Using Trays for Corralling Displays

One of my favorite things to use in decorating tabletops and ottomans is the humble tray.   It’s great for corralling all kinds of pretties and collectables.

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Trays are perfect for the popular upholstered ottoman -  it’s not the end of the world if a glass or vase gets knocked over.  And it’s the perfect base for a lovely vignette or display of books and accessories.

colorful room with tray Using Trays for Corralling Displays

via Pinterest


You can find all kinds of trays made of wood, plastic, ceramic.  Don’t forget to check the kitchen section of your neighborhood superstore to find just the right tray for your living room.

green and blue room Using Trays for Corralling Displays

 Meg Braff via Pinterest


You know what the best thing is about using trays to corral your small items?  Grouping your accessories on a tray keeps things looking neater and less cluttered.  I LOVE how this vintage picture frame was repurposed as a tray on a dressing table – isn’t this FABULOUS?

frame tray Using Trays for Corralling Displays

 via Pinterest


Hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend – are you ready to get back at it? 





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  1. I’m learning the fine art of using more and more trays. They really are such a great way to coral your things, and it does look a lot better. Handier, too, when you need to pick up and move everything…

  2. Paula Van Hoogen says:

    We just rearranged our little guest “suite” to face a loveseat/ottoman towards (ugh!) a flatscreen. There is absolutely no room for side tables…so the tray will work as a coffee/glass holder!
    Wish YOU lived near me now, Kristie…. my neighbor is having one of those home parties with a beautiful line of clothing (Cabi) @ my house. I wish you could come! The event is causing me to clean up my act!!

    • Paula,
      Planning parties is the best way to get those house projects done! Party pressure is excellent motivation – I’ve got a birthday party coming up weekend after next, so I need to start kicking it into high-gear myself! Have a great event – wish I could come :)

  3. Kristie, this is such great advice! I finally broke down and bought 2 lacquer trays from West Elm for our front hall table, which is always an absolute disaster. The minute all that junk went into the trays, it looked FANTASTIC! We fooled everyone :) Thanks for a great post, as always!

  4. I am such a huge tray fan. I love trays and especially on an ottoman. Love the idea with the picture frame too…humm…you have just given me an idea… Thanks!

  5. Trays of all shapes, sizes and material are an important part of our staging business, and a favorite item to use at home. Your article is a great way to demonstrate the many uses of our favorite item.

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