How to Buy Tiered Trays - Part One
Decorating with Tiered Trays - Part Three

How to Decorate Tiered Trays - Part Two

Today I want to show you how I use my smaller glass and metal tiered trays. These are slightly smaller than the one in my previous post, much more portable and work in lots of different spots around the house. These first two are perfect for serving food because hors d'oeuvres  and pastries can be placed directly on the trays. When I'm not using these for food I usually do a more permanent display that I tweak for the seasons.

This first one measures 17" tall, has just two levels and is square. Here it is as the center piece on a 36" round table but since this photo was taken it has found a new, more permanent home...


in my bathroom!



It doesn't take up much space and to me, creates a spa like atmosphere while adding height, a pop of color and most importantly softness to my tub area. I love this tray here!


Notice that the two stacks of towels are on opposite sides of one another and that pink is the predominate color repeated in the towels, candle and flowers. I tried to balance the two vintage silver vanity bottles and the two heart shaped pill boxes. A favorite framed photo and a fancy wrapped soap completes the look.  I love how the green of the flowers and faux fern adds continuity and a bit of softness. I shopped from my stash to style this corner, not buying anything but the flowers from the grocery store. I just love how this one simple, two tiered tray adds so much to this now cozy corner. I do change the colors here for the seasons, swapping the pink towels for red and adding a small poinsettia for Christmas.


This next photo has nothing to do with this post except that I wanted to show you my Epsom salts scoop. 


We need to talk about plate stands for a minute. You will want one or two or three like this one.


What makes this one so great is that it allows the plate to sit on the tray, unlike those wooden ones that raise the plate up an inch or two. You just never seem to have enough room between tiers and that inch or so makes a huge difference as to whether or not a plate will fit up right. Also, because it's metal, you can bend it easily and in so doing you can reduce the depth of the stand. I bought this one at Hobby Lobby, but look carefully if you go because this smallest size (3"x3") only comes in gold - there are cool black and silver ones that are tempting, but probably too big for what you'll need.

We have a round coffee table in the basement surrounded by four swivel club chairs.


It's the perfect spot for another tiered tray.



We love sitting here with another couple while enjoying a glass of wine. When I'm not serving cheese and crackers on this three tiered tray I give it a more permanent look with seasonal décor. 


Again, the tray doesn't take up too much space, is low enough to allow conversation and adds a fun pop of interest to the space. If we dissect the trays you'll see that I tried to repeat the same flowers, figurines and balance the placement of dishes. The idea is to repeat color, theme and textures from one level to the next so that your eye travels from item to item. The greenery adds visual softness and a spot for your eye to rest. The NIBBLE plate is fun and suggests that guests do just that.


This last tray measures 27" tall and I bought it to complete my Paris nook off the kitchen. I just love this antique French bakery table (it's one of the few pieces of furniture that made the trip to the Prairie). From Paree to the Prairie. ha A long way from home.


Here it is decorated for Valentines Day.


Notice how the greenery softens the hard metal and adds warmth.


And here is the tray ready for Easter...


I try and keep the colors soft here, cueing off the pale pinks on the wreath.


This time I've grouped antique candy jars, then added a bit of greenery for softness and a few flowers for color all while trying to maintain balance and symmetry as it tells my story.


Faux pastries add to the look of my French patisserie.


Note to self: I need to buy macaroons for the jars


I hope you have found this post to be helpful and maybe just a bit inspiring and that you will try a tiered tray (or two) in your own home. Once you get the hang of it they can be really fun to decorate.

Next time I'll be back to show you my two rustic wooden tiered trays and the most unusual place where one lives. I'll also give you some suggestions as to where to buy them and answer some questions that I have received.

Until then,

Encourage one another,