Tray Chic

Sometimes you have to bring the party to the people.

One of the trends we see continuing in interiors is the use of a large ottoman for a coffee table. People love the versatility of extra seating, and a soft place to prop your feet on at the end of a long day, but many struggle with how to best style this decorating standby.

We often show coffee table ottomans in the store, and styling them is one of the favorite tasks of our Merchandising and Creative Director, Brent Hodge.

Brent says. “One of the mistakes people make is adding too much all over the surface. One of the beauties of using an ottoman is the ability to prop up your feet, so leave lots of space for that.” Brent often groups all of the elements into a large tray, or onto a stack of books.

“I love using books as risers and ‘tables”, says Hodge. “They add such a refined and intellectual air to the space” You’ll often see books used to add multiple heights on our ottomans.

One of the looks you’ll often see in our space is the “tray party”. Even though its not real life at Bromwells, you can take a few tips and tricks from Brent when you are planning your next gathering, and looking to use your coffee table ottoman as party central. These tips even work when you are styling a traditional hard-topped table.

Brent says, “Look for interesting and unique decanters to hold a variety of spirits for mixing and pouring in your bar tray. Interesting bottles also make for a cool composition.” At Bromwells, we are always searching for unique items to present to our customers, so check often for new additions.

while this may be “faked out” for our store guests, image a full decanter of freshly made mule drinks with a simple bottle or two of ginger beer to mix into beautiful copper cups.

“Add enough glasses for the guests you are hosting. The “tray bar” doesn’t really work for really large gatherings. It’s best for more intimate drinks-after-dinner-type evenings. Plan 2-3 simple cocktails that can be made from similar ingredients, and add the necessary items to the tray.”

While we often style our ottomans for a “imaginary party”, you can incorporate some of these ideas to make sure you are always ready to entertain at a moment’s notice.

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