The Luxurist

A compendium for luxury living


How To Style A Sideboard

Expert advice to master the art of sideboard styling

Linda Holmes By Linda HolmesInteriors Director

A sideboard serves as a versatile piece in almost any room, whether greeting visitors in a hallway, housing a dinner service in a dining room or backing onto a sofa in a living room, and styling one is as simple as remembering a few basic design tips.

Master the art of sideboard styling with these easy-to-implement suggestions.

1. Consider the sideboard’s purpose

If you’re planning to use the piece in a dining room for incoming plates, choose easily removable decor items. Or, if you plan to display a special artwork behind yours, try not to obscure the view too much.

2. Decide on the best arrangement shape for your sideboard

Here are some to consider: balanced (a composed choice), left- or right-aligned (adds movement), a central statement piece (a good option for behind a sofa) or low profile (best for art).

3. Choose your decor style

Next, the building blocks of sideboard styling—the decor. Find one special piece and design a narrative around that. Rustic chic? Antiqued lighting and hand-formed pottery. Minimalist? A monolithic sculpture with a simple stack of design books.

4. Create smaller decor groups

Use groupings of objects—a design trick called massing—to create visual appeal and weight. These smaller groupings, when balanced with negative space, are easier to style and offer a much more cohesive arrangement overall.