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How to style your sideboard

  • by harmati home

Sideboards are the ultimate multi-purpose furniture piece, and if you live in a small apartment or home where space is at a premium, you’ll want to make sure you are taking full advantage of your new piece as a storage solution. The only challenge with sideboards is that there are so many ways to style them, it can be hard to know where to start. That’s where we come in!

We just launched our new Oreo Sideboard, and we’re so excited to give you a few tips and tricks to help it fit into your space. Step one: understanding your color scheme. 

Understand Your Color Scheme

Whether it was intentional or not, your dining room space likely has a theme or color scheme that most of the items loosely fit into. If you don’t see a clear color scheme in your space, you likely fall into one of two scenarios: your color scheme is “neutrals,” so it’s hard to identify, or you’ve added so much stuff to the space over the years that it’s hard to tell what look you’re really going for.

In the first case, you do already have a color scheme. Neutrals make a great color palette to stick to in your design, and they really help accent items pop if you choose to add a bit of color here and there. 

In the second case, you’ll want to aim to understand your space a bit better before you start styling your sideboard. Try removing a few design pieces that you’re least attached to, and see what emerges from what’s left. If all else fails, you may want to pick a new color scheme and try to stick to it in the future. With that in mind, it’s time to move on to step two! 

Start with the Practical

Sideboards are incredibly useful for tucking away extra items in an aesthetically pleasing way. To make sure you’re actually taking advantage of this benefit, start your decorating session by storing away the things you’d actually like to keep inside the sideboard. If your sideboard is opaque and you can’t see what’s inside, no need to worry too much about making it look nice.

On the other hand, if the inside is visible (many sideboards have glass doors that provide a view of the contents), you’ll want to be a bit more intentional about how you place your items. Try to keep similar items grouped together, and keep your setup as organized as possible in the spaces that will be visible. 

Now that we’ve covered the sideboard’s primary purpose, it’s time to start styling. 

Include a Lamp

One of the most popular ways to style a sideboard is to add a lamp to the top. Dining rooms often need softer lighting, especially for cozy dinners at home or special nights hosting guests. Having a lamp on the sideboard gives you the option to dim (or turn off) overhead lights and lean on mood lighting instead. 

Another option is to add sconce lights to the sides of the sideboard, effectively framing the space between the lights. This is a great option if you want to add a bit of light and make the sideboard more of a statement piece rather than a functional piece. 

Incorporate Greenery

Your next styling option is to add greenery to the top of your sideboard, and this tip can be combined with any or all of the other tips on the list. If your sideboard feels like it’s missing something and you can’t quite put your finger on what it is, try adding a small plant or vase of flowers to one side of your display. Faux greenery also works perfectly here if you don’t exactly have a green thumb. 

Adding greenery is also a fun way to connect with the seasons and change the feel of the space throughout the year. You can swap out your fresh flowers for different varieties throughout the year or shuffle your plants throughout your home to give each placement a fresh feel. You might be surprised at how much a small plant can change the whole look of a space!

Add a Mirror

Next on the list, consider adding a mirror above your sideboard. Mirrors are incredibly effective at making smaller spaces feel more open, so if you want to make the room feel even larger, opt for a mirror. You have two main choices for styling your mirror.

The first is to lean a large mirror up against the wall on top of the sideboard. If you go this route, you’ll still want to anchor your mirror to the wall for safety purposes, but it will have a more casual feel.

The second option is to hang a mirror on the wall above the sideboard, which can work especially well if you have taller ceilings or a short sideboard. The mirror on the wall will draw the eye up and make the room appear larger than it is, so this is a perfect choice for those that really want to maximize space. 

Add Candles

Candles are another feature that will work on just about any sideboard, regardless of the rest of the décor. You can choose to add a single large candle or opt for a cluster of smaller candles instead. If you go with multiple candles, try to vary the heights of the candles themselves or their holders to add a bit more dimension to the grouping. 

Again, candles are a wonderful opportunity to connect with different times of year and bring a different feeling into your home. Try unscented varieties if you just want to add softer lighting without giving off a smell, or choose your favorite scented variety for a double-duty design piece. 

Try Vases or Decorative Objects

Your next option is to style your sideboard with vases or other purely decorative objects. Visit any home goods store, antique shop, or flea market, and you’ll find countless examples of small objects you might want to feature on a sideboard. You’ll find everything from vases to small sculptures to old clocks and everything in between. 

It’s up to you to decide which pieces deserve a space on your sideboard, but don’t be tempted to buy the first option you find. Since there are so many interesting decorative objects on the market, you can afford to be a bit more selective and hold out for a piece that speaks to you in some way. 


Add Conversation Pieces

As you’re choosing your decorative objects and other décor pieces, consider what your selection says to guests who may visit your home. Since sideboards are almost always located in the dining room, they’ll be within view during dinner parties and other gatherings with guests and loved ones. Adding a few conversation pieces to the mix, like a stack of coffee table books or a unique art piece, will give your guests something to talk about when they visit. 

 

Use the Top as a Drink Station

Last but not least, for a more practical function, consider using the top of your sideboard as a drink station or bar cart alternative. You might get a large tray and fill it with drinkware, your beverage of choice, and garnishes or add-ins for your guests to enjoy. If you’re hoping to use your sideboard as a multi-purpose space, this is likely your best bet as it gives the sideboard a purpose beyond décor. For more inspiration, take a look at how people tend to style bar carts and follow the same principles for the top of your sideboard.

 


If you’re excited to go style your new sideboard thanks to these tips, we don’t blame you! Try out any or all of the ideas on this list and see what works best in your space. You’ll be wondering why you didn’t invest in a sideboard sooner when you see how it transforms your dining room! For more affordable furniture like the Oreo Sideboard, check out our full collection of home products. 

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