Living Tip: Trays

Olivia's Hermes tray turns an ottoman into a coffee table in an instant while adding a touch of glam to a beautiful Tribeca apartment.

– By Belinda Graham 

Don’t understand how your Hermes keychain, Warby Parker sunnies, cashmere cap, and opera invitation can look so cluttered and unglamorous? For a one word solution to the conundrum of fabulous everyday essentials creating clutter, think trays. Whether lucite and Technicolor or antiqued and silver, the trick is to add extra storage and arrange with flair: stack your mail and fold your hat atop it, add a small saucer for change and keys at the front, and place a rounder, fuller bowl stashed with jewelry at the back. The tray is applicable in pulling together every room – for arranging oils in the kitchen; books, flowers and trinkets from your travels on the living room coffee table; and perfumes and jewelry in the bedroom – trays can double as a hostess piece in a pinch, serving as a mini bar, candy bar, or even turn an ottoman into a table. For bonus style points, choose a pretty print like this snakeskin or sleek and see-through lucite, or head down to the nearest antique store for a luxe and ladylike silver.

We’ve put together a few of our favorite trays below. Any trays at your place? Do share the creative ways you’ve found to put them to use!


1. Pondichery Animal Trays, $194, Ahalife

2. Format Tray, $39.95, CB2

3. Ayers Leather Bar Tray from Ralph Lauren Home, $295, Saks Fifth Avenue

4. Chakor PM Tray, $490, Hermes

5. Oval Round Tray by DVF, $90 (on sale), Neiman Marcus

Belinda Graham is a writer and crafter from Sydney, Australia. She writes about decorating and all things relating to the home for Real Living magazine, and creates, styles and photographs crafty projects for her own blog, The Happy Home!

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