How To Decorate A Two Tiered Stand

Let's be real: Interior design can be extremely difficult and time-consuming. It gets even harder when we try to start with an entire house — or even an entire room — before experimenting with different themes and aesthetics. But sometimes, all it takes is a small display to change the whole feel of a room (or inspire us to create something even bigger). So instead of taking on a massive project — like decking out your home in holiday decor or swapping out all your furniture for new pieces — why not begin with a two-tiered stand instead?

All you really need, according to Crisp Collective, is a large item to serve as a focal point, some items you can place atop one another (to get different heights), and a few smaller pieces that add personality to your display. Before you know it, you'll be using this simple formula to craft gorgeous displays. So whether you've never attempted styling one or consider yourself an expert on this impactful design hack, join us as we discover some fun, chic, and even cozy ways to decorate a tiered tray.

Go for a farmhouse feel

Cozy, classic, and relatively neutral, the farmhouse decor style works especially well on a two-tiered stand. Per The Spruce, this design trend focuses on the feeling you get when you're in the space. "Farmhouse style means designing a space that is comfortable, functional, clean, and inviting," interior designer Amy Leferink tells the publication. So when you're decorating a tray, it's important to keep this definition in mind.

An easy way to do this? According to Bargain Bluebird Home & DIY, start with a few simple objects you have around the house. Wooden beads, small jars and glass containers, and even a set of rustic-inspired measuring cups all work great. As designer Kristen Krason explains to The Spruce, "This style of design does not take itself too seriously ... Decorating with vintage pieces, such as cutting boards, and interesting artwork can also lend character." The key is to keep it feeling a little cozy and make use of pieces you already love — as well as a few functional items too.

Add a pop of color

Whether you have a maximalist, colorful home or a space that's minimalist and neutral, adding a pop of color to a tiered stand can be a simple way to brighten up your decor. If you're focusing on a small part of your home, MyDomaine suggests using one bold hue that'll stand out against everything else. Incorporating just one eye-catching object can create the desired effect and give your tray some extra character — even if everything else you're decorating with is in neutral, pale, or muted tones. For example, if your two-tiered stand features a color palette of creams, whites, and browns, tossing in a colorful object (like a decorative blue car) can make all the difference.

Of course, if you're not quite sold on bright colors, you can start small with lighter hues — like pale pastels. This is a great way to test out a bolder decor style without going overboard (or having to invest in a lot of pieces you might not end up keeping in the long run).

Choose a seasonal theme

For those who prefer to switch up their decor often (but perhaps don't want to do a lot of rearranging every few months,) a simple solution is to style two-tiered trays for each season — fall, winter, spring, and summer. Rather than having to swap multiple decorations throughout your home as new seasons approach, you can rely on a tiered stand to create a look that matches the weather. Thankfully, this approach to decorating is relatively simple. Per MyMove, you can transition your two-tier stands from one season to the next by adding in produce that matches the time of year — like pumpkins for fall or lemons for summer. Using items you can quickly grab at the grocery store is also a cost-effective way to decorate. And, of course, you can always use the items in a recipe if you want!

Another simple tip is to add a seasonal candle to your display (via Living It Country). This might be a warm, cozy scent you love to have around during cooler months or a fresh, fruity option that reminds you of being outside in the sunshine. Using a candle can add an extra element to your stand that'll fill your entire home with the smells of the season.

Keep it neutral

If you want to keep your tiered stand neutral, clean, and minimalist, there are so many ways to achieve the look. And while it might be tempting to throw on several white and wooden decorative objects, there's a bit more to consider when opting for this style. According to Curated Interior, you should make sure that you include different textural elements and even a few prints to avoid crafting a one-note display. This might mean choosing a small planter that has unique ridges or a piece of art that includes a pattern to break up the monotony.

You can also vary the colors you're using without involving bright hues. From deep browns that'll remind you of your favorite chocolate bar to bright whites, there's a whole range of neutral tones you can mix and match to create added interest within your display (via Homes & Gardens). Whether you have an eclectic, bohemian, Mediterranean, or modern style, you can craft a neutral two-tiered stand that fits perfectly within your home.

Go monochrome

Want to create a bold two-tiered stand without going too over-the-top? Try sticking with one color throughout your display. Going with a monochrome theme can allow you to test out a color that may be brighter or more maximalist than you're used to, thanks to the streamlined look this decor style offers. As is the case with sticking to neutrals, it's important to remember the textural elements in your display. According to Architectural Digest, keeping texture in mind will help avoid the color from feeling overly monotonous.

This tip is especially important if you're avoiding bright hues. "When you remove all color from a space, texture, tone, and lines become so much more important," designer Alyssa Kaptio tells the publication. It's the little things that matter here — like small elements of light or what materials your decorations are crafted from. It may also help to remember that monochrome looks can include different shades of one hue. So no matter if you're choosing something saturated or muted, you can find plenty of ways to display that one color.

Add a bunch of plants

One of the simplest ways to decorate a two-tiered stand is by adding plants, whether they're real or fake. Depending on how green your thumb is, a tiered tray is a great excuse to bring the outdoors in and add a touch of Mother Nature to your home decor. The best part? Because tiered stands are typically small, it gives those without any plant care experience to start small. Try a few succulents or cacti that are low-maintenance if you want to experiment with live plants rather than faux ones.

Per Forbes, it's also important to monitor how much light your tray will get. If there's not much sun shining on your display, Forbes recommends opting for a cast iron plant or a ZZ plant. If you're a bit more experienced with plant life, though, you can try a monstera or fiddle leaf fig on your stand. Of course, there are plenty of reasons to play it safe and choose a few faux plants that look just as chic as the real thing. For those who know they'll forget to water this natural decor, fake might be the best route.

Toss on some sweet treats

If you're searching for a functional — but still beautiful — tiered stand display option, just add some pastries, desserts, or other sweet treats. They might not stay on the tray for long, but it's a simple way to decorate for a temporary event without having to invest in new objects. Style Me Pretty recommends choosing a color scheme to make the decor extra unique. Stick with a couple of hues as the focal point, then add another color that complements the first two. Try a bolder color for the accent if you're going with minimalist shades.

Once you've established the color palette, play around with the height of your display. While you could keep everything level, it can add extra interest and really make a statement if you add in some taller treats along with the shorter ones. This could mean stacking cookies, fitting in a sky-high cake, or placing a dessert on top of a small box to raise it. Experimenting with how you display food on a tiered stand allows it to become a centerpiece rather than a throwaway decor moment.

Make it cozy

During cooler months, you might prefer to keep your home decor feeling cozy in contrast with the weather outside. (It's definitely understandable!) Thankfully, an uncomplicated way to incorporate coziness into your space is by starting with a two-tiered tray. According to The Happy Housie, displaying candles, soft fabrics, and neutral hues is a great place to start. The candles allow for a relaxing atmosphere throughout your home, while cozy fabrics and simple colors can help create textural moments that feel warm and inviting.

And if you're searching for the perfect color scheme that feels welcoming and soft all at once, there are a few trendy options. "We're seeing a lot more terracotta, clay, and rust colors coming through," Charlie Marshall, founder of furniture retail site Loaf, tells Homes & Gardens. So while you can always opt for classic white, cream, or brown decor, there are plenty of opportunities to go beyond these hues and embrace cozy colors that feel fresh and of-the-moment, too!

Go for a floral theme

Maybe classic greenery isn't quite your thing — no problem! You can still get a dreamy, nature-inspired look by opting for a floral theme. Of course, you can always choose a flower-filled display in any season, but it's especially fun for spring and summer. (We wouldn't blame you if you wanted a bit of cheeriness in the middle of winter, though!) Thankfully, even if you don't typically work with flowers, using them in your two-tiered stand decoration isn't particularly complicated. According to The Spruce, you can approach your floral display in several ways.

One idea is to remove the flower heads from their stems and display them that way. Flower farmer Gretchen Winterkorn explains to The Spruce, "I pull the heads off of flowers that are showy and have longer staying power, such as dahlias, zinnias, strawflowers, and place them around photos, statues and mementos that I want to highlight and make special." Or, if you're less comfortable divvying up flowers this way, you can choose to decorate with dried florals instead. This method is not only incredibly simple but also mitigates the risk of ending up with lifeless, drooping flowers in a few days.

Get buzzing

If you're searching for a more specific tiered tray display, why not decorate with a bee theme? With easy-to-find colors like black and yellow, along with a few DIY opportunities, this fun look can end up being a year-round fixture in your home. For those willing to get a little crafty, Liz Moore Decal and Decor has a few ideas on her YouTube channel — including creating faux honey and DIY-ing a miniature decorative beehive.

To make some faux honey that will stay attached to a honey dipper, Moore uses hot glue melted down in a pot mixed with crushed yellow eyeshadow — and the results look just like real honey! You can drizzle the mixture on honey dippers, so it looks like they've just come out of a full jar of honey. Once it dries, it makes for great bee-inspired decor for a tiered stand. In addition, Moore creates a cute beehive out of a small vase using yellow and white paint along with a decal in the shape of a honeycomb. She fills the vase with yellow florals to add a little texture, resulting in another unique DIY for a bee-themed stand!

Take cues from nature

Bring your favorite aspects of a garden indoors with nature-inspired pieces. This could mean small statues and figurines of your favorite creatures — like birds, rabbits, or even squirrels — or greenery that doesn't require any maintenance — like moss or faux leaves. Even if you don't want to cover your entire tiered stand with natural elements, you can still achieve the look with one or two objects. Per Better Homes and Gardens, even one focal item can bring added interest and texture to a display. They recommend choosing something like a unique tree limb that catches the eye.

The publication also suggests adding prints, paintings, or other art with a nature-inspired aesthetic. Their example is a framed picture of a bird, but you can display whatever natural images you like — and that works well with the colors in your home. In addition, if you have a few small bowls, you can house shells or nature's other knick-knacks in them. It's a great way to display any items you might pick up while on vacation, too! Whether you choose a garden aesthetic or something more tropical, focusing on nature will always help create a beautiful tiered stand arrangement.

Decorate for a specific holiday

If decorating for each season isn't allowing you to change things up as often as you'd like, try creating a two-tiered display for every holiday instead. You can start with major holidays — like New Year's, Valentine's Day, Easter, Fourth of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas — or incorporate smaller holidays as well — like Mardi Gras, St. Patrick's Day, and Memorial Day. Ultimately, it's up to you how frequently you want to update your two-tiered stand, but there are some tips and tricks regarding holiday decor.

According to House Beautiful, collecting small knick-knacks is one way to stockpile options for decorating. They mention Christmas in particular, but you can use this idea for any holiday! Miniature pine trees and snowy figurines work great for wintry holidays, while small faux plants and ceramic animals can be fun decorative choices for spring and summer. Having a few different pieces to select from when decorating can simplify the process. Or, if you have some extra time, doing a few DIY projects to help set the holiday mood can be another option (via Good Housekeeping). This can include creating a feather wreath or dipped taper candles for Halloween.

Create cute storage

Turn your two-tiered tray into something extra functional by creating storage that's equal parts useful and aesthetically pleasing. If you're a coffee drinker, a tiered stand works great as a way to store your morning essentials without taking up too much room on your counter or in your pantry. You can DIY some canisters to hold your grounds, coffee pods, sugar, and other must-haves, like The Lovely Drawer suggests. Or, you can simply use the stand to display all your favorite (and most-used) mugs, cups, and even small plates, giving yourself easy access (via The Spruce).

Of course, coffee essentials aren't the only things you can store on a two-tiered stand. Clean up a messy desk by displaying pens, markers, sticky notes, and other writing accessories on your tray (via Apartment Therapy). Or take all your makeup and organize it all on a tiered stand to place on your bathroom counter or atop your dresser (via House Beautiful). The possibilities are truly endless when using these trays as stylish storage options.

Use candles as decoration

The best part about using candles as decoration? You can display them in so many ways. Whether you're hoping to get a minimalist, neutral look or something bold, bright, and over-the-top, candles can help you achieve your decor dreams. Not to mention, scented candles make your home smell as good as it looks. Before you start tossing candles on your two-tiered stand, though, take a cue from Homedit and decide in which room you want your display. Of course, you can opt for any room of your home, but there are different atmospheres in each that are important to note. For instance, decorating with candles in the bedroom can create a romantic, sensual feel. On the other hand, using them in the living room or kitchen can make things seem cozier. Choosing where your candles are going can help you determine what kind of display to create on your tiered tray.

From there, you can opt for different styles of candles, from funky shapes to classic tapers. Placing unique, rounded shapes with classic structured ones can help generate a fun contrast filled with different heights, colors, and even textures (via Decoist). For maximum interest, play around with different types of candles. You might just end up with a focal decor piece for your home.