Decorative trays – new, vintage, metal, wood, glass, wire – are perfect for corralling collections, creating tableaux and setting the stage in a visually appealing way.

Use a tray to tell a story, suggests Mary Carol Garrity, best-selling author, decorating expert and owner of Nell Hills.

Use it as background for other objects, or on the bed. 

Add interest to a hutch or buffet by arranging glassware and bottles of after-dinner drinks on a tray.

Pull your mother’s silver coffee service out of the closet and pretty it up with a stack of teacups and spoons on your kitchen island. 

Organize makeup and fragrances.

Hold TV remotes, readers and the newspaper.

Gather like objects into a collection. 

Arrange them on the wall as art.