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How to dress a sideboard

Traditionally used in the dining room for serving food and displaying dishes, sideboards are popping up all over the home, from the lounge to the boudoir.

And it’s no wonder, given their chic, stylish looks and multipurpose storage options.

In this article, we’ve collated some savvy sideboard ideas to make the most of your new storage piece, so let’s get into it!

Sideboard ideas

The book stack

An aesthetic, space-saving way of dressing your sideboard is with books – and it’s all about judging them by their covers!

To impress your guests and really express yourself, stack your reads horizontally and vertically to create a visual feast reflecting your eclectic taste.

Artistic book covers earn extra brownie points, as they’re a savvy way of styling your sideboard without splashing out!

To bookend this section, let’s talk… bookends!

Well, not exactly.

Instead of grabbing premade bookends, channel your inner designer using a stylish décor piece.

Vases filled with flowers matching your favourite book cover (or spine) or some potted plants on either side of your stack bring a fresh, natural alternative sure to make you smile!

The rule of 3

Sideboards offer ample storage, inside and out. But it can be tricky to cover the whole surface without things getting too busy.

The solution? Create three distinct focal points.

Visually, it’s easier to digest and allows you to cluster similar items – like your books or vintage vino – to create a real sense of cohesion.

Style your way with trays


Even when applying the rule of 3, things can quickly get messy.

But a chic tray, like this round cane number, keeps everything organised while moonlighting as a stunning focal feature.

So grab a tray and apply these sideboard styling tips right away:

  • Mix the heights and sizes of your sideboard ornaments for visual interest
  • Add texture to your tabletop by using a variety of materials (i.e., metal, glass, rattan etc.)
  • Use natural elements like plants, flowers or candles to bring the outdoors in
  • For a relaxed look, stick to odd numbers so your trinkets aren’t perfectly aligned.

The hero décor piece

A hero decor piece in a modern apartmentA hero decor piece in a modern apartment


A hero décor piece – think striking prints, showstopping mirrors or textural ensembles – creates a crowning focal point above your sideboard.

Once you decided what you’re putting there, ask yourself how you’ll position it – dead-centre or slightly askew?

There’s no ‘right’ way, but something slightly off-centre suits relaxed, casual spaces, while formal rooms are better served by symmetry.

Ornaments for sideboards

Once your hero piece is sorted, it’s time to pick and arrange your sideboard ornaments – remember those trays!

A simple rule is to choose items of various shapes and sizes to create a rich, balanced visual.

You don’t want everything sitting in a straight line; it’s all about depth, which you can create by placing the taller items at the back and smaller ones at the front.

Sounds simple, and it is!

But there’s beauty in simplicity, and with a rattan sideboard like the Riley or Lena, a whole lot of layered character, too!

Now let’s take a look at some ornaments for sideboards, sorted by size.

Large sideboard ornaments

Right off the bat, you’ll want to add height to balance the long, slimline dimensions of your sideboard.

Our go-to is an elegant vase filled with your favourite flowers, but a sleek lamp with an adjustable dimmer will up the style stakes while setting the right mood.

Next up, a little advice: interior design is all about contradictions – sometimes 

Medium sideboard ornaments

Medium sideboard items tend to be sculptural pieces – think empty vases, potted plants, or small statues.

Upright books and scented candles work, too – it’s all about finding your happy medium!

Small sideboard ornaments

Pretty bowls, tealights, a small stack of books, or natural sculptural objects like shells or coral are sure-fire winners when it comes to small sideboard ornaments.

Upcycled sideboard ideas

Equipped with a host of sideboard styling tips, you can now turn your practical piece into a flawless focal point.

But what if you’re still struggling to find the perfect ornaments for your sideboard?

Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

Finding matching décor breaks many would-be designers but focusing on colour blows the doors of design wide open.

So if you have an older cabinet or vintage sideboard, get upcycling! A quick lick of paint, some wooden feet, and a bit of imagination will turn a tired piece of furniture into something special.

What room does a sideboard go in?

Traditionally, sideboards go in the dining room, but savvy DIY designers are using them all over the home!

Here are some sideboard décor ideas, sorted by room:

Living room sideboard ideas

You’re less likely to need surface space in the living room, leaving your sideboard free to accentuate your space with some of your favourite items.

Display candles, lamps, and family photos for warm, fuzzy vibes, but if it’s a distinct look you’re after – think ultra-modern or retro – grab yourself a modern art piece or a vintage record player to seal the deal.

And if your living room is a bit snug or you’re all about eclecticism, why not use a sideboard as a TV stand? This way, you can keep all the cables, boxes, and even your old DVD collection in the cupboards.

Hallway sideboard ideas

Want a way to style your hallway while adding extra storage? 

Slot a sideboard in!

They offer more storage than console tables (but don't disregard those) and will transform your entryway into a charming, welcoming spot.

As hallways tend to be narrow, minimalist decor is key: a trinket bowl for keys sat below a wall clock is perfect, or a sleek vase full of fragrant, fresh flowers for natural sensory vibes. 

Bedroom sideboard ideas

Size is the number one consideration when choosing a bedroom sideboard.

Large sideboards are perfect for low-slung corners and alcoves, providing a stylish focal point while slotting into your décor setup seamlessly.

On the other hand, small sideboards offer compact bedroom storage big on style, while sideboards with drawers provide a place for extra bedding or even overspill from other rooms!

Dining room sideboard ideas

Traditionally, sideboards in the dining room contain all your occasional bits and bobs, like champagne flutes for New Year, tablecloths for Christmas, or placemats for Sunday roasts.

You can still do this of course, but a sideboard provides a stylish safe spot for your everyday essentials while looking good in the process.

Now you’ve styled your sideboard, you’re no doubt itching to start your next interior adventure or garden project!

And don’t forget, we’ve got a packed selection of hand tools and garden power tools ready to tackle any DIY task – big or small – plus a host of storage solutions to keep everything neat and tidy.

2022-03-30 14:50:00 0 viewed
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