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“Trays are a quintessential accessorizing element,” says Los Angeles-based interior designer Stefani Stein. “I love incorporating them in a contrasting material from the table top.”
A stylish serving tray is a multifunctional décor piece that you can use for a lot more than what its name suggests. “They are also perfectly suited to highlight negative space for an uncluttered, yet layered approach. With the exception of trays incorporated into bar styling, I like to keep the tray rather open and emphasize only an item or two. I typically pair them with a small vase or statement accessory,” suggests Stein.
If you are also looking for a chic solution to water rings that can ruin the surface of your coffee table, a tray with a felt lining on the underside (to prevent scratches) can be very helpful.
And speaking of furniture, Stein says that you should never place trays with silicone feet on tables with a lacquered or French polish finish because the silicone may damage or cloud the surface. Another thing to avoid are trays made from porous materials or the ones that feature open weaves that, in case of spill, will leak and puddle beneath it.
Now check out the most beautiful serving trays to shop right now.
HomeNature Olive Ash Burl Wood Square Tray
Stein says she is “obsessed” with burl wood for its striking beauty and imperfections. “The natural pattern of the woodgrain lends a space an organic touch without feeling overtly rustic,” she adds.
To buy: $225, homenature.com
Hollywood at Home Rectangular Leather Stitched Tray
“I love using this tray on an oversized coffee table. The leather is beautiful and gets more character with use,” says Stein.
To buy: $775, hollywoodathome.com
Juliska Stonewood Stripe 5-piece Appetizer Set
We are really not mad that this gorgeous tray comes with four matching bowls, all made from acacia wood, marble, and resin. It makes us want to throw a party ASAP.
To buy: $295, bloomingdales.com
CB2 Singe Rattan Serving Tray
If you have already jumped on the rattan and wicker furniture trend then this tray will be in good company. The beautiful dark shades are the result of the natural rattan being bound together and then burnt by hand.
To buy: $30, cb2.com
G G Collection Wood Tray with Metal Inlay
We picture this tray in a home with a rustic vibe in wine country. It’s handcrafted from wood and aluminum and we’d make sure those beautiful patterns on the bottom are always visible.
To buy: $170, neimanmarcus.com
Aerin Mist Classic Faux-shagreen Serving Tray
Whether you use it to display personal items or you serve drinks in it, this embossed serving tray will definitely amp up the chic factor of any room.
To buy: $365, neimanmarcus.com
Arteriors Charles Brass Mirror Tray
Slim bars in antique brass and a mirrored bottom make for quite an impact in this architectural tray. It would be a fitting addition in a contemporary-furnished living room.
To buy: $365, perigold.com
West Elm Enamel Café Trays
Take your morning cup of Jo and breakfast out in the garden or on the patio in this deco-inspired enamel and gold tray. We’d also serve cocktails in it at our next Great Gatsby-themed party.
To buy: $70, westelm.com
Katie Kime Citrus Sunrise Lucite Tray
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade and then serve it on this beautiful Lucite tray—it’s a summer staple.
To buy: $36, katiekime.com
Renaissance Reverse Painted Tray
This gorgeous tray was handcrafted in Peru by local artisans using a centuries-old reverse-painting technique—meaning they paint the details first and background colors last.
To buy: $150, tenthousandvillages.com