Tuesday, February 4, 2020

How to Style a Tiered Tray

How to Style a Tiered Tray

Tiered trays are all the rage in the home decor world, and there's good reason for it. Besides being an excellent creative outlet, tiered trays are a great way to give your home's decor a quick refresh without a huge investment of time or energy. This step-by-step guide will help you create a tray that's perfect for your own decor style!

One of the reasons that I love having tiered trays in our home is because life has a way of getting pretty darn busy when you're tackling a fixer upper and so many renovation projects. 

{Related: Our Mudroom/Laundry Room Renovation}

From time to time, there are holidays I just don't have time to fully decorate for, or sometimes, our home simply isn't in any condition for decor.

When that happens, it's nice to decorate a tiered tray so that we still get to enjoy the celebration without all of the set up, clean up, and other hoopla.

This 17-page printable guide will give you loads of ideas for decorating your tiered tray all year long

I also love the chance to engage in a creative project that exists solely to add something beautiful to our lives. Don't get me wrong--we use our creativity a LOT while working on DIY projects, but styling up a tiered tray is often a little bit of self-care time where I can just play with ideas instead of focusing on work.

If you've thought about adding a tiered tray into your own decor, but aren't sure where to start, this guide will walk you through each step. You'll also find a whole lot of inspiration for designing your own tray as well!


Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post, and I have received no compensation for sharing anything that follows. Some links within this blog may be affiliate links, and I might earn a commission if you make a purchase through that link. This usually amounts to cents, not dollars, and helps to support the projects featured on this blog. I only recommend products from companies that I have found to be trustworthy. Read my full disclosure here.

STEP 1: CHOOSE A TRAY

Black and white enamel three tiered tray


There are as many styles of trays on the market as you can possibly dream up, so there's sure to be at least one that will suit your taste and decor aesthetic.

Funny enough, a tiered tray was the first item I bought when we moved into our home, and I searched for the perfect style for weeks. This is the one I chose, and we still use it everyday as the place to house all of the kitchen cleaning supplies I like to keep close at hand beside the sink, such as surface cleaner, dish soap, scrubbies, etc.

{Related: Our Farmhouse Kitchen}

Now, I have several tiered trays, and I love to rotate them around our home and refresh the decor frequently. For this example of styling a tray, I'm using one that we carry in our shop. It's a 3-tier white enamel tray with distressed black edging that has a very classic farmhouse vibe to it.

CHOOSE A TRAY

Here are some of my favorite styles to help get you started. Click on any picture to be taken to its source.


STEP 2: CHOOSE A THEME

Step 2 - Begin with a theme in order to choose focal pieces for your tiered tray


When you're ready to decorate your tray, start with a theme in mind. This will help you choose the items you want to include.

Your theme might be as simple as the current season or upcoming holiday, or you might be drawn to a particular word or idea.

Sometimes, I'll feel pulled by a word that fuels a vision. For example, over Christmas, I designed our home around the fusion of our family's French heritage and my love of vintage items.

{Related: A Vintage French Farmhouse Christmas}

To help, I've created a free printable Tiered Tray Idea Guide. Within the 17 pages, I provide you with 500+ ideas for decor themes to cover the entire year. You will never run out of ideas to decorate your tiered tray!

This 17-page printable guide will give you loads of ideas for decorating your tiered tray all year long

For this project, I'm working toward a theme that really captures the essence of our fixer-upper homesteading story: turning a big ol' farmhouse into a love-filled home and striving to live the good life in rural America with a mix of grit and grace.

CHOOSE FOCAL PIECES

With your theme in mind, choose focal pieces that fit your story. Here are some ideas to get you thinking:


STEP 3: ADD FLORAL

Step 3 - Add floral accents to your tiered tray


After you've selected your theme and the main focal point pieces in your design, it's time to add in floral touches. Natural elements are what breathe life into your decor, whether you choose greenery or blooms.

{Related: Cozy Farmhouse Botanical Design}

This process of styling a tiered tray is all about creative expression, so you should feel free to take some liberties when it comes to selecting your floral accents. For example, if you're decorating a tray during the winter, but want to incorporate your favorite summer flower, you should!

After all, your tray decor is about helping you connect to a vision and, more importantly, a feeling that you want to manifest in a creative and physical sense within your home. You don't need to follow anyone else's rules to make that happen.

Truly, I think that's an important point of all decorating. Rules should be viewed more as guidelines to help you get going in a direction...but you should maintain all of the creative liberty to steer your decor where you want it to go!

{Related: How to Style Shelves...Against the Rules}

These are a few of my favorite floral accents to use in trays because they're sized just right to tuck into shelves:

CHOOSE FLORAL ACCENTS


STEP 4: ADD FILLER ACCESSORIES

Step 4 - Add filler to your tiered tray


The final touch of completing your tiered tray is all about filling in the spaces with complementary accessories that help to highlight your focal pieces and close up gaps.

For example, if your tray's theme is about summertime lemonade stands, a complementary accessory might be a small mason jar filled with colorful paper straws.

If you're like me, and you love vintage items, maybe you would tuck a favorite small vintage treasure in amongst your decor. You'll notice that I included that tiny cut glass bud vase (like this one) on the top tier of my tray, and that's because it's one of my favorites in my collection!

{Related: How to Style a Vintage Aesthetic Room}

In my tray, I also chose to include my chippy white wood beads and natural, preserved cotton boll pods because they remind me of the aesthetic I love to see in our decor. And finally, I tucked a Rae Dunn quote block in with a mantra I repeat quite often: Anything is possible!

CHOOSE FILLER ITEMS

Here are some other filler items you might like:


MY FINISHED TRAY

Here are a few more views of my finished tray, and I'm so happy with how it turned out! I hope this tutorial has given you the inspiration to try a tiered tray in your own decor, but just in case you need some more ideas--keep reading! 

I've included a variety of inspiration for every season down below, plus a FREE printable guide with hundreds of decor themes you can use all year long to keep your tray fresh.

Enamel tiered tray with farmhouse decor

Tiered tray with birds and Rae Dunn decor

Enamel tiered tray with spring decor


MORE TIERED TRAY INSPIRATION

Ready to start brainstorming ideas for your next tiered tray design? You can see more of my recent tiered trays, here, and also follow my Tiered Tray Pinterest Board where I add new ideas weekly.

Plus, be sure to snag my FREE printable Tiered Tray Idea Guide with 500+ ideas for decorating themes!

Take a look at this gorgeous collection of inspiration, below, to help get the ideas flowing. These talented designers have really created some gorgeous trays to celebrate all year long!

When you style your tray, I'd love to see it! Be sure to tag me on Instagram or Facebook with your photos!


Tiered tray in white kitchen with springtime decor
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Three-tier tray with artichokes glass jars and floral decor
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Two-tier wooden tray with greenery and home sweet home sign
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Two-tier wooden tray with winter ice skating theme
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Three-tier white tray with gardening theme
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Rustic wooden tiered tray with pumpkins and Thanksgiving theme
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Three-tier galvanized tray with wedding anniversary theme
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Two-tier white tray with Valentine's decor
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Two-tier tray with heart and home theme
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Two-tier tray with football decor for fall
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Two-tier wooden tray decorated with bees and honey theme
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Two-tier wooden tray with bird decor
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Two-tier metal tray for Valentine's Day
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A three-tier wire tray with botanical decor
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A rustic wooden tiered tray decorated for winter
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16 comments

  1. Love this -- and what a joy to take a small area and be so creative!

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  2. Your tray looks lovely and the styling tips are perfect! Thank you for sharing at Party In Your PJ's.

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  3. Oh, I love tiered trays! They are so quaint. I love the way your have styled yours and the inspiration ones are all so pretty, too. Thanks for linking up.

    Shelbee
    www.shelbeeontheedge.com

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    1. Thanks, Shelbee! I truly appreciate you sharing that! xo

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  4. Thank you for sharing this lovely post at Tuesdays with a Twist! I always appreciate step by step directions. 'So many inspiring photos, too! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by, Marci! I love step-by-steps too! xo

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  5. You chose well. Your tray is darling and so is your styling of it. Great tips. Thanks for linking to Keep In Touch.

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  6. This is charming, Kristi.Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm!

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  7. I would put all of these in my home if I had room for them! I don't know what it is about these trays, but I LOVE them so much!

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  8. So pretty! I love the little houses.
    Thank you for sharing at The Really Crafty Link Party. Pinned.

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    1. Aren't they so sweet?! Thanks for stopping by, Teresa! xo

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  9. So many fantastic ideas!! I love this post I have a tray set that literally sits in the closet until a dinner party where it becomes useful. Great inspiration!

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