My Favorite Decorating Ideas – Trays

 Have you even noticed that there are certain things you do over and over in decorating your home?  A trick or idea that just works so well that you find yourself using it in almost every room?

For me, it is one of my favorite decorating ideas – trays.

Such a simple idea that works so well.

Not only does it work in almost any space, or any surface (even walls), but is a really quick way to make a space work.  In fact, this could be one of my biggest tricks for the ten minuting decorating ideas series I recently started.

So, I thought I would share with you all the ways I use trays in my home.

 I love the texture of this leather-like tray with the nail-head trim.  It is perfect in my living room to group together items like magazines, pictures frames and tchokas.


 In the kitchen, I always have a tray next to the stove to group all the essentials.  Having them all on a tray also makes for easy clean up.


 Vintage tool boxes count as trays in my book and are perfect on a dining room table filled with fresh flowers in mason jars.


I can never pass up an enamelware tray either.  Here, I have it on top of my washing machine grouping useful and pretty items alike.  It makes for easy clean up of spilled detergent as well.  I also love them for crafting with hot glue or glitter – again, easy clean up.


A painted toolbox is another favorite – with some vintage bottles and some flowers picked right from my yard.  I love grouping all of the same flower.


My most favorite tray of all trays – is this one – a perfect way to pull together a special table.


S ometimes, a “tray” can be something as simple as a small platter.  This vintage ironstone platter is on my dresser to hold my rings or earrings when I take them off – and to add a little style.

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My coffee table is a constant rotation of different trays or groups of trays.  The left one is a unfinished tray we painted and then added vintage hardware to.  The right one is actually a factory bin found at a vintage sale years ago.


A “leather” wrapped tray is perfect for collecting a group of plates and decorative items in the dining room.


I have even been known to put trays on the wall as part of a gallery wall.


I love mixing low trays with something higher and with different textures.


My newest and runs a close tie for my favorite, is this tiered tray that is on my kitchen island.


Which was a replacement to my other tiered tray which I am currently trying to find a new home for.


Trays can be high sided or flat.  They can be made of metal, wood, leather or wicker.  They can be traditional trays or non-traditional choices like a tool box, platter or factory bins.

No matter what their style or material, they are quick way to add style to anywhere in your home.   Try grouping photos, vases, books or magazines, kitchen essentials, flowers or decorative items.

Don’t be afraid to move them around seasonally or to fill them with unexpected items.  I know I always love a little something quirky added to a display.

Thanks so much for reading and wishing you a great day.


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Welcome to Finding Home Farms where we share our favorite DIY and decorating ideas and inspiration. We believe your home should be a reflection of you and your family. Our blog is the story of our journey - and what we find along the way. Thanks for joining us!

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20 thoughts on “My Favorite Decorating Ideas – Trays”


  1. Hi Laura! Great minds must think alike. I just ordered an unfinished tray from JoAnn’s– I was inspired by something I saw at Pottery Barn. Also I’ve been on the hunt for a while at Goodwill. There was an idea I saw a looooong time ago and I thought it would be fantastic but the hunt continues. I love all of your trays and the way you display them. Very inspiring.

  2. Absolutely! I keep adding them all around the house. Trays make less important things look great and help protect things that are important. They just make ‘stuff’ look prettier.

  3. Love all your trays…and quite a variety! This begs the question…do you prefer rectangular to round? I have mostly rectangular…they seem to hold more stuff! 😉

  4. Delightful post – delightful groupings. Trays are indeed a wonderful addition to decor scapes. Makes life a lot easier in many regards. Had to ‘pin’ that one of the blue toolbox and old bottle flower ‘vases’. Charming!

  5. You did an amazing job of grouping things together in your trays. I love using trays because it seems to accent collections better. BTW.. great pics of you and Rhoda on her blog enjoying your time in Savannah. One of my favorite places and such a beautiful city

  6. Thanks for sharing all of these great ideas…it’s nice to have multiple ideas on different styles of trays…you sure do have a knack for setting these up…thanks for all of the ideas!

  7. I love trays, too. I think they give a finished look to pieces that might otherwise look to be floating around. And you have so MANY!! And all of them give me ideas! Thanks. Laura!


  8. Love these, they are all so cute! The dining table flower centerpiece is beautiful! I am a Professional Organizer and use trays to keep things together instead of scattered all over the counter, it makes it look like they are supposed to be there and styled that way instead of clutter. Thanks for sharing!!

  9. I like how you talked about being able to use trays as kitchen decor for the home! My wife is always looking for kitchen decor for sale, and I think that being able to utilize some cheap trays would be neat! I think that she would like some non-traditional trays, so we could really have a huge variety of options! Thanks for the idea!