April 02, 2021

The ABC’s of Decorating on a Tiered Tray (or any Tray):  A How-To Guide

The ABC’s of Decorating on a Tiered Tray (or any Tray):  A How-To Guide

Before my friend introduced me to Rae Dunn, I didn’t even know what a tiered tray was. I mean, I’m sure I’d seen them on Pinterest or in magazines, but I never really noticed them before or knew what they were called. Once Rae Dunn came into my life, I basically changed my entire approach to decorating. I had to learn; I had to evolve. So then, how’s it done? My inspiration for tiered trays came mostly from Pinterest at first. You can find tons of ideas for any and every holiday. You can also join collector groups and pages on Facebook and Instagram. Everyone has a unique style, and I love to look at them all. There are many shops on Etsy that cater to the farmhouse décor and tiered tray decorating style. From small signs to small animals to stacked wooden stamped books, there are so many different themes and items you can apply to pull off the picture-perfect holiday décor.

When you really study the approach to decorating a tiered tray, I like to remember my ABC’s.  In this case, I refer to Art, Boof (yes, Boof is a term) and Color.  As we dive into each of these, most décor always starts with a theme, whether it’s a holiday theme like Halloween or Christmas or it could just be related to a season.  You could also tie your decorating style into your collections.   Whether you are using Rae Dunn, Johanna Parker or any other genre or artist, there is typically a style and then once you have chosen that style then you just need to remember your ABC’s.

Let’s start with A.  I mean, the alphabet starts with A, so why not start our decorating with A.  Once you pick your theme and your tray, you’ll want to make sure you include some type of Art.  Art, whether in the classic sense or abstract will enhance your display by reinforcing your theme.  Let’s chose a theme for our blog so we can discuss example.  In this case, let’s pick a Rae Dunn Lemonade theme.  It’s a bright and perfect display for summer that displays a great contrast of white and yellow while reminding us that while lemons may be tart, lemonade is a perfect treat for a hot summer day!

So back to Art.  In our classic example of the Rae Dunn Lemonade display,  we will want to use our Rae Dunn Icon Colander full of lemons to remind us of summertime and a Rae Dunn You Are My Sunshine Mug to capture the juice.  Along side the white, we’ll want to place a small print of a lemon that adds a bit of color to contrast the stark white of the ceramics.  The contrast then adds a variety to the total design of your display and pulls everything together.

Next is what I call the Boof.  That’s my fancy word for fillers and what I mean by that is filling in the voids or blank spots to get full trays that are brimming with life. A lot of this can be done using floral pics or short stems of greenery. Other ideas include ornaments during Christmas, small pumpkins and pine cones at Thanksgiving or bright, colorful eggs at Easter. All of these just add a bit of color while fulfilling their purpose of enhancing your tray by making it fuller.  You can even use Easter grass, Christmas snow, or Thanksgiving leaves.  Any of those add the depth and color that is more of a finisher to your Holiday Décor.  You see in the examples of the Fall Tiered Tray or the Christmas Tiered Tray the filler (or boof) that adds additional color and depth.

Now, how do you decide on what tiered tray to buy? Don’t make the mistake I did and just buy one thinking it would fit right where you thought – under the cabinet – without even measuring. Boy, did I learn that lesson! Decide where your tray will go first, and then buy based on sizes and measurements. You may want a three-tiered tray (me! me!) but find that you only have room for two. Also, think about what you have or want to get to place on the tray. Will a round tray work for those items? Maybe you need a rectangle. What about the space between the tiers? Think about that, too, or you may run into height issues and find that your items don’t fit.

Color is probably the easiest.  Each season brings it’s own flavor of color.  What I love to see though are variations in seasons.  When people add lime green or bright purple to their Halloween display, or bright green to an elf display in their non-traditional Christmas display is what makes the whole tiered tray decorating fun.  Just a change in boof or a change in art can change your display from year to year so you don’t feel like you are always replicating the same theme.  Have fun with it and don’t be afraid to try something new!

The perfect tray, once in its place and decorated with holiday cheer, only enhances your room.  I personally love playing around with mine each holiday, trying various arrangements before deciding on the perfect one! Don’t be afraid to experiment! Play around until it’s perfect!  Then change it a week later.  It will make you happy to see your collections come to life each season.  Remember, we are here to help.  We can definitely bring pizzazz to your holiday!