• Go to First Slide
  • Pause
  • Play
  • Go to Last Slide

Ways to Use Trays: 5 Decorative Tray Ideas

5 Decorative Tray Ideas

Trays combine practical organization with a beautiful expression of your personal style. Plus, decorative trays can bring order and elegance to just about any part of your home. You can do much more with a decorative tray than serve breakfast in bed – but that’s a great option, too! Pick out a tray you love and put it to good use with these inspiring ideas from Pottery Barn. 

Coffee Table Tray Ideas

Keep your coffee table neat with the help of an attractive serving tray. Arrange decorative objects, seasonal displays and other accents on a tray that you can quickly move out of the way and replace. Choose an option with convenient handles so you can whisk the tray away with ease whenever you want to set up snacks or board games on the coffee table for guests and family members. 

You can put your decorative coffee table tray on a console or accent table until you’ve cleared off the coffee table, or scoot the tray out of the way and back again as needed. Add further convenience by creating a special spot on the tray to keep remote controls and other living room essentials. That way, you’ll always know where they are when they aren’t in your hand.

Vanity Tray Ideas

Add some glamour to your daily routine by using a metallic or mirrored vanity tray along with your other bathroom and personal care accessories. Vanity trays are excellent tools to use for keeping small items like perfume bottles, lipstick tubes, hairbrushes and tweezers together and uncluttered. You can easily reach them when you need them. There’s also a beauty component to the vanity tray itself, especially if you choose a mirrored design that ties in with your bathroom mirror. If you have a dedicated sit-down vanity, add a tray to help you organize all of your makeup and other personal care items. If you don’t have such a space, your bathroom counter is the perfect spot. 

Ottoman Tray Ideas 

Ottomans make excellent substitutes for coffee tables, especially in small spaces where furniture often needs to do double duty. Though their plush appearance is inviting and chic in place of a coffee table, ottomans tend to lack one important quality thanks to their tufting and upholstery: stability. Placing a glass of wine or a lit candle on an ottoman isn’t a great idea if you don’t set it down on a hard, flat surface on top of the upholstery. Trays are the perfect solution to this issue. They give you a firm foundation for building a decorative display or setting down your beverage without worrying about spilling. If you want to use the ottoman as a seat or a footrest, simply remove the tray and instantly revert the furniture piece back to its original form.

Entryway Tray Ideas

Use a tray on a console table to keep your entryway practical and polished. Staying organized is easy when you have a dedicated place to put essentials like keys, wallets, mail and everyday electronics. Set up a generously proportioned tray that can hold all of your daily necessities. Use one tray per person for partners and family members so everyone’s gear stays discretely arranged. Or, set out a large tray divided up with smaller trays for paperwork and bowls for keys and smartphones.

Bedside Table Tray Ideas

Bedside tables are great places to keep small items like hand lotions, a diffuser or a book. However, things can get cramped if you add a glass of water and a tablet into the mix. Keep your bedside table tidy by containing all of your personal care items with a tray. You can slide the tray out of the way or pick it up and move it to the bed as needed, making it easier to keep your bedside table orderly. Small catchall trays can also be useful for organizing bedside table drawers containing items you only use occasionally, such as headphones for watching videos on your tablet while your partner sleeps.