PERFECT PAIRING: THE COCKTAIL OTTOMAN, COMPLETE WITH A BAR TRAY

by Marisa Marcantonio

Often called cocktail ottomans,  the ottoman with a large tray for easy serving delivers the ideal dual-function piece. If you have a large scale square ottoman, there are great trays you can place on top, to create a surface area to hold a portable makeshift bar and all that goes along with cocktail hour. If you don't and have been searching for a go-the-distance piece that suits a family room well, here are a few varied suggestions to help you on your hunt.

From the just-launched partnership, decoupage artist John Derian has created a scallop-edge lacquer tray with The Lacquer Company, the highly specialized British brand that has worked with Rita Konig, Stephen Gambrel and Martin Brudnski on trays and small tables.  Available in pea green, vivid red and black, the substantial shiny piece is a statement maker, just the piece that can play bar and tray table, as seen above.

Photos courtesy of Oomph

With crenelated cut out details resembling a fortified castle, high sides and ample handles, the Edgartown tray from Oomph makes an impromptu bar an easy reality. Oversized with a generous surface area, the lacquer tray will look at home on a large ottoman or etagere shelf.

A tray this size can be slightly unwieldy to move around frequently, so the Chatham ottoman below makes a nice perch for it.

Covered in raffia with discreet nailhead trim, this new square ottoman, the Chatham,  from Oomph is an easy substitute when you need a space-friendly square upholstered piece to put your feet up rather than a rectangular one.  The carved bobbin leg adds an additional decorative detail with traditional flair.

Photo courtesy of Mr. and Mrs. Howard for Sherrill

A mid-century modern silhouette with an additional shelf for books, Mr. and Mrs. Howard's Un Deux Tray Ottoman has a streamlined walnut base, cut corners and upholstered top that holds a faux shagreen covered tray in a recessed section in the middle. 

Photo courtesy of Bunny Williams Home

With a built in tray, the Tray Chic Ottoman from Bunny Williams Home has the best of both worlds with a tufted edge and inset removable tray, it has versatility to be a workhorse.

Tailored and traditional, Hickory Chair's Bexley Otoman in leather with a sliding tray inside, has an x stretcher and tapered wooden leg on casters, ideal for a subdued chic look in a study.

TRAY CHIC: WATERCOLOR ARTIST CAILTIN MCGAULEY'S PORCELAIN TRAYS

by Marisa Marcantonio

Illustrator and artist Caitlin McGauley creates watercolors that exude charm. The specific details, colors and mood she captures make her distinctive work instantly recognizable.  Her darling creations have donned the pages of Lonny and the Tory Burch blog, exuding a whimsy and flair for the details. This winter she launched a capsule product collection of porcelain catch-all trays depicting her designs, and there is something for everyone. From a modern graphic chevron pattern in pale hues to a fuchsia backed- Indian ceremonial elephant, her feminine designs make great gifts. Used as a bedside jewelry holder or a place to keep your keys by the front door, her small trays, like a miniature painting, have a variety of uses, and their knock out colors make them hard to resist.

Photos courtesy of Caitlin McGauley

Te Elephant tray

A sharp citrus orange background makes the orchid blooms on The Orchid Tray come alive.

A zig and a zag in her loose, artist's hand-painted style reinterprets the chevron pattern.

Need a spot to hold earrings and assorted baubles? The mint colored tromp L'oeil tray with chunky stone earrings is  a girls best friend.