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Coffee Table Trays: Decorative Ways to Style and Organize Your Coffee Table Tray

Small Workout Room Ideas when space in your home is tight.

By Blake Lockwood | Curated by Blake Lockwood | Reviewed by Blake Lockwood

Blake Lockwood, the seasoned interior designer behind Decor Snob, has made a name for himself with over 30 years of industry experience. As a member of esteemed associations such as the NCIDQ, CIDA, NAAB, and CCIDC, he upholds high standards in his work.  His content is always people-first, reliable, and engaging.

Example of a classic family room design in Los Angeles with yellow walls, a standard fireplace and a media wall, and a coffee table with a decorative tray

A coffee table tray is simply a nice tray that you can use to serve yourself or others when they are in the living room. They allow you to have a nice addition to the table, without having to run back and forth to the kitchen all the time to grab what you need. These can come in a variety of materials and can even be left on the table to help with decorating without the mess. But how big should the coffee table tray be?

Coffee table trays come in a wide variety of sizes to suit your needs. Going with a smaller tray compared to your table will help make sure that it is going to fit there and not fall off. A good size for most coffee tables will be 22 by 22 inches. For some longer coffee tables, you may be able to put two of these on the table.

Let’s take a closer look at the importance of a coffee table tray and explore some of the different types that you can use and how you can utilize them in your home.

Coffee Table Tray Decor Ideas

Big table with a Small Coffee Table Tray

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A Round Coffee Table Tray

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A Modern Coffee Table Tray

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An Outdoor Table Tray

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Example of a classic family room design in Los Angeles with yellow walls, a standard fireplace and a media wall, and a coffee table with a decorative tray

How Big Should a Coffee Table Tray Be?

There are benefits to having a big or a small coffee table tray. Both will provide you with some usefulness depending on how you want to use it. If your goal is use it to help serve guests and others when they come over to visit, then consider how heavy the tray is and how well you would be able to move it and walk around with it. Trays that are used for this purpose will often be on the smaller size.

Coffee table trays can sometimes be left out on the table to hold books, flowers, and other items to decorate the table. If this is the case, then you may want to go with one that is a little bit bigger, based on the size of your table. Going for one that is 22 by 22 inches is a good start, but consider how big the tray can be and still fit on your table.

The Different Types of Coffee Table Trays

The size that you will pick for your coffee table tray can depend on the type of tray that you decide to go with. You can find coffee table trays in a variety of colors and types, though it is often best to go with a neutral one so that it is easy to use all year long without having to purchase another one to use all the time.

There are two main shapes of coffee table trays for you to use. You can go with a rectangle tray or a round one.

Rectangular Coffee Table Trays

The rectangle trays are going to be the easiest to find and you will be able to choose a variety of sizes as well. You will find that this is a great option to place some of the longer objects you would like to hold like books.

Round Coffee Table Trays

You can also go with a round coffee table tray. These are a bit harder to find because they do not fit on the table as much, so fewer homeowners want to go with this type of tray. It is often easier to find a smaller one compared to a larger one, so you will need to consider that.

You may want to work with a rectangle coffee table tray to start until you can find a round one.

What are Some Objects I Can Use to Decorate a Coffee Table Tray?

You can add almost anything that you would like to the tray to help decorate the table. Maybe you just want to use it to add a few extra items onto the table without ruining the finish. Or you can use the trays to help decorate the room and make it easier to clear off when you actually want to use the table. A few ideas of what you can do when it comes to decorating the trays on your coffee tables include:

  • Seasonal décor that will get switched out
  • A souvenir or personal memento that sticks out to you
  • Candles
  • Boxes or books that you like
  • Some kind of greenery, like flowers or plants

You may want to try out a few different options to figure out what will look the best on that coffee table tray and to ensure you get the best look for your needs.

How to Use a Coffee Table Tray

There are different tasks that you can use the coffee table tray for, which makes it a versatile piece to add to your home and a lot of fun to utilize as well.

First, it is often used as a way to serve something in the living room. Whether you are ready to have some guests over and would like to serve snacks or a drink while they are there, or it is time for a nice movie night with the family, a coffee table tray is a great way to do this.

Some families may have this as a way to hold decorations in one place. They will be able to have it to hold their books, pens, notebooks, newspapers and more. Then, when someone comes over, they can easily pick it up and keep it out of the way.

It can also hold a variety of decorations to keep the coffee table as a kind of centerpiece to the whole room too.

Choosing a Coffee Table Tray

The coffee table tray can be a nice addition to any home. Whether you want to be able to serve guests a nice drink or snack without a big mess on the coffee table or you are looking to have a new way to decorate that part of the room, these table trays are going to make a difference in your home. Choose the right size and material to see what a difference it can make.

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Photo: McPhee Associates of Cape Cod

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