15 Stunning Desk Tray Vignettes and Quick Tips to Get the Look at Home

15 Stunning Desk Tray Vignettes and Quick Tips to Get the Look at Home

Taryn Williford
Sep 6, 2013

If it's framed, it's art. Sorting everyday office neccessities into a tidy tray elevates simple staples (pun intended) into a workspace vignette worthy of being oogled. Because, when the office looks this good, it's easy to feel motivated to work.

Here are three components for a great tray vignette:

  1. Tray: Acrylic, wood or stainless steel. With handles, or with feet. Whatever the style, start at the base and pick out a stellar tray.
  2. Color Scheme: Figure out what's going on the tray and coordinate a theme or color story. That doesn't mean going matchy-matchy (unless you want to!), but make sure everything looks like it fits together, like a painting.
  3. Standout Accessories: Whether it's a sentimental knick-knack or a unique pair of scissors (I've been recently eyeing these Japanese House Scissors), give the items on the tray a little whimsy. Or, makeover trusted tools with hemp-wrapped handles or a coat of metallic gold paint.

Each of the shots in the gallery above shows off a put-together desk tray where these ideas are put into action. Check out these drool-worthy vignettes before getting creative in your own home office.


  • No surprise that Chris Plantan, formerly Creative Director at Russel + Hazel, keeps beautiful office supplies at the ready. From a peek at her Minneapolis home on Design Sponge.
  • This acrylic tray is actually an inexpensive box picture frame, with patterned paper cut to fit, from Just a Girl.
  • A round wooden tray with enough space acts as an iPad docking station for chair*stalker's Michael Chua.
  • Toys can be office supplies too, as San Francisco design studio Pacific Helm shows us in their office tour.
  • The smallest desk tray, just big enough for a few personal trinkets, from the September 2013 issue of Lonny.


  • And the largest desk tray: A hulking silver footed platter to hold books and swatches for Caitlin & Caitlin Design Co.
  • Feeling golden? Monkey see, monkey do after seeing this office tray by Domicile Interior Design on Houzz.
  • Camille of Camille Styles stashes more than office supplies on her desktop tray, including a scented candle and a few blooms.
  • Glasses, a pen, and coordinated note pads are close by for quick notes in the office of The Everygirl's Danielle Moss.
  • A humble desk tray — placed literally on a pedestal — from the June 2013 issue of Lonny.


(Images: As linked above)

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