5 Modern Trays for Serving Up Holiday Cheer

Modern Decor

5 Modern Serving Trays

The holiday season is prime time for stylish displays, whether decor, food, or fashion—and what better place to start than with the serving tray? Whether presenting delectable hors d’oeuvres, balancing luscious cocktails, or displaying festive treats, modern serving trays no longer take a back seat to tasty holiday tidbits. Boasting refined materials, uncommon shapes, and striking details, our 5 favorite modern serving trays offer smart and stylish solutions for serving up holiday cheer.

Knoll Splay Tray by George Nakashima

Knoll Splay Tray, designed by George Nakashima

It’s not often that a serving tray can be called a modern design classic, but the Knoll Splay Tray more than qualifies. Designed by the master woodworker, George Nakashima, this astonishingly refined modernist tray has true staying power—Nakashima conceived of it in the 1940’s—thanks to the timeless emblems of Nakashima’s more famous furniture designs, namely an east/west blend of technical precision and purity of form. Designed as a companion to the Knoll Nakashima Splay Leg Table, this tray’s clean, solid Douglas Fir body and exquisite edging (available in two different solid wood options) is for modern design aficionados whose guests have come to expect service of the highest order.

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Blu Dot 100 Percent Trays

Blu Dot 100% Trays, a suite of 3 powder coated steel trays

What’s not to like about a perfect square—or three? Blu Dot 100% Trays, a suite of square, powder-coated steel beauties, may not be suitable for direct contact with food, but are most certainly suitable for just about anything else. Three different sizes and a dusty trio of colors—blue, white, and lavender—render their minimalist forms and upturned edges perfect for contemporary living and entertaining—be it for serving up drinks, holding desktop items, or organizing jewelry. Conveniently sized to nestle together when not in use, we’re betting these Blu Dot trays are good value 100% of the time.

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Tom Dixon Brew Collection

Accessories from the Tom Dixon Brew Collection, including circular copper tray

To be sure, Tom Dixon’s Art Deco-informed Brew Collection is a dazzlingly comprehensive collection, but the circular Brew Coffee Tray is no slouch on its own. A perfect circle of rosy copper coated stainless steel, its mirror-like luster complements most anything, be they snacks, cocktails, or tea (or coffee) for two. Sure, it’s a glamorous number, but like the sparkly top that looks good with jeans, this contemporary serving tray shines flatteringly in even the most casual of settings.

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Ferm Living Spear Tray

Ferm Living Spear Tray, featuring signature geometrics

Gentle colors and graphic motifs are a Ferm Living staple, and this Danish brand’s Spear Tray features a signature Harlequin-like geometric motif pretty enough to hang on a wall. The Spear Tray’s painted birch surface and solid oak frame lend a distinctly Nordic touch to dining or entertaining decor, though its decorative panache makes it an equally winning addition to bathroom vanity or desktop. Two sizes make it tempting to spring for one of each, and circulate them throughout the house.

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iittala Aalto Platter

Solid oak Aalto Serving Platter by iittala

Alvar Aalto’s famous ‘wave’ form— said to have been inspired by a woman’s garment—may be more recognizable in the guise of transparent glass vases or bowls, but this oak Aalto Serving Platter from iittala makes some solid waves of its own. When contrasted with standard rectilinear or round serving boards, the Aalto platter carves out a place of its own, its understated, organic beauty a surefire attention-getter, whether used as cheese board or hors d’oeuvres display. Design buffs, in particular, will appreciate its meandering shape.

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