How to Effortlessly Style Your Sideboard

How to Effortlessly Style Your Sideboard

Sideboards are great for displaying decor, but how can we effortlessly style one?

Traditionally used to store dinnerware, sideboards are great pieces of furniture for adding storage to your home. Of course, storage isn’t the only thing that sideboards are good for, and we wanted to share a few ideas about how to style your sideboard.

What you set on top of the sideboard is as important as what you put inside it. Since sideboards are a large piece of furniture, they will become a focal point in the room, so you want to make sure that it fits the overall theme of your decor.

What are sideboards used for?

How you use your sideboard is a personal choice. While traditionally for storing dinnerware, there are many versions and sideboard styles for much more than storing plates, cups and saucers.

Some lower sideboards are designed to double up as a TV stand. They allow the flat LCD panels popular today to have a prominent place at an ideal viewing height. Unlike some purpose-made television stands, they also give you storage space under the TV.

Of course, there are still many examples of traditional sideboards with glass panels, allowing for the prominent storage of fine china and porcelain. This design lends itself to a more elegant style aesthetic.

How you style your sideboard will depend mainly on the type of sideboard you choose. Let’s go through a few examples to see what kind of sideboard styles are available.

Modern Style Sideboards

The large two-door Otto sideboard is an excellent example of a modern style

Modern sideboards often feature smooth panels, geometric shapes, and solid colours. They make for great storage solutions, with lots of space due to larger drawers or cupboards that can go right to the edges of the furniture.

This sideboard is a good choice for rooms that demand a splash of colour and a flat top for lots of space for decoration. In the above example, you can see how the lamp and vase were chosen to complement the green of the unit. The cactus — live plants are always a great addition to any display like this — also fits the palette of the room.

Because modern sideboards are often painted or finished in a bold design or colour, they’re usually ideal for rooms that demand an eye-catching display, so try to avoid placing them in overly cluttered rooms.

If you choose a sideboard design like the Otto sideboard shown above, notice that the legs and space underneath the sideboard give the impression of more space. With the gap under the furniture, you can see the wall and edge of the floor, providing a more open feeling to the room. This is ideal for those rooms that don’t have as much floor space as you’d like.

A Canterbury TV Unit in White and Dark Pine, ideal as a living room unit

A lower down unit is the perfect height for a TV stand, especially when you need room for modern television devices, like a set-top box or Apple TV. They should still leave plenty of space for displaying books or ornaments.

Using a sideboard as a TV unit means you should check the dimensions carefully. Consider what type of stand your television uses and make sure that there’s enough space on top of the sideboard to make your TV secure!

In the picture above, you can see the TV has a centre stand, which can fit comfortably on a smaller sideboard. Some other televisions will use wide stands at either end of the unit, requiring larger furniture.

Styling Traditional Sideboards

Traditional sideboards are styled in a slightly different way. Some traditional sideboards are more oversized dressers that will fill an entire wall and come with prominent, visible storage for porcelain or china.

The Canterbury dresser large in grey and dark pine, a great example of the traditional sideboard

The Canterbury large dresser is a good example of this. A small step back into the last century, these are fantastic sideboards for old-world kitchen styles. Muted colours are fantastic for traditional sideboards as the size of these towering sideboards is often eye-catching enough on their own.

Of course, try to choose a sideboard that will match your existing colour palette. If your kitchen or dining room features blue, for example, then choose a sideboard in a muted blue tone. Often, grey tones contain a hint of another colour, so you should be able to find a grey-blue sideboard to complement the rest of your decor.

Even smaller sideboards are traditionally designed to be eyecatching on their own, simply because the woodwork or finish is spectacular on its own! The above example has been given the focus by being practically the only piece without a solid colour.

Traditional sideboards can be lovely areas for elegant flowers, vases, or a statement piece such as a gilt mirror. They’re timeless in many ways, and you only have to remember that the sideboard itself is a great centrepiece, so it’s not like you have to work too hard to draw attention to the things on top of it.

Hybrid Modern and Traditional Sideboards

Some sideboards don’t necessarily fit into a modern or traditional category. These sideboards offer a more subtle design which can be great for adding storage that doesn’t distract from the rest of the room.

Hybrid sideboards offer the best of both worlds when it comes to interior style. This great example from Grace, an interior designer, uses a hybrid between traditional and modern style.

The physical design of the sideboard is a little closer to our modern examples above, but the varnished wood finish makes it closer to a traditional style sideboard. This example is a great way to show off colour palettes in a room, too.

Colour palettes when styling a sideboard

A colour palette is a collection of colours that go well together. You can see the walls, the chair, the floor, and the rug are all light grey or white in the above example. This neutral tone is great for a bright room that feels pleasant and open.

The sideboard is a dark brown, a varnished wood finish that looks fantastic against the light background walls and floor. This is called contrast, where you have a clear distinction between two colours. In this case, the contrast is between the light and dark shades.

Think carefully about your sideboard’s colour and how it matches your room’s colour scheme. If you want something that stands out, choose high contrasting colours. If you want something more low key, then choose a matching or complementary colour that suits the surroundings.

Picking the right sideboard when styling a room

The right sideboard for your room will depend entirely on two main factors: your personal preference and whether you are adding a sideboard to a room that’s already complete or decorating a room from scratch.

If you’re adding a sideboard to an already finished room and you’re just looking for extra storage, you need to carefully consider how the new sideboard fits with everything else in the room.

However, if you’re starting a room from scratch and using the sideboard as a feature of the room, you can choose a sideboard alongside other major pieces of furniture, choosing the peripheral items and colour palette once that has been done.

We hope that we’ve given you some good ideas to spark your imagination. Let us know how you’d like to style your sideboard on social media.

Article by Alex Tolofson