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Decorative Tray Ideas for Parties, Breakfast-in-Bed & More

Need some decorative tray ideas for your next party? Follow our TRAYning guide, which takes you through simple strategies, effective steps and the most beautiful, photo-worthy aesthetics for ottoman tray ideas, how to decorate an ottoman tray and more!

1. As a way to bring cohesion to your decor.

Placing a few decorative accents on a coffee table won’t mean much if they don’t feel like they ‘belong’ together. On a tray, your accessories will feel unified – and, not to mention, easy to move all at once.

2. Remember: ‘3’ is a balanced number.

Three is everywhere – from nursery rhymes (think Three Blind Mice), fairy tales (think Aladdin and the three wishes), and even novels (think ‘Three Musketeers’). (And, even, in this step – notice how three examples are given!) This is because it ‘rounds’ everything out – it brings a satisfying sense of completion.

For a space that feels pulled together and balanced, group decor in three’s!

3. For hotel-worthy vibes.

Want to feel like you’re living in a resort? Place a tray with a fresh plant on a made bed. (And if you’re really feeling the hotel vibes, throw in a few chocolates!)

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4. For breakfast (or coffee) in bed.

Of all of life’s simple joys, there’s perhaps none better than a tray of breakfast brought to you in bed. So, whether you’re doing the bringing or the feasting (or both), you’ll definitely need a tray. (For an enjoyably spill-proof morning, go extra-spacious and extra-sturdy.)

5. On an ottoman.

Tray on coffee table is expected; tray on ottoman is not. A sophisticated tray + succulent reinvents what was once ‘that thing you propped your feet on.’ (For all you influencers out there, tray on ottoman also makes a great flat lay for the ‘gram!)

6. With boho flair.

For the newly-converted bohemme, a woven tray + ceramic decor in bold colors and tribal patterns = the ultimate “starter kit.”
Hear that? It’s the subtle whisper of one of our favorite mantras, coming from the living room above: green is vibrant, green is fresh, green is good!

7. With a “non-tray.”

Technically, a flat basket isn’t a tray – but it’s become such a widespread decorating phenomenon, we wouldn’t correct you if you accidentally called it one!

8. For a home bar.

An empty home bar is every decorator’s dream – because the possibilities are truly limitless. (If they seem too limitless, and you don’t know where even to start, start with a tray!)

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9. To make a simple statement.

When the decor inside the tray is bold, no need to go all-out with a fancy tray; clean and simple gets the job done!

10. For sipping refreshments by the pool.

Who needs poolside waitservice? A beachy tray sporting your favorite fruity margs delivers the same amount of luxe – no tipping required!

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Editorial Disclaimer: Articles featuring tips and advice are intended for educational purposes and only as general recommendations. Always practice personal discretion when using and caring for furniture, decor and related items.