I have a little ‘tray’ problem. Actually, you could say I am somewhat obsessed. But truth be told, you could say I’m obsessed with a lot. Hmmm, this explains some stuff. Anyhoo, what’s not to love about trays? By definition they are meant to carry, hold or exhibit articles and that makes them super useful! As always, it’s good to think outside the box, so here are some tips for finding and using trays.
1. To be truly tres chic, it doesn’t have to actually be a tray. Marble slabs, wood cutting boards and pedestals, wood remnants, small framed or unframed mirrors and open baskets all make excellent trays. My favorite I own is actually a vintage European cutting board. I don’t cut on it, but use it as a base for an artful food display. When not in use, it hangs at the end of one of my kitchen cabinets where I can enjoy it’s beautiful patina each time I walk by.
2. Search for a variety of textures, sizes and finishes. Look for metal, melamine, rattan, silver, wood, mirror, stone and even glass. The different textures will always add interest to any room or display and are a great way to protect a table top. Trays can also hide imperfections or deep scratches that would otherwise be an eye sore.
3. Use trays to feature a collection. This allows your eye to be drawn to the collection as a whole, instead of each item looking like clutter on a table top. Items always look better when grouped together (there’s always security in numbers) and frankly, you look less like a hoarder and more like a style guru when displaying many elements. At least, that’s what I tell myself.
4. Trays can be on the move or quietly still. Meaning, duh, don’t forget to use them as they were originally intended. Stack your tray with simple snacks and drinks and effortlessly glide into the room, with your hair breezing behind you and a movie soundtrack playing in the background. People will be impressed. You are, after all, the hostess with the mostess. And don’t be surprised if you hear people whisper, “check out her tray! it’s stunning!”
5. Trays give good surface. Trays are self confident little buggers, they like to be the center of attention. Use on dining tables as center pieces, focal points on coffee tables and ottomans to create a hard surface. Open those cupboards and closets and pull out all of your forgotten trays that you have been hiding and let them take center stage! Being ‘tray chic’ is the best! Be happy, Jill
P.S. All the good photography shots in this post were taken by my adorable photographer daughter Lizzy (boring ones were me!). Check out her photo work here.