My Take on Coffee Table Tray Styling

I'm forgoing the usual Friday Favorites to share some fun tray styling ideas.

I really like a more simple look for my coffee table tray styling mostly because I feel it is more maintainable. I have seen some really gorgeously styled coffee tables, only to wonder how on earth you could actually keep it as such. Plus, I can barely imagine all of the dusting that would be necessary. So for my own uses, I keep trays decorative, stylish, but most importantly, simple.

I know that a lot of people have written about styling trays, and I believe that trays are worth all of the fanfare they have received lately. They kind of act as a catch all and can help keep things in place so that everything looks organized and tidy. If you're trying to style your own coffee table tray, start with a clean slate by removing everything from your table and dusting it or wiping it down thoroughly.

Recommendations for tray selection: when it comes to picking out a tray, I recommend selecting a tray that is a contrasting color from your coffee table. This ensures that the tray will stand out. That said, the color should also be present in other areas. As you can see below, the white tray stands out against the darker color of my coffee table, but the color also present in other decor and furniture items surrounding the table.

Tips for Styling a Coffee Table Tray- A Detailed Palette

I think it works really nicely to have two trays - one larger that is styled to include practical yet decorative items, while the other small one acts as an anchor for must haves - remotes, coasters, etc.

I especially like the two tray idea as it provides a lot of flexibility. For me, reading material on a coffee table is essential. However, I don't hold onto magazines for forever because I just don't always want the clutter. Having two trays that are easy to reorient is incredibly nice and still makes your coffee table look polished, even when there's a stack of magazines on it.

How to Style a Coffee Table - A Detailed Palette

While there is by no means a wrong way to style a coffee table or a tray, as everyone has different tastes, there is a design formula that I both created and try to follow.

Main Tray = decorative tin/candy bowl + a candle + a vase  --- all on top of a coffee table book.

It's important that at least one of the three decor items has a contrasting texture so as to keep it interesting. Here's why I really like this decoration formula: the candy bowl/decorative tin full of candy addresses taste, the candle addresses smell, and the vase, whether empty or full, will add visual interest and keeps the whole thing from being too flat. The coffee table book can add something a bit more personal - it can reflect your tastes and your passions. It also adds a layering effect, which I always find necessary in my decorating.

Side Tray = The catch all tray. This is a way to make even the random stuff, like remotes, gaming consoles, phones, and coasters, look styled and elegant. Now keep in mind that by adding these trays, you will have to do more dusting - but I think that it's ultimately worth it. 

Coffee Table Tray Styling - A Detailed Palette

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I know that this isn't going to be for everyone, but I thought I'd share just in case anyone loves this as much as I do. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
-xo, Rachel