Tray Chic

Veranda, Fall 1994. Interior design by DHS Designs (Darryl H. Savage). Photography by Anne Gummerson. Source.

 What I like about blogging, in addition to choosing photos, is writing.  I love words, puns and a play on words and like to indulge myself now and then because I can't do so at work.  It's all serious business in corporate in America.  So excuse the title. I couldn't resist.

The photo above is the only one I could find with an antique tray (papier-mache) table.  My mother had a black tole tray from the 1950s or 1960s painted with puffy pink flowers and gold edges.  It stayed in the back of the coat closet and didn't see the light of day until a yard sale in 1992.  It was pretty, but certainly not "look at me--I'm the focus of the room" material, like the one above.

I can't account for my sudden interest in tole tables, although I did watch Vanity Fair and The Young Victoria this weekend so there was plenty of English influence.  Here are antique tray tables that could hold their own in any room. 

 A French yellow version at Andrew Spindler Antiques

 English Regency tole tray and stand at Antiquario Villas & Cottages

 Chinoisserie motifs at BG Galleries

Another English Regency table. George Subkoff Antiques.

 I'm loving anything yellow lately.  BG Galleries.

 A French Charles X tray on a later stand from Drum & Company.

 Another French tole tray, this time at March

 A subtle design on this 19th Century version from Heather & Company

 Greek key trim is a winner whether it's on curtains, pillows or furniture. Kevin Stone Antiques & Interiors.

Not a tray table, but a similar style and I have a soft spot for anything neoclassical.  Thomas Jolly Antiques.

The only trouble with these tables is that you can't kick back with a pepperoni pizza and put your feet up while watching a movie, but I say put a television in the kitchen instead. Fini.



  1. I haven't thought of tray tables in like forever and my Grandmother had one that she cherished, 50's-60's thing. I love the one pictured in the first picture in front of the sofa, looks like it might be tortoise shell? Now that be something!

  2. I absolutely love the last table, but #4 was another favorite. Just so beautiful.
    Thank you for sharing.

  3. Adored that first French yellow table from Andrew Spindler, most fabulous!

    Art by Karena

  4. Love this post so original, also love the second to last tray or should I say tres:)

  5. Love tole - I grew up with one of these. I've rather tired of the floral variety but still love the scenic and neoclassical ones!!

  6. Love the tole tray tables...had them in my Winnipesaukee store - the Portsmouth crowd never understood them. Also, the velet tiger pillow is awesome....probably a Scalamandré fabric.

  7. Tole tables--the scale is great. Thanks for introducing me to the right terminology, although tray table works for me just as well:)

  8. Thanks for the comments, everybody.

    Debra - Tortoise shell! I hadn't thought of that. Will have to investigate.

    Teresa - I'd be happy with #4 too.

    Hi Karena - Fortunately, Andrew Spindler's shop isn't too far so I can check it out in person. I'm sure to leave empty handed though.

    Thanks, IHG.

    Quintessence - I would have loved to have seen your table.

    J - I'm surprised the Portsmouth, NH crowd didn't understand the tables. They are traditional and I think of NH as a traditional kind of place. You are right about the pillow fabric - "Velvet Tigre" I think is the name.

    Thanks, Susan. It doesn't matter what you call them. If you like them, that's great.

  9. How beautiful they are! I have tons of tole trays, but no stand to place them on... I've been on the hunt for a long time....but I'm with you... no tootsies on those tables!

    Warm blessings,

  10. inspiring post deborah but it reminds me of my uber-expensive taste.
    longing for a tray and better yet, a matching base for a dog paper-maiche tray i have seen in photo shoots.
    i remember the moment i spied it across a multitude of booths and went off like a zombie, arms out-stretched and gasping. suddenly it was in my hands and all i could hope for. the dealer winked when she said she could work with me on the price. turning and hoping at the same time, then gasp.....56,000.00. not to be!

  11. Fun post! They are all interesting but I do like the 2nd to the last one with the Greek Key design the most.

  12. Your blog is really poetic and full of beautiful inspirations.
    I'll follow it with interest.


Thanks for taking the time to comment. Your comments are part of what makes blogging worthwhile! In an effort to control spam, comments are moderated and word verification has been enabled. Apologies for any inconvenience.