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. 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.

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!

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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.

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.

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


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. 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}

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.

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


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.

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.

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


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.

In my tray, I 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. I also tucked a Rae Dunn quote block in with a mantra I repeat quite often: Anything is possible!

Here are some other filler items you might like:


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.


Ready to start brainstorming ideas for your next tiered tray design? Take a look at this gorgeous collection of inspiration to help get the ideas flowing!

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
















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