What’s a dining room without a sideboard?
Sideboards are convenient items of dining room furniture, which can store all the things that you may not necessarily want on display but you don’t want them to take up precious storage space in your kitchen either. All those fancy cutlery sets, table cloths, place mats and coasters can be hidden away in the sideboard ready to come out for Christmas, parties and other special occasions.
But sideboards are also an effective way to anchor all of the style components of your dining room into one cohesive theme. And also makes doing so a breeze, allowing for a couple of changes to your sideboard décor to change the context of every other component of your dining room. Neutral colour themes of the dining room furniture can be used to complement seasonal décor throughout the year, as defined by the sideboard feature.
But for your sideboard to become the show-stopping main attraction of your dining room, you need to know how to style your sideboard to suit your particular dining room and individual taste.
You might be thinking:
“But what if I have a small dining room? Won’t a sideboard just add more clutter to the room?”
Like clothes, your style choices can work for you or against you. Certain styles and patterns will be significantly more flattering than others, depending on size and shape. The simplest trick to make the dining room feel immediately lighter and more spacious than it really is is a large mirror either stood on the sideboard leaning against the wall at a very slight angle or wall mounted above the sideboard. Angled toward the ceiling slightly can add more height to the room, but wall mounting it instead may look a lot more aesthetically pleasing in general.
Traditionally, sideboards were used to serve buffet food. They can provide an additional surface to dish up party snacks and finger food, as well as drinks and glasses. There is nothing to stop you from using your sideboard traditionally in the same way without compromising on style, inserting little style pieces to decorate around the food. If you intend for your sideboard to be functional in this way, you can keep the surface clear for such events beyond just a couple of statement pieces such as a lamp or vase to add a little height variation. Smaller accessories adorned around the food and drinks when served can add some subtle style to the sideboard. For example, for an Autumn theme you could scatter a couple of decorative twigs or conkers. For Christmas, you could replace these with some sprigs of holly and baubles. To ensure that your sideboard is still the main focus feature of your dining room, shelves mounted above the sideboard provide extra surfaces for decoration and ornaments. This is particularly effective if you have lots to show off, whether you’re planning on using the sideboard functionally for food and drinks or not. The wall feature can serve to visually add a little extra height to the ceiling by drawing your attention upwards.
Curate your ideas.
Inject your personality into the design. Anything that defines you as a person, find ways to incorporate it into your sideboard design.
This may include:
- Trinkets you’ve collected from your travels.
- A figurine of your favourite animal.
- Photos of your favourite memories.
- Art pieces that resonate with you.
- Anything really with sentimental value!
Follow your personal style. Group things together. Play with texture, height and depth. Take anything from the list above and combine it with an indoor plant or vase of flowers, other decorations and a good amount of white space.
If you get stuck, just follow our top 5 tips from our Ultimate Cheat Sheet on Home Decor:
- Something personal
- Something organic
- Something stunning
- Something quirky
- Nothing at all…
(Read the blog post for more details on how to use these 5 quick tips effectively!)
Look to the world around you for inspiration.
Whether you want to invite the Summer indoors for dinner or get festive for Christmas, seasons and holidays may be the most obvious choice for an evolving theme throughout the year. For those who enjoy constantly tweaking things or get bored easily of the same styles and colours, this is an excellent choice and these changing themes can still use our top 5 tips on what to include.
But themes don’t have to be seasonal. If you have a theme that feels right with you, that you absolutely love, just go for it. Take this seaside sideboard:
The seaside beach theme is subtle. The large mirror gives the illusion of a large open sky, making the room feel airier. The position of the lamp also allows the mirror to reflect the illuminations and make the room feel even brighter. A couple of themed wall hangings, and simple decorations in place on the sideboard itself all help to bring the theme together to match the sky blue walls and the surrounding oak and neutral colours.
But you don’t necessarily need a “theme” to create a stylish dining room sideboard. There are things you can do to invoke different emotions or create different looks with just a few tips. For example:
If you want to create a more formal dining room environment, symmetry tends to have a more formal look.
So matching lamps on each end of the sideboard, with perhaps a decorative bowl in the middle, can look stylish but formal. Different ornaments all varying in height and colour will tend to look a lot more informal by comparison. Asymmetric arrangements have a more contemporary feel. Sometimes you may find that the “more is better” style of sideboard display is better complemented by asymmetric arrangements.
How do you style your sideboard?
Let us know in the comments!