Modern wood sideboard with gold and leather decorative accents

How To Transform A Boring Sideboard Into A Glorious Showpiece

Sideboards could potentially be one of the most underrated pieces of furniture. I say this because they not only serve a functional purpose, but they act as a stylish addition to any dining room. Almost nothing looks more beautiful than a stunning dining room table with an artfully decorated sideboard backdrop. I promise it’s a showstopper!


More About Your Sideboard

For those of you still wondering what a sideboard is? Don’t worry, I got you! Sideboards originated in England and were used to set out food and store table linens, fine china, and other household items. Often categorized by no legs or short legs, these tend to resemble kitchen cabinetry.

Today you can find a wide variety of beautiful sideboards at almost any furniture store. Technically, many of the options today mimic credenzas or buffets. However, in the grand scheme of things they all serve a very similar purpose so today think of these pieces as interchangeable. Now that you know more about what a sideboard is, let’s discuss how to transform it into a glorious showpiece!

Start With An Anchor

Black mirror over white sideboard with organic decor accents

Similar to decorating your dresser, you need to find an anchor for your sideboard. No, I don’t mean anchoring to the wall, although that may not be a bad idea if your sideboard rests a bit higher and has heavy stored goods. When referring to decor, adding an anchor allows a focal point for your space and is an essential element when decorating your piece.

Decorative anchors can vary for different spaces, but I prefer to use mirrors in dining rooms. Properly placed mirrors aid in dispersing light through the space, which both brightens and gives the appearance of a larger room. They also tend to add an elegant flair and provide an affordable option with varying price points. Other anchor options include:

  • Paintings or portraits
  • Collage walls
  • Shelving displays
  • Large sculptures
  • Wall Art

Get Functional

Leather and gold wine bottle holder next to glass & gold vase

Ultimately sideboards serve a functional role in your dining room. They often house food or appetizers on top for dinner parties or store necessary items for your day-to-day. This means the decor on top should either serve a functional purpose or be easy to move.

Take for instance this leather and gold wine rack. Although the decoration creates a ravishing display, it also stores wine bottles to serve up to your guests at dinner. Think logically about what you need during dinner. Do you frequently refill your water glass or perhaps need something to hold dessert on. Either way, incorporate that need into your decor.

Incorporate Surrounding Elements

leather chair next to neutral decor on greige sideboard

Take the time to incorporate elements from your space into your sideboard decor. Your sideboard needs to utilize and tie together many of the design pieces from your space. Since you don’t want your sideboard and table to match, you definitely want to help incorporate your table into your sideboard decor.

For instance, if you had black chairs surrounding your table with a gold candle centerpiece you’d likely want to incorporate both the black and gold into your decorations. This will help create flow and curate a stylish look that isn’t matchy matchy. These pieces should also work to elegantly frame your anchor. You don’t want your anchor and decorations to clash or match so be sure to strategically play with varying heights, materials, and colors to cultivate a beautiful display.

Need suggestions on what to add to your sideboard? Here are my favorite sideboard decor items:

  • Pictures or art
  • Trays or bowls
  • Greenery or flowers
  • Lamps or candlesticks
  • Vases or pots
  • Sculptures or knicknacks
  • Bar glasses or Carafes

Ground It Down

Wooden sideboard grouned by chair and tall plant in wicker basket

Unless you pay thousands for a very extended sideboard, you’ll likely have some dead space at either end that you will need to fill. Even if you do pay thousands, your sideboard probably won’t fill the length of the space you need. In which case, this provides the perfect opportunity to help ground your piece on either side to create a balanced look.

If you have a leaf in your dining room table and additional seating, you can easily place your spare chairs on either side. Looking for more of a special touch? Add a tall plant on one side and an accent chair on the other to craft the perfect nook within your dining room. The additional pieces on either side help ground your sideboard and anchor for a floor-to-ceiling design.

Brighten It Up

I’ve said this numerous times, but proper lighting is essential to decorating any space. Mirrors can distribute light throughout the space, but sometimes you need to layer in some additional brightness. The good news is that adding light to your sideboard is super simple! See below for a couple of easy ways to add lighting to your sideboard:

Regardless of how you choose to incorporate lighting, doing so brings an heir of elegance to the space. Play around with various lighting options until you find the right one for your sideboard nook!

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