Decorate your sideboard with these 10 expert buffet styling tricks

Decorations for a sideboard can make a room feel more elegant and ready for a party. The sideboard not only serves as a place to store things, but it also serves as a focal point for decorations like artwork and lamps.

Don't limit your dining room inspiration to the table alone; the sideboard is an integral part of the overall design.

Ally Dowsing-Reynolds, co-CEO of home décor brand Dowsing & Reynolds, advises, "Think about how you're going to bring your unique personality into the dining room to help decide how to style a sideboard." In this new window:

"Everything in your home—books, artwork, photographs, vases, trinkets, colors, and details—is a chance to express yourself and a wonderful conversation starter at social gatherings." '

Decorating a sideboard can be a lot of fun, and designers love taking on such a challenge.  

Studio Ashby has stated, "Sideboards are among our favorite moments to style." The link opens in a new window. It's fashionable to decorate with things like paintings, lamps, ceramics, books, and little trinkets. '

The best ways to decorate your sideboard, according to interior designers, are detailed below.

1. Aim for beauty and functionality.

rustic grey sideboard in dining room by Neptune

The image of Neptune is used with permission.

You can use your sideboard not only as a display cabinet, but also as extra storage. Glass-fronted sideboards are a stylish and space-saving alternative to traditional closed cabinets when furnishing a limited-square-footage dining area.

A Director of Design at Sims Hilditch, Louise Wicksteed In this new window: According to, "sideboards in dining rooms are a fantastic space-saving solution." They are ideal for stowing table linens, napkins, and silverware for special events that call for a more refined presentation. '

dining room sideboard and statement lighting by Arteriors

Image via Arteriors.

Put lamps in a designated area on a sideboard when designing a dining room's lighting. Besides illuminating your sideboard decor ideas, this will allow you to make soft pools of low light, which are always welcome in a dining room.  

Ambassador for Design at Arteriors in London, Helen Pett In this new window: "Of course, when entertaining, the extra table space can be used for floral arrangements, beautiful china and glassware, and serving platters," she continues, "while still sitting prettily as key part of your décor." '

regency era style dining space

(Photo by: 'Michelle Nussbaumer and Stephen Karlisch')

An antiqued glass mirror with an ornate frame is the best find for a dramatic focal point in a formal dining room. Additionally, decorating with mirrors will increase the visual impact of your sideboard displays, particularly in smaller or darker rooms. Everybody benefits.

Small dining room ideas

Credit for the picture goes to Natalia Miyar.

An artwork hung over a sideboard or placed directly behind a dining table can serve as a dramatic focal point that frames the entire room.  

A good rule of thumb to follow when styling a sideboard is to have the artwork fill about two-thirds of its width, whether it is hung on the wall or propped up. This not only works to revitalize the area, but also creates a visually pleasing proportion.

To number five, overlap your methods.

purple painted sideboard in dining room by Neptune

(Neptune image courtesy of NASA)

For a curated effect in your sideboard design, don't be afraid to have objects and anchoring pieces 'overlap.  

If you want your artwork to look more cohesive and engaging rather than static and flat, try placing a lamp slightly in front of it or allowing foliage, twigs, or flowers to spread across the central piece.

Utilize vertical space 6

Dining room, design tips, The Expert

Photo by Kristin Karch, courtesy of The Misfit House.

Including items of varying heights in a display is essential for creating visual interest in a sideboard arrangement.

Jane Rockett, of Rockett St. George, says, "Playing with heights and layers is essential." In this new window: But that doesn't mean you have to line up your tallest objects in the middle of the buffet. When decorating a sideboard, an asymmetrical arrangement is a great choice because it lets you concentrate visual weight and height at one end. '

When you want to add height and layers to your decor, Ally at Dowsing Reynolds suggests mixing and matching different sizes and shapes. To create a focal point, you can use anything from meaningful sculptures to stacks of books that reflect your interests. '

Your dining room will have a polished, unified look if you pair your sideboard and table decorations.

The rule of three is a useful one for organizing things, so here we go:

A dining room idea with blue William Morris print wallpaper, large dark wooden sideboard and light wooden dining table with rattan chairs

Photo by Murphy Deesign.

Try clustering similar items in sets of three for a curated, pleasing look when decorating a sideboard.  

It's true that the number three is the "magic number" when it comes to rearranging furniture and decorative accents in order to give a room a new and exciting look and feel, and this is why the "rule of three" is such a great interior design tip.

According to Jane Rockett, "Sideboard decorating is an opportunity to have fun and show more of your personality in your home than you might otherwise be able to with just your coffee table or shelves."

Eight, make a tableau

rustic sideboard in cabin style wooden room by Arteriors

(Photo by Arteriors)

If you're struggling to come up with a plan for your sideboard decor, try putting together a tableau, which is nothing more than a collection of items that look beautiful when arranged together.

Arteriors' Helen Pett says, "We like starting with a nice low-rise sculpted centerpiece and a coffee table book stack for an everyday look," which is similar to what Jane Rockett says about coffee table styling: "you shouldn't worry about filling the entire space." '

For a more understated and chic effect, you could also just add a collection of candles of varying heights.

9 Anchor your display with a sculpture.

A neutrally toned dining room with dark wooden table and sideboard

Picture by Tiffany Leigh Design/Lauren Miller.

Sculptured vases Use decorative objects and lamps to make a bold statement and transform a sideboard into a showcase of art that combines form and function. When chosen in harmony with the rest of your design scheme, these elements can also help to visually expand a room. combination of diner and kitchen concepts  

Ally Dowsing-Reynolds recommends using table lamps to "add ambience and pockets of light" and to "repeat textures, shapes, and colors around the room."

The addition of candles to a decorative arrangement on a sideboard is essential. As Jane Rockett points out, "candles, candlesticks, and vases always look beautiful on a sideboard in the dining room." '

Louise Wicksteed suggests using two large candles to dress up a dining room sideboard. This not only provides soft ambient lighting for the table but also contributes to the room's sophisticated air by maintaining a pleasing sense of symmetry. '

10 Show off your drinkware

grey dining room with statement glass pendant lighting by Arteriors

The image is courtesy of Arteriors.

Display your lovely glassware for after-dinner drinks on a sideboard, which can also serve as a drinks cabinet, in your dining room.

According to Jane Rockett, a sideboard can be transformed into a makeshift bar by simply displaying a few of your favorite alcoholic beverages and glasses. '

To increase the wow factor of your drink display, combine it with other pretty artifacts like candles, vases, or a large plant.

A sideboard can be decorated effectively by adhering to a few simple guidelines:

  • If you are styling an open-plan kitchen/living room/dining room, starting with the dining room's color scheme and selecting items that reflect the accent shades used within the room can help to tie the dining zone to the rest of the space.
  • Make sure both ends of your sideboard display are identical for a clean look. This could be accomplished by placing two identical lamps on either end of the table and a central vase and picture behind it.  
  • When decorating a sideboard, it is best to use a few large pieces rather than a number of smaller ones to make an impact rather than to collect dust.
  • Present a large arrangement of organic shapes and colors by showcasing fresh flowers, houseplants, and convincing faux blooms.
  • At night, a sideboard can be made more eye-catching by hanging artwork above it, illuminating artwork on either side, or placing table lamps at either end.

Everything from tableware to tablecloths to flatware can be neatly tucked away in a sideboard. A sideboard is a great place to put frequently used items like candles, matches, placemats, and glasses. Consider your storage needs before purchasing a sideboard. Drawers are better for storing candles, cutlery, and placemats, while cupboards are better for storing glassware and china. The most adaptable option is a mix of the two.

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