutter organized and makes cleaning the counter easy as the tray can easily be picked up when you need to clean the counter.
I use them on every counter in my house.
Make Furniture With Trays
Did you know you can create your own furniture using a tray?
I turned plain TV trays into Butler’s tables by placing a tray on top. Voila! Instant chic that can also be made into a temporary night table for a guest.
I created more interest for this small chest of drawers by placing a tray on top that is the same color, size and shape as the top. It looks like an integral part of the piece of furniture.
I didn’t attach the tray, but I could. I like having the tray on top so nothing can fall or roll off the top.
Trays are the hardest working decorating accessory you will ever own.
Of course you can still use any tray when you need to carry things from your kitchen to the table. Once the meal is over, you can put the tray right back into decorating mode.
Where to Find Trays
Most of the trays I own were purchased at flea markets and thrift stores. A few are from World Market, Walmart, and Target. My current favorites are smaller white porcelain trays that are sold with the intention of serving food.
My Favorite Small Trays
Want to find more decorating inspiration that is so quick and easy to do that it can be done in 20 minutes?
Just click on the blog name above each photo below.