Sunday, December 6, 2015


Trays have become very trendy & versatile right now and I am noticing them everywhere.......on coffee tables, console tables, bedside tables and even kitchen counter tops. You may have several small items you want to display and grouping them together on a tray helps to make the items look cohesive and elevates their importance. 

There are certain rules for styling trays, they are not a catch-all but think of it acting as a 'frame' would for a painting. Grouping items in one space is what will make them look even more pleasing.

How to style your trays in vignettes: 3 Rules

1. Grouping items in odd numbers are more appealing, memorable and effective. Odd numbers create harmony and force movement and visual interest.

2. Combining items of different heights lets the eye dance around and not get stuck on one plane. Interesting that these same rules apply when I am setting up a composition for my oil paintings. 

3. Noting scale and proportion when picking items to display is just as important. The tray must not look too crowded or too bare. The size of the items need to be in proportion with each other. ...................its all about balance people ! 

The items could be of the same texture but different heights, or you could go with a combination of different textures. There is no fixed rule on this, as long as the vignette ends up looking appealing. Give it a shot and try it. A little bit of trial and error and you should be able to get it right.

BONUS Point: If you have an ottoman as part of your sofa set then placing a large tray on it gives an opportunity to add a vignette.

Here are a couple of vignettes I have styled in various client's homes and my home too.

This mirrored tray was styled at client Fenwick Basement in "the cute bar under the stairs".

Here I used a beautiful blue porcelain tray to hold a pewter mug of silk peonies, a coral and blue pottery. This was for client Fenwick Living Room.

A beautiful Mother-of-Pearl tray set up with some books, flowers and vintage magnifying glass, at Client Brannigan Gate Basement. 

This is my dining table center piece, the mirrored tray reflects the light back onto the flowers making them the show stopper in the room.

I even used a gold ceramic tray to catch all the mail in the foyer and topped it with a cute brass mouse. See HERE how I swapped out the foyer bench for this chest of drawers to provide for more storage for the kids scarves and gloves.

Target has the best selection of trays and this pretty blue one was from there, pity they left Canada - I do miss their Home Decor selection.

Here I styled a vintage silver tray to hold tea lights (re purposed onyx wine glasses) and a few of our kids baby pictures which made a great conversation starter.

Here a vintage gold tray holds my babies pics and other pretty decor items.

I even use trays outside, here a blue Moroccan ceramic tray sits on my front porch coffee table which is a re purposed tree trunk, holding candles that are so pretty lit up at night.

And lastly a vignette of fresh flowers, scrabble tiles and Cedric the turtle.

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