How to Style a Serving Tray

One of the biggest trends in home design this year is styling serving trays. What does that mean and why do it? It’s simple really, it adds character to your room, it’s an affordable decorating option and it’s fun to do. Here’s how to get started:

#1 Understand Your Personal Style:

Personal style is important when styling a tray, it shows your guests who you are and it also tells people what the vibe of your home is. When deciding what your design aesthetic is think about the trends that catch your eye. Maybe your Pinterest board skews to French farmhouse, bohemian, eclectic or modern. Check out our Pinterest if you aren’t sure what style suits you and your home.

3 snapshots of travel destination, the first is a country cottage, the second is tropical, the third is modern.

#2 Pick a Tray:

Now that you have settled on a signature style it’s time to pick out your tray. They come in all shapes, sizes, colors and patterns and we have tons of styles to choose from. Here’s what we picked out for this tray styling tutorial:

these trays are constructed with pitted metal in a bronze finish     A knock out image of a white wooden rustic tray with handles.

#3 Organize into 4 Quadrants:

The most difficult part to styling a tray is visualizing the look and feel that you want to portray. We have broken down this process into 4 quadrants or categories. These 4 tips will guide you on how to visualize and choose the appropriate accessories:

  • Reading Material – Grab a few reading materials, this could be old books, new books or even magazines.


  • Nature – Add your favorite succulent, flower, topiary or terrarium.

close up on greenery places on bohemian tray

  • Personalize – Whether it’s a favorite trinket or memorabilia, add it to your tray for a personal touch. We added vintage forks and spoons for uniqueness and charm.


  • Conversational Piece – This quadrant speaks for itself, literally. If you so choose you can add an item that will spark up conversation with your guests. For the first tray below we chose some apples and wood carvings. In the second tray we used a gold geometrical figure that adds a unique design element. In the third tray we spiced things up by adding different levels for a balanced look.

Farmhouse and Fruits:

Round tray with farmhouse touches like fresh fruit, wood carvings and aluminum bowls.

Modern Minimalist:


Artsy and Abstract:

round tray with levels of accessories

#4 Style It Your Way:

However you choose to style your tray, make sure it’s what you want and what you like. Also, don’t forget to try placing your trays in unique locations. For instance, on your bed, coffee table or kitchen counter. Do you have some tray styling tips? Share with us in the comments section below.

Share your styles with us on Instagram using the hashtag #MyAshleyHome.


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