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How Do I Choose the Best Trays for Ottomans?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated May 16, 2024
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When choosing the best trays for ottomans in your home, look for compatible materials. For example, especially in the case of a leather ottoman, a tray with feet that could leave marks or scratches isn't a good choice. Most ottoman tray designs have smooth undersides so they don't damage or mark furniture. Some trays for ottomans have feet made to fit over the edge of the piece to create a sturdy surface. Consider the tray color, shape and pattern that will best fit in with not only the ottoman itself, but the entire room.

If you prefer a patterned ottoman tray rather than a plain one, make sure it suits your decor. For instance, a whimsical, elephant-shaped plastic tray placed on a velvet ottoman in a luxurious setting is likely to stand out as not belonging in the room. Similarly, dramatic red and gold Chinese trays for ottomans used in a simple rustic setting is also going to appear uncoordinated. Motifs on the trays such as seashells for a beach theme or a colorful abstract design for a creative living space can enhance the style of the whole room.

If you'd rather choose a tray look that doesn't stand out too much, but instead blends in with the decor, look for one in a similar color to the ottoman. To still keep the interest and design appeal high, it's usually best to then select an interesting shape such as a round tray for a square ottoman, or vice versa. Another way to pick colors for trays for ottomans is to choose wooden pieces in tones that coordinate with the wooden furniture in the room.

The design of the best ottoman tray for your particular living space should be in keeping with the room's overall style whether that is modern, traditional, rustic, romantic or another theme. A silver-plated, elaborately embossed antique tea tray could be ideal for a romantic setting, but would probably be much too "fussy" for a sleek, modern living space. Bark-covered ottoman trays are likely to add a lot of design interest to a rustic room, yet appear too "earthy" in a more traditional style of home.

Don't forget to consider practicality when picking a tray for an ottoman. Your fingers should wrap easily around the handles to allow you to carry heavier items such as a teapot or taller pieces such as wine glasses. If you won't be able to pick up, carry and set down trays for ottomans easily, this lack of practicality increases the risk of having food or drinks spilled on your furniture or rug.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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