How to Decorate a Sideboard

Typically, sideboards are a traditional piece of furniture in the dining or living room. They provide anyone hosting dinner guests a place on which they can store extra plates, silverware and food. However, when not serving as an extension of the table space, these pieces of furniture can be decorated to match the room. Additionally, although you can decorate them to go with your current decor, the decorative elements can be exchanged at the holidays to help celebrate the season.

Take a look at the decorating theme you already have in the room. Any decorative elements you add to the sideboard should reflect this if you plan to have a permanent display on the sideboard.

Look for a matching table runner for the sideboard. Typically, sideboards are very narrow like a cabinet. A whole tablecloth will not fit usually, but a table runner will. Popular fabrics for table runners include brocades, linen and cotton.

Put together an arrangement of flowers—dried, fresh or silk will work. This will function as the centrepiece for the display. Flowers and greenery such as roses, gladiolas, fern frond and baby’s breath make elegant displays.

Select some candles that would go nicely with your decorating scheme. If you already have candles in the room, choose ones in similar colours or styles. Additionally, if you feel a floral display wouldn’t be right for the space, floating-candle arrangements offer an alternative.

Seek out an appropriate piece of artwork to display above the sideboard. Because this is a traditional piece of furniture, an oil painting of the countryside or a still life of fruit and florals would be appropriate. If the room features a modern design, try a modern print or advertising art from the 1920s or 1930s.

Choose some sconces to hang above the sideboard and to complement the artwork you’ve chosen. This provides extra light for the area, but also provides a bit of visual balance. Electric sconces are available, but so are many types featuring candles. If you decide on candles, you can purchase them at the same time you buy the candles for your display.

Frame some family photographs and arrange them on the sideboard. Look for feminine frames featuring florals if your decorating style leans toward the traditional English tea room, whereas silver or pewter frames might give the arrangement a sleeker, more modern appeal.

Find a few interesting knick-knacks to place on the sideboard. Possible ideas include small reproductions of famous sculptures such as Rodin’s “The Thinker" or travel souvenirs that complement your theme.

Things You'll Need

  • Table runner
  • Flower arrangements
  • Candles
  • Artwork
  • Sconces
  • Framed photos
  • Knick-knacks
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About the Author

Buffy Naillon has worked in the media industry since 1999, contributing to Germany's "Der Spiegel" magazine and various websites. She received a bachelor's degree in German from Boise State University. Naillon also attended New York University and participated in the foreign exchange program at Germany's Saarland University. She is completing her master's degree in educational technology at Boise State.