How to Style Coffee Table Trays

how to style coffee table trays

Using trays or small baskets can really liven up an empty space on a coffee table or end table. They add an interesting element to the room and are the perfect way to showcase some of your favorite decor items. Here are some tips on how to style coffee table trays to bring together your pieces and create one cohesive set.


Divide your tray into sections

The number of sections can vary by the size of the area you are working with.  I divided my tray above into three sections – the orb, the birdcage, and the antler surrounding the books. Concentrate on each section individually utilizing different heights and textures but pull it together with one color scheme.

More is not always better

It may be tempting when you have a small space left to throw in another small item because it fits. Don’t. Using trays helps to visually decrease the clutter on tables. If you add too many items this will defeat the whole purpose of being visually appealing and still cause your table to look too busy. Try concentrating on just a few key pieces you want to show off. If you put it all together and it seems to just not work well together, try taking one piece out and simplifying.

Use varying heights, shapes, and textures

In my three sections I used the orb to add a circular shape as the lowest height, the candle on top of the books for the mid range, and the birdcage as the tallest in the corner.  The antler also adds a nice neutral color with an interesting shape to surround the books. My go to items to add in are candles, plants, and books which all make great additions to add height.  You can place books under another item to raise it higher or use them standing upwards. Plants add a great dose of color and texture and since you can get candles in any shape or height you can find one for just the size you’re missing.


TIP: Trays are perfect for not only adding character to an empty table but to neaten up a busy looking area.  Try using trays on your kitchen counters for those go-to items you store out in the open or on your dresser for makeup and other beauty items.


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