Tea For Two – 5 Rules For Keeping Color From Being Chaotic On A Small Tea Tray

I LOVE tea. I truly believe that it is the most versatile beverage. Tea cures EVERYTHING. Don’t believe me? Just look at this infographic I made:

Due to my love of tea and the frequency with which I drink it I thought it was only fitting that I carve out a small area on my kitchen counter for my tea supplies. I can never just let things sit out without adding a decorative touch so I styled this little tray to keep everything I need at my fingertips.

The other fun thing about this tray? The majority of the items I used were thrifted finds! See the picture at the end of the post for where I scored these finds!

I am a huge fan of using a lot of color in my decorating. Sometimes using a lot of color can come across as chaotic if I’m not careful so I have 5 rules for my displays that I follow to keep them balanced.

Rule #1: Incorporate dark colors and/or neutrals to keep it grounded

  • I painted the tray a cobalt blue to match one of the Fiestaware mugs and to match a color that Nick and I use frequently throughout our house. This hits both of my criteria because it is both a dark color AND a neutral because I have yet to find a color that doesn’t coordinate with it.
  • In addition to the cobalt blue mug, one of the other mugs is ivory. Mixing those more neutral colors in with my brights on the black (another neutral) mug rack helps to create balance with the colors.

Rule #2: Pick Coordinating Color Tones

  • The Fiestaware mugs take the stage in this display and the fun thing about Fiestaware is how easy it is to mix and match it. These are all more modern mugs and fall in the “bright” tones so regardless of color most of your Fiestaware brights will play nice with each other. If I tried to mix in some of the vintage pastel Fiestaware I would not get the same effect – it would look much messier.

Rule #3: Use Different Colors of the Same Style

  • I lucked out when I found 4 Fiestaware mugs that were different colors but the same style on a thrifting trip. They also happened to be the same style as 2 mugs we already had so it was an instant adorable collection. If they were all different sizes, styles, etc. it would look a lot more chaotic. Below is an example of Fiestaware mugs we have that are all different sizes and colors compared to the curated collection you see on my tea tray.

Rule #4: Add different TEXTURES

  • The ceramic mugs are the stars and I also snuck in a ceramic Fiestaware ramekin bowl but it’s important to mix in additional textures to help highlight the color while also toning it down.
  1. The Burlap sign is freaking adorable because I firmly believe in the quote and it adds a texture and farmhouse touch to the display. It’s also a neutral which ties in with Rule #1.
  2. I have two clear glass jars in the display. One bigger one that says “tea” and holds my black tea bags and one smaller dog shaped one that holds a cinnamon sugar blend. They add that additional texture and the dog adds a touch of whimsy (dogs are a recurring theme in my house as we own 4 of them).

Rule #5: When In Doubt, Add a Plant

  • This is my answer for every display. Plants follow all the rules. Greenery is the ultimate neutral and adds that extra oomph to every display. It adds a different texture all on it’s own in addition to whatever planter it is housed in (in this case, a silver teapot to go with the tea theme). On this tray the greenery also plays off the green mugs on my mug rack helping creating an overall theme.

So there you have it. Five easy rules to create a cute and colorful display in the kitchen. And as an added bonus, in the picture below I break out where I found these items (almost 100% thrifted!) so that you can use this as inspiration to create your own tea tray display! 🙂

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