Tiered Tray Decor Ideas: How to Accomplish Cheerful, Colorful Displays

There’s nothing more fun to decorate than a tiered tray. So many possibilities! And its compact nature means you can create a display in no time at all. But to be totally honest, it’s not always easy to create a display. Why? Maybe because the space is so limited. We’ve got good news. We’ve got the tricks to make you a pro.

white wood tiered tray on coffee table with dough bowl easy Valentines day decor

We are going to share our best tips so every tiered tray you decorate will be fabulous. Ready? Let’s dive in.

This post contains affiliate links. There is no additional cost for you. 

white wood 3 tiered tray filled with Valentines day decor and treats

Best Tips to Create a Fabulous Tiered Tray

Display holiday decor on kitchen island cute and festive

  1. Choose a theme. Today we are showcasing Valentine’s Day themes, but you can apply our tips to any theme you choose.
  2. Choose a color scheme. This is even more important than a theme. Cohesion is built most powerfully with color.
  3. Make sure the style of the tray fits your overall style statement. There are trays available in every style. We’ve provided some of our favorites to shop here in this post.
  4. Don’t be afraid to add in neutral elements so the eye isn’t overwhelmed.
  5. Use stackable items and play with height.
  6. Small plants/greenery are a great item for any tray.
  7. Check Target dollar spot for mini-items for a great price.
  8. Create balance on your stand by using repeating items. You can also utilize similar items in opposing direction. This way you feel the balance, but it’s not too matchy-matchy.
  9. I love something dangling off the tray, whether it’s a string of beads, or a tea towel. This gives your tray an organic feel.

What NOT to do

  1. Don’t use random colors that clash.
  2. Be careful not to use elements all the same height. You can raise certain items by building up, just in any decor space. I love to use a stack of saucers or small plates to build in height. How about a mini cupcake stand or a stack of coasters?
  3. Don’t repeat too much of the same color, or you’ll end up with a boring blast of color. The eye needs a place to rest.
  4. Don’t overdo your theme. Not everything on your tray needs to be related to your theme. Remember the value of adding neutral elements.

coffee table tiered tray decorated with Valentines day decor in red and pink on white wood 3 tiered tray

Save on My 3-Tiered Tray and More

If you love my white rectangular tiered tray as much as I do, you’re in luck. Not only is it priced better than we have seen anywhere, but we also have a special savings code to shop

The online shop is called Hive and Home, and they have so many unique items, all at already-low prices. In addition, when you shop through our link you will save an additional 20% across their shop.

Another example of their decor offerings is the darling wooden heart candle shown above. You will love so many of their decor pieces. Have fun browsing their beautifully curated online boutique, and use our coupon DESIGNTWINS20 or just click the shopping link here.

White wood tiered tray decorate for Valentines day with pink, red and white decor

Final Tiered Tray Decorating Tips

As in anything practice makes better. So don’t worry about perfection. Just dive in and start practicing. The more trays you create the easier it becomes. Pretty soon you’ll feel like a pro.

After you have your tray full step back. Feel free to play. Move things around. It’s kind of like decorating a Christmas tree on a mini scale. You want your colors and repeating items to appear in diagonal balance to each other. If your tray is 3 tiered, you can think of creating triangles.

decorate for valentines day easily with tiered three tiered tray

How to Use a Tiered Tray

Now that you’re a decorating pro, let’s see all the ways we can employ your fun new skills!

Kitchen Island

Tiered tray is perfect to decorate kitchen island for valentines day

  • The most common place we see them used is in the kitchen.
  • Usually, they are a fun way to decorate an island or peninsula.
  • Many are too tall to place under cabinetry.
  • If your tiered tray is round, then it will be best optimized out in the open where it is fully visible and accessible.

But let’s think about some other ways to utilize.

Bathroom Counter

  • Not all bathroom counters are big enough obviously, but many are.
  • Luckily tiered trays come in all sizes and styles. 
  • We can picture them looking gorgeous holding bathroom essentials in between two sinks.
  • A smaller one might fit nicely on the side of a single sink too.
  • Follow the style of your bathroom and it will look right at home, while adding welcome display and storage room.

Table Centerpiece

The added height of a tiered tray lends itself naturally to a table centerpiece. It will provide drama to the center of the table. You can fill it with coordinating decorative items as well as items that make sense for your table and the meal.

festive valentines tiered tray with lots of red and pink decor

You can set extra small plates here at easy reach, salt and pepper shakers, small pitchers and more.

How about party favors displayed here? They’ll serve double duty as decor until you’re ready to distribute.

Cocoa Station or Coffee Station

  • We love drink stations that are well stocked.
  • A coffee station or cocoa station is a great place to express your unique decor style and get creative.
  • Tiered trays help you by adding extra storage space to fit your bar area.
  • It’s a fun way to add height, drama, and style to your drink station.

two tiered tray holds useful kitchen items on kitchen island


This leads us to thinking about all aspects of entertaining. What is a display table without tiered trays? You can use them everywhere holding food, decor, supplies, you name it.

They add visual interest to every table. I have mine pictured here on my coffee table where guests can easily access small plates and treats that I have placed there.

They can be used for indoor parties as well as outdoor entertaining.

tiered tray on coffee table plus dough bowl and heart shaped candle

Storage and Repurposing Your Tiered Tray

Now that we’ve told you how useful they are, are you counting how many you need to own? Don’t worry.

  • Many tiered trays come apart. If you’re does, you’ll want to take it apart to store.
  • Even better, you can often repurpose the individual pieces as single trays. 
  • Remember one of our favorite decor rules: Everything looks better on a tray (or stand). 
  • Use the pieces as backdrops.
  • Use them as stages.

Think outside the box, and you’ll always be able to put them to use in some way or fashion.

Happy Decorating!

jodie & julie

10 Valentine’s Day Decorating Ideas 

Mantel Flower Arrangement for Valentine’s Day // Craftberry Bush

Paper Heart Valentine’s Day Decor // Finding Lovely 

Vintage Elegant Valentines Day Home Decor Ideas // The Happy Housie

Pink Decor In The Family Room // My 100 Year Old Home

Easy and Subtle Valentine’s Day Decor Ideas // Pasha Is Home

7 Simple Valentine’s Day Decor Ideas for a Cozy Home // The DIY Mommy

XOXO Mantel Ideas // Tatertots & Jello

Sophisticated Valentine’s Day Decor // Modern Glam

Tiered Tray Decor Ideas // The Design Twins

DIY Valentine’s Day Heart Wreath // My Sweet Savannah

white wood tray decorated with cute valentines day decor

10 Valentines Day decor ideas

Tiered Tray Decor Ideas: How to Accomplish Cheerful, Colorful Displays
Article Name
Tiered Tray Decor Ideas: How to Accomplish Cheerful, Colorful Displays
We show you how easy it is to create amazing seasonal tiered trays. Have fun making budget-friendly themed tiered trays all year long!
Publisher Name
The Design Twins
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  1. […] Tiered Tray Decor Ideas // The Design Twins […]

  2. Diane says:

    Thanks so much for sharing all your tiered tray tips & tricks in Fabulous Friday! Now I don’t have any excuse for not rocking on the tiered tray front.

  3. […] You can visit Jodie & Julie over at The Design Twins! […]

  4. […] You can visit Jodie & Julie over at The Design Twins! […]

  5. […] You can visit Jodie & Julie over at The Design Twins! […]

  6. I just found you through the ‘Fabulous Friday’ link party and I’m so glad I did! I’m getting ready to style my tiered tray for Valentine’s day so your tips are gold, thank you – pinned!

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      Jayne! You just made our day! There’s literally nothing better than knowing we have inspired someone. So grateful for your kind reply. XO ~ Julie & Jodie

  7. Donna Allen says:

    Loved all your tips! Tiered trays are so fun to decorate! Happy Valentine’s Day! Donna

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      Thank you so much Donna! We are delighted you enjoyed this. We must say we had a ball creating these trays! XO ~ Julie & Jodie

  8. Lynn says:

    I have a couple of tiered trays that I don’t use very much but you’ve inspired me. They really are so versatile. Thank you for sharing your post on our new Fabulous Friday Link Party.

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      We love that we’ve inspired you Lynn! It means so much. And thank you for inviting us to join. It was a real honor. All the best, Julie & Jodie

  9. […] Layered Tray Decoration Ideas // design twins […]

  10. Kim says:

    What great ideas and tips for styling tiered trays!! I love all the fun Valentine color!! Thanks for sharing!!

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      Kim, We’re so happy you loved these ideas. Hope you continue to enjoy our posts. Happy Valentines Day! XO ~ Jodie & Julie

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  15. […] This pretty Valentine’s Day tiered tray by the Design Twins is so pretty and […]

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