15 Decor Tray Ideas for Your Home and Home Office
You probably have a tray or two sitting in a cabinet or pantry waiting for the time you will take them out, and use them, or even display them. Instead of stowing your trays, keep them out. Serving trays serve up style around your home with our list of top favorite repurposing ideas for trays. Let’s get started with 15 decor tray ideas for your home and home office!
Why you should use decor trays in your home decor
Decorative trays are functional, beautiful and can be used in all areas of your house. Trays can also protect surfaces from spills or plant leaks. Decorative trays are both functional and beautiful. Like these trays for decorating your home and home office.
Ways to repurpose decor trays
Not sure about using more trays? Everyone should consider using a tray in these 15 places in your home, for decoration + organization.
01. Entry Organizer
If you’re always losing your keys or sunglasses, a small tray on the entryway gives them a home. A divided tray gives a home to everyone’s odds and ends!
Place a tray on a console near your foyer so anything you plunk down when you walk in can be kept tidy, like your wallet, sunglasses, keys, loose change or cell phone.
02. For Unique Collectables
Whether tucked away on a bookshelf or on display on a side table, trays are the perfect way to show off objects you love to collect, such as pottery bowls, candlesticks or little jars of seashells.
03. Instant Bar
Create your own mini bar. Place a large tray on a buffet and top with glassware, drink of your choice and stylish entertaining decor. When you’re entertaining, add little dishes with lemon wedges, olives and cherries to garnish.
I also love the idea of a dessert bar or indoor s’mores bar. Make it a party tray and make entertaining fun again!
04. Makeup Tray
A tray’s shallow depth and short sides make it a perfect solution to containing your makeup, jewelry or other toiletries. Use small dishes or jars to categorize like items, such as lipstick, makeup brushes, or earrings.
05. Inspiring Library
If you’re like any of us, you might have a ton of coffee table books lying around your house. Make a coffee table more organized and display your favorite books by stacking them in a tray.
06. Kitchen Companion
While it’s nice to have things stored in cupboards and drawers, often a few items must be kept on the countertops. Keep them tidy and less cluttered by putting them in a decor tray.
Works great for spices/oils, a coffee or drink station, kitchen utensils, or baking canisters.
An organized kitchen allows the chef to efficiently maximize her cooking time. Quick in, quick out! Keep cooking essentials within easy reach near the stove: olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper grinder and anything else you need to whip up your favorite meals.
No coffee table? Use your tray to create a flat surface on your ottoman or sofa so you can set a glass, remote or other items. A tray on an ottoman gives it a side-table or coffee table functionality, as well as organizing books, or even toys.
08. Coffee TAble Decor Tray
We have been working on our living decor for a very long time, especially since the pandemic started and we’ve been home for so long. Keeping the living room tidy and aesthetically pleasing has been a mission of mine. Use a tray to display magazines, some of your favorite books, and keep track of remotes.
09. Daily in-Box
Designate a spot on your desktop or kitchen counter for your tray, so you can quickly keep contained the endless influx of mail, receipts, school papers, invitations and magazines. Remember to go through your paper pile once a week to deal with bills, RSVPs and other items.
10. Plant Tray
If you have a green thumb, create a naturally attractive display with potted ivy, herbs, and succulents. Grab some ideas of what to keep in your indoors garden here.
Creating a consolidated display on trays helps bring order and gives a clean, modern and minimalist look. Plus, it makes watering easier.
11. Bedside Table
A tray makes it a convenient place to charge your phone and keep your spare change. Place books, reading glasses, TV remote and other items in a tray to bring a feeling of serenity and calm to your place of repose. Making trays an essential bedroom decor of all time.
12. Bedroom Decor Idea for Him
Grab a decor tray that is masculine and brings out his style. He deserves a fancy receptacle for wallets, keys, his wedding ring and loose change.
13. Bedroom Decor Idea for Her
Keep track of earrings and other jewelry, plus odds and ends, with a simple designated jewelry tray. Also make it her style. Think of a lovely mirror or glass tray with a gold accent.
14. Bathroom Decor
Toiletries can easily spread and expand and take over. Use a decor tray to keep them under control! A tray is also a great place to store hand soap and/or a towel.
This sounds weird, but a tray is quite convenient on the back of the toilet. Find one the right size for some added storage and decor, and it’s still easy to move if you ever need to do maintenance on the toilet.
15. HOme Office Decor
Use a tray to keep notepads, pens, and other office supplies organized. Consider keeping different sizes and shapes of trays at hand. It also makes a convenient mini office if you need to move locations.
I like to keep a glass decor tray with pretty stationery to keep me inspired while working.
Tips to help you style a decorative tray
1. Add some height to a smaller piece of decor with a small stack of books. Choose books that have visually appealing covers that fit into the color scheme or place them backward to show the aged paper.
2. Add some texture with flowers in a vase. I happened to have a few faux arrangements around the house, but a fresh flower arrangement would be gorgeous!
3. Use small decorative items to add depth and character.
4. Use different material types like metal, glass, or ceramic, making each item stand out alone yet fit in with the whole look.
5. Remember the rule of 3. Group items in 3’s, whether you use only 3 items or 3 clusters of groups/items. Let me explain it further.
Imagine, books or a candle would count as one item. A pitcher and flowers are another item, and finally, the ceramic bowl with jewelry is a third.
6. Make sure the visual weight of the items is balanced. A lantern or candle does not have as much visual weight as a pitcher, but by adding books underneath it helps to balance it out.
Why you shoud be using more trays in your home
Trays are an amazingly versatile and relatively inexpensive element to add to your home decorating. And since they’re not just for decorating, it’s a win-win. Use trays to:
Organize items. Which also helps declutter a space, because when the tray is full, you have to clear it out!
Cut down visual clutter. When there is a group of items on a tray, your brain is more likely to interpret it as one element in a space, rather than “seeing” the 5 things that are on the tray. So, you’re both more organized and feel more organized, or less cluttered.
Make any space party friendly. Obviously, trays are great for entertaining and serving. Trays make it easy to put food or drinks where you need them, and clean up when you’re done, whether you’re hosting a large holiday party or a party of one with a good book and your favorite drink.
Add texture. We talked a bit here about giving your decor variety by adding shape and texture, and trays are a beautiful and functional way to add texture and color! Wood trays, woven trays, metal trays, patterned trays come in every color and every material under the sun to add variety to your home decor.
Play around with it until it looks just right. Arrange, rearrange, and swap out items until you get exactly the look you are going for! And then, if you’re like me, change it again in a week because you are bored with it.
For now, I love placing decorative trays on my dresser, so I have a place to toss my jewelry and other items. I placed a few little felt pads in the corners so it does not scratch up the wood.
We hope you enjoy yourself today and keep checking back for ongoing tips, guides and great shopping!