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julie nolta design
Julie Nolta

Hi, I'm Julie, Chief Executive Empress

of my little apple green design studio.

Welcome to my blog!

When I'm not out visiting a client or searching for just the right  product for a project, I can probably be found in my happy little studio (painted the perfect shade of green), busy drawing up new ideas for a cool kitchen or a "spa-licious" bathroom. I like to share the fun stuff I find along the way!


apple green studio

Tray chic: 7 ways to decorate with trays

Photo: Nathan Pirkle/Unsplash

If the only time you use a tray is to eat dinner in front of the TV, you’re missing out on lots of other spiffy ways to use them around your home. NOT that there's anything wrong with eating dinner in front of the TV. :-D

Trays are great for decorating and organizing (or just LOOKING more organized), and they’re one of my go-to’s when I’m accessorizing for someone.

You can find trays in every size, shape and material to fit your décor: large, small; round, square, rectangle; wood, metal, rattan, mirrored. You can also use decorative plates or chargers as a surface to collect and display things.

I’ve pulled together some ideas for you so you can have your own place looking “tray chic” in no time.

Create a focal point your living room

Gather together a collection of interesting items of different sizes and heights and display them on a tray for a lovely point of interest. Stacks of books or magazines, colorful vases, plants, souvenirs, lanterns, about anything you like will work.

You can place a tray on an ottoman, a coffee table or a console table.

2017 Street of Dreams, House #3 "Nevaeh"

Set up a beverage center

Put out glasses, ice, and whatever drinks you’re serving on a shiny tray and let your party guests help them selves.

decorating with trays

2017 Street of Dreams, House #1 "The Oregon Dream"

Create a centerpiece on your dining room table

A few candleholders, a variety of shining glass containers, or even one large vase of flowers - - just put them on a tray or a pedestal and the drama increases.

decorating with trays

2017 Street of Dreams, House #3 "Nevaeh"

2017 Street of Dreams, House #2 "The Barclay"

And this tray of dishes waiting to be set out for a dinner party looks sophisticated enough to be a centerpiece all by itself.

2017 Street of Dreams, House #4 "The Elysian"

Corral your stuff

If you’re plagued by the clutter of a lot of little things on your desk, in your bathroom, or on your nightstand, try putting them all on a tray. It’s amazing how organized and tidy things look if they’re gathered together in one place. Suddenly ten things look more like just ONE thing when they’re contained on a tray.

decorating with trays

Photo: Jeff Sheldon/Unsplash

Other ways to use trays

Setting stuff on a tray isn’t the only way to use one. I have one hanging on my wall that used to belong to my mom, and I’ve stood trays up on shelves as a colorful backdrop for a smaller item.

You can even use a giant tray as a table!

decorating with trays

2017 Street of Dreams, House #4 "The Elysian"

So, are you using trays to decorate your home? Got any ideas I left out? Drop me a line below. I'd love to hear from you.

And if you'd like some help with accessorizing at your place, please don't hesitate to contact me. I know some great places to pick up a tray or two. :-)


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