20 Stylish and Functional Tray Decor Ideas

tray on kitchen island

House Nine

Trays come in all colors, shapes, and sizes, and truly come in handy in every room of the home. If you have an extra tray (or several) on hand and aren't sure how to put it to use, we guarantee you'll have plenty of ideas in mind after taking a look at the 20 clever setups below. And since trays can easily be moved around as you wish, you'll constantly be able to repurpose yours no matter the occasion.

  • 01 of 20

    Turn an Ottoman Into a Table

    tray on ottoman

    House Nine

    Ottomans make for excellent coffee tables, but their tops are not always completely flat. Placing a tray on top of your ottoman will help prevent drinks from spilling and will keep other accents looking nice and organized.

  • 02 of 20

    Organize a Workspace

    tray in home office

    Charbonneau Interiors

    Keep items nice and organized in a home office by placing a tray or two on your desk. Larger trays can be helpful for sorting papers, receipts, and other printed documents, while smaller ones are useful for corralling office supplies.

  • 03 of 20

    Add Layers to an Entryway

    box layered on tray

    Jessica Nelson Design

    Add intrigue to a simple console table by layering a trinket box on top of a tray. Mixing materials, as was done in this space, looks extra sophisticated.

  • 04 of 20

    Create Order at the End of the Bed

    tray in bedroom

    House Nine

    Placing a tray on a bench at the end of the bed looks inviting and provides a clear place to set books or magazines when it's time to turn the lights out. A lightweight tray like this one can also be used to serve breakfast in bed!

    Continue to 5 of 20 below.
  • 05 of 20

    Jazz Up a Kitchen Island

    tray on kitchen island

    House Nine

    A textured tray shines on the kitchen island, where it houses a small plant. The woven design complements the nearby barstools wonderfully.

  • 06 of 20

    Make Your Home Visitor Friendly

    tray in kitchen

    Maite Granda

    Keeping some water bottles on display in the kitchen will encourage guests to help themselves when they stop by. A tray keeps a simple setup looking elegant.

  • 07 of 20

    Add Color to the Coffee Table

    pink tray on coffee table

    Maite Granda

    Many people place trays on their coffee tables—they're easy to lift up and remove if the full surface needs to be utilized for dining and entertaining. Don't be afraid to pick a brightly-hued tray like this one to add some pep to your space.

  • 08 of 20

    Show Off Fave Scents

    perfume tray

    Kathleen Barnes

    Keep all of your perfume bottles organized by showcasing them on a tray. It'll be easy to locate whichever scent you desire on a given day, and all together, the bottles look ultra chic.

    Continue to 9 of 20 below.
  • 09 of 20

    Keep Your Bar Cart Looking Top Notch

    bar cart tray

    Andrea Larson

    Trays can help keep various components of a bar cart looking orderly. Here, one houses various liquor bottles and mixers, while another is used to display special glassware.

  • 10 of 20

    Welcome Guests in Style

    tray on guest bed

    Abby Lawson

    Give any house guest the royal treatment by placing a tray on their bed with all of the essentials—perhaps a mug, a pen and some paper, and a fun magazine. They'll feel like they're staying in a five-star hotel!

  • 11 of 20

    Add Charm to the Bathroom

    tray in bathroom

    Bre Doucette

    In the bathroom, a small tray can be used to hold things like a tissue box, candle, and even a small vase to make this utilitarian space feel more personal and warm.

  • 12 of 20

    Keep Cooking Supplies Handy

    tray on kitchen counter

    Laura Nickelson

    Keep all of your cooking essentials within reach by grouping them together on a large tray. This round one holds salt and pepper shakers, a knife block, olive oil, stirring utensils, and even a small succulent to boot. Meal prep has never been easier.

    Continue to 13 of 20 below.
  • 13 of 20

    Tackle the Craft Room

    trays on desk

    Carissa Burk

    Placing pencil cups on a tray in your craft room will ensure that they're a bit more sturdy (and will make your space appear more organized as a whole). Another more sizable tray holds papers on the opposite side of this desk.

  • 14 of 20

    Complement a Room's Aesthetic

    tray in dining room

    Suzy Handgraaf

    A woven tray holds entertaining essentials on this dining room buffet and complements the farmhouse aesthetic of the room. Don't underestimate the power of trays in helping to weave a space together aesthetically.

  • 15 of 20

    Make Getting Ready Feel Glam

    silver vanity tray

    Alexandra Howe

    There's nothing like a good old-fashioned vanity tray. Make getting ready for the day feel glam by displaying your essentials on a silver antique tray like this one. It gives major Old Hollywood vibes!

  • 16 of 20

    Perfect Your Next Bubble Bath

    tray by bathtub

    Erin Williamson Design

    If you love to take luxurious bubble baths, keep everything you need nearby by placing bottles on a small tray that's accessible from the tub. A minimalist setup like this one will allow you to truly relax distraction-free.

    Continue to 17 of 20 below.
  • 17 of 20

    Design a Cute Coffee Bar

    tray by coffee bar

    Erin Williamson Design

    Glamorize your morning coffee ritual by designing an at-home coffee bar that will bring you joy. Use a tray to keep favorite cups or mugs handy at all times.

  • 18 of 20

    Keep the Restroom Looking Neat

    tray holding soap on sink

    Mary Patton Design

    Many people choose to set a small tray on the bathroom counter if space allows. This makes it easy to set out soap, guest towels, or even a small vase, as we see here.

  • 19 of 20

    Designate a Place for Jewelry

    tray on dresser

    Cathie Hong Interiors

    Keeping an empty catchall on the dresser ensures you will always have a place to safely store your baubles while bathing or sleeping.

  • 20 of 20

    Display Healthy Snacks

    tray on kitchen table

    Cathie Hong Interiors

    A footed tray on the kitchen table is an excellent place to display fresh fruit so that it's easily accessible and doesn't take up refrigerator space.