How To Style A Sideboard

A sideboard, or buffet, can offer plenty of storage and surface area to keep and display items. Once used only in dining rooms, sideboards today have expanded their reign thanks to their clean lines and versatility. They work well with a variety of items ranging from books and family photos to place mats and dining plates. You’ll be able to find a role for them to fill in any room, and they come in a variety of styles for this purpose.
Our guide on how to style a sideboard has you covered. Read on for some tips and ideas that will work for any room in your home.


1. Location, Location, Location.

Before you style your sideboard, consider where you’re going to put it. The use and decorations of your sideboard depend on the room it’s in.
Most people place sideboards in the dining room. It’s convenient for two reasons: First, the shelves keep dining items a few steps away from the dining table so they’re easy to grab and put away. Second, the top surface of a sideboard can work as a buffet during dinner parties. The first choice is the most obvious of the two. But if you’re using the top surface as a buffet, use decorations that are easy to move and put back at the end of the night.

In a living room or bedroom, sideboards can hold permanent décor. Add a personal touch to the top surface by displaying important or sentimental items. Change decorations with the seasons, trends, or your mood. You can even use it as a TV stand or media center.

An office sideboard looks less corporate but still says you’re serious about business. A metal file cabinet is great for a shared space or a 1990’s inspire office. But a sideboard in your workplace just oozes class. It shows you’re able to think outside the box (literally!) by avoiding the typical file cabinet solution and choosing something that is both beautiful and functional.
Now let’s look at each of these in detail.

2. Dining Room Sideboard

Totem Walnut Cabinet

Now we’re getting into specifics. The top of a dining room sideboard could another platform for decorations. If that’s the case, we suggest laying a table runner along the length of the sideboard. This makes it look cozier, and also protects the wood from scratches from moving candles or bowls.
Speaking of candles and bowls, add a symmetrical look with a timeless setup of two candles and a bowl. Choose a set so they all match or pick a pair of candles and a bowl that are different but fall in the same style, like mid-century or modern. Chrome and glass go well together in a modern or contemporary home, as do glass and wood if you’re going for rustic or modern. Candles on either side add balance, and a bowl in the middle connects them. Because sideboards are horizontal, the vertical lines of a tall candle holder, a painting, or mirror balance the visual weight of the decorations.

3. Living Room Sideboard

Totem Gray Cabinet

Every living room needs a sideboard. It’s a great way to keep electronics like Blu-Ray players, gaming consoles, or TV cable boxes out of sight. Some sideboards have cutouts that make cable management easy. The cutouts keep the mess of cables organized and hidden from view. A television will be fine on top of a sideboard provided it’s the right size.

There’s versatility in a sideboard for your family room, but you need to think about this one since sideboards tend to be the focal point. Think about the color of the wood, and of the decorations you have on it.
Those who live in extra-small apartments or in studios can set boundaries between of two areas by placing a sideboard behind a floating couch. If your space and floor plan allow for it, it’s a great idea.

4. Office Sideboard

Totem White Cabinet

An office is not the first place that comes to mind when you think of sideboards. It may not even be the last place. But sideboards can function as a stylish replacement for a file cabinet, especially if you want neat drawers or have a minimalist desk with little to or no drawers. Just pick one tall enough to be comfortable, and you can look for files the same way you would with a file cabinet. The shelves can be adjusted to fit folders, and you can keep extra pens, paper or documents in the drawers.

5. Bedroom Sideboard

If you live in a small space (or have a minimal wardrobe), a sideboard does well as a small dresser. This will depend on how many clothes you have, or want to have, but some sideboards have combinations of shelves and drawers, letting you separate socks, shirts, jeans and sweaters. There may even be room underneath to tuck away shoes! The surface can display your favorite books, pictures, or plants without the looming height of a dresser.


Hopefully we’ve managed to convince you that it doesn’t take much to style a sideboard. As long as you take the space and use into consideration, it should be easy to find the perfect way to decorate yours. If you need inspiration, our online store has a wide selection of sideboards and decorations for you to see. You can also visit one our El Dorado Furniture showrooms, which are located in Broward, Miami, Lee, Collier, and Palm Beach counties!

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