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July 22, 2013 / theyellowbungalowla

kitchen tip: display your trays

tray with plates
Okay, I’ll admit it: I like trays, and I own a few of them. I find trays useful and pretty, two characteristics that bode well in a working kitchen. I use trays for all sorts of things, from displaying farmers market goodies to serving drinks, and to keep the ice bucket from sharing its condensation with my kitchen table (which is made of wood). Trays are useful for transporting food to friends’ houses, as well as for helping to organize silverware for a dinner party.
bird tray
Truthfully, none of my trays are fancy. Most are made of melamine, which is a shatterproof material similar to plastic but a little more sturdy. Melamine works well outdoors, which is why I’ve been using my trays more often lately. We’ve been busy inviting friends over for casual dinners, hosting family visiting from out of town, and enjoying the beautiful summer weather. I’ve been using my trays to arrange crostini, pile crudites, and serve glasses of iced tea out on the patio.
chicken tray
Today’s tip is as useful as it is clever. I may have mentioned this before, but I don’t have a lot of extra cupboard space in the bungalow kitchen. I love a small kitchen because it’s easy to work in, and I don’t wear myself out running from one end to the other. However, the compact space forces me to be creative with how I organize it.
butterfly tray
I came up with this idea when I needed to make space for more baking pans, forcing me to move my trays to another location. Instead of moving them outside of the kitchen, where I’d likely forget them, I simply began “filing” them into various cupboards, leaning them against the wall inside. What I realized is that displaying the trays inside my cupboards not only saved space, it made the insides of the cupboards feel more inviting. The charming trays, each with its own story and individual style, are a welcome splash of color in an otherwise boring cupboard.
west elm tray
I welcome you to pull out your trays, dust them off, and perhaps “file” them into your cupboards (and pantry if you have one!). Not only will your cupboards be more beautiful and inspiring to open, you’ll be constantly reminded of the beautiful pieces you can use to make your meals feel more special.

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