How to Style Your Sideboard Like a Professional

A sideboard provides essential storage in any room, whether in the dining room, living room, hallway or bedroom. 

We use them to stash dining room items like placemats, cutlery and tablecloths, conceal living room essentials like blankets and cushions or use them in the bedroom for storing bedding, makeup or cables. 

Yet, functional as they are, we’ve also seen sideboard designs stray from purely practical to design-led pieces, becoming statement furniture that elevates your decor.

Learn how to style your sideboard like a professional to make the most of your sideboard and find a way to express your personal style.

How to style a sideboard:

  1. Add a lamp for ambient lighting
  2. Flowers or plants
  3. Style the wall above
  4. Play with textures
  5. Play with heights
  6. Use for serving
  7. Create a visual statement
  8. Group objects in 3s

1. Add a lamp for ambient lighting

Don’t underestimate the power of lighting in enhancing your sideboard display. Adding a lamp is practical in creating low-level lighting for a calming ambience but can also make a visual statement. 

Choose a lamp that’s big enough to stand out and not get lost compared to the size of the sideboard. Opt for a unique shape or standout shade, but not both, as this will be too overwhelming for the aesthetic. 

The lamp’s soft glow will highlight other decorative elements on the sideboard and create a welcoming ambience for entertaining guests.

2. Flowers or plants

Laura Ashley Brown Sideboard

Display your plant collection on your sideboard, whether you’re a green-fingered goddess or prefer a faux flower moment. 

Place two large plants on either side and arrange smaller plants down the middle for a full floral statement piece. 

Or, add plants to one side of the sideboard or the surrounding floor to add a hint of green that brightens the aesthetic.

Add a few metallic touches, whether plant pots or vases, to dance the light around the room and highlight the greenery

3. Style the wall above

Decorate the space above your sideboard with wall art to create a focal point in the room and remove any empty space. 

Add one statement piece of wall art or create a gallery wall of art and photographs that hang above the sideboard to frame the entire space.

Alternatively, prop up a piece of art on the sideboard around two-thirds the width of the sideboard for a more effortless look.

4. Play with textures

Grey Long Sideboard

When styling your sideboard, mix and match textures to soften the hard edges and create visual intrigue.

Try using ceramic or glass-based lamps with material lampshades, mirrors and vases to weave in different materials. The lamp will cast shadows of your ornaments around the room for added depth.

Lastly, add some flowers or plants to bring in an accent colour.

5. Play with heights

Varying the heights of your display pieces is one of the most important things when it comes to sideboard styling to ensure you add some interest to the display.

The tricky thing can be arranging the objects in the best order. One option is to add the tallest object to either side and work down in size to the middle. The other is to create an asymmetrical display by styling taller items beside shorter items to create layers.

6. Use for serving

Blue serving dishes on top of sideboard

Sideboards can be as functional as they are stylish, being the perfect place to create a mini cocktail bar or display your favourite tableware.

Use them to serve tea and coffee for extra space when guests come over, or add bottles of your favourite tipple and create the perfect bar set up to impress. 

Add a tray to keep your glasses or cups looking neat, and leave enough room to add flowers for a creative finish.

7. Create a visual statement

Turn your sideboard into a statement, showcasing standout pieces and eye-catching decor that will make an impression. 

Add large mirrors, whether hung above or rested on the sideboard, which will serve both style and function, drawing attention to the space and reflecting light around the room to make it appear brighter.

Candles and candlesticks can also make an ambient display with pockets of light, especially great for subtle background lighting in the dining room.

8. Group objects in 3s

Narrow cream cabinet

Grouping your decor pieces in threes stops the sideboard from looking cluttered, instead giving it an intentional look. 

The rule of three can be applied across many different aspects of interior design as the magic number for creating a clean, professionally styled aesthetic. Choose three sculptures or decorations in similar colours but varying heights or sizes and group them on one end of your sideboard.


Can a sideboard be used as a TV stand?

A sideboard can be used as a TV stand as they are large enough to fit a wide television and can conceal cords for a clean look.

Using a sideboard as a television stand is especially useful if you have limited space in your living room as they are typically long and narrow, ideal for flat-screen TVs.

Can a sideboard go in a living room?

Sideboards are a perfect addition to the living room, whether used as a television stand, a functional display piece or storage for cushions and blankets when not in use.  

Can I use a sideboard in a bedroom?

Sideboards can be used in the bedroom to display decorative items or store blankets, cables or everyday essentials. 

Design Tip: Add a mirror above the sideboard and use it as a makeup table for the perfect getting-ready area.

Shop our selection of sideboards from CP Lights

While a sideboard provides useful storage space in any room, it can also be expertly styled as a focal point to fit in with your existing decor.

Whether you’re looking for a traditional Laura Ashley sideboard or a more modern design for a contemporary aesthetic, shop our full selection of sideboards to find the right style for your home. 


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