Home decor accessories come in all shapes and sizes, but the most popular item of all right now may surprise you: trays.
This finding was served up on a silver platter by Next Day Blinds, a custom-made blind and shade company, which examined which home decor items Americans searched for most on Google over the past year.
And, yep, trays topped the list.
Tripping over tray options
The popularity of these all-purpose platters could very well signal that people are seeking out more creative ways to get organized. Think about it: A tray gives you a stylish little place to corral items that would otherwise feel like clutter around your home.
“We think trays are the basic building blocks for order in the house,” says Julie Carlson, founder and editor of design site Remodelista. She uses them everywhere: on the kitchen counter and in the bedroom, bathroom, and entryway.
In addition to making themselves useful in any room of a home, trays also run the gamut of interior decor styles, from Victorian to Mid-Century Modern, says Drew Henry of Design Dudes in San Antonio.
“You’ll see them popping up on Instagram feeds, too, especially when they’re used for breakfast in bed and as coffee tables on stools,” he says.
Photo by Tilton Fenwick
Aside from assessing your home’s aesthetic, how do you choose the best tray for your place?
Think about how it’ll be used. A tray used in the kitchen to hold sink-side essentials like dish soap, a sponge, and a scrub brush should be easy to clean and waterproof, so opt for something made of acrylic or ceramic.
“For the living room, there are metal, wood, or enameled options, and a mirrored tray in the bar area looks great as it reflects bottles and glassware,” says Henry.
Photo by Caroline Sharpnack – A Lucite tray will keep everything in order without clashing with your living room decor.
All about the walls
So what else made the list of America’s most searched-for home products? Mostly they’re items that can help dress up walls: mirrors, wall decor, wall art, wallpaper, frames, and prints all made the cut.
Each of these items can stand (er… hang?) alone, or you can curate them into a gallery wall. To maintain a sense of order, group the same types of frames, artwork, color theme, or subject matter, says Karen Gray-Plaisted of Design Solutions KGP. You can also choose one object as the center of your gallery.
“This focal point could be a large mirror, a clock, or the biggest picture you have,” she says.
Once thought of as a tacky eyesore, wallpaper has actually come back into favor with homeowners and renters. Recent wallpaper trends we’ve seen include textured grass cloth (which works well in a great room or dining room) and oversize floral designs (try it in a guest bath or laundry room).
One innovation that’s drawn people toward wallpaper is the removable—or peel-and-stick—variety. A wall covering that you don’t have to commit to (or lose your rental deposit for)? That’s a beautiful thing.
Photo by AFT Construction
Rounding out the list of top decor picks are three accessories that are a staple in any stylish home: bar carts, poufs, and rugs.
One of the most beloved pouf styles is the round, Moroccan-inspired type, usually made of leather. These things tend to cultivate a more bohemian vibe, but we’ve seen them incorporated into homes with other types of decor—modern, preppy, industrial—too. Poufs also come in a variety of shapes and textures: knitted, furry, square, and rectangular.
Photo by Tara Benet Design
People also seem to be coveting bar carts—they’ve become a choice accessory for people who want to display their liquor collection in a chic way, but can be used for so much more.
Push one next to a sofa as a side table to hold coasters and remotes, use it to hold your vinyl collection, or position it in a bathroom for extra storage. We love the idea of scoring a vintage bar cart at a flea market or on eBay, but don’t drive yourself crazy trying to find one. There are plenty of great options at a variety of price ranges from home decor companies online and in stores.
Photo by Holder Design Associates