Sideboards, also known as buffet tables, are practical storage units that are essential for holding extra plates, silverware, and even food during a big holiday party. However, these tables often go without much attention during the rest of the year, which means many homeowners are missing out on a great chance to decorate. Dressing up your sideboard can make it an important part of your kitchen or dining room decor all year round. If you're not sure what to do with your sideboard when you're not serving a dozen guests at once, try these tips for easier decorating.
Start with the Wall Above the Sideboard
With a wide flat surface to decorate, it's easy to just start adding accessories and decorations on top of the buffet. But start your decorating plans with the wall above and behind it instead. Mirrors are a classic choice to pair with a sideboard, but for something more unique, mix and match your favorite pieces of art in varying frames and sizes for a more unique and eclectic look.
Consider the Visual Triangle
Since the sideboard's top creates a horizontal element and then all your taller decorations and wall hangings draw the eye vertically, work with triangle shapes to create a pleasing design out of anything you choose for decorating. For example, pair a very tall candlestick with two shorter vases to create a triangle that leads upward to a mirror or framed print. You can create as many triangles as you like for symmetry or tension, but make sure the elements you add are balanced to create this kind of shape between them all.
Bring in Natural Elements
Grabbing interesting natural items from your yard or a nearby park can transform a basic sideboard into a stunning one. Whether you prefer cut flowers, dried elements like pinecones and fall leaves, or truly unusual seed pods and pieces of driftwood, natural items look great on a sideboard. The cream finish of our Daire sideboard is particularly great for matching with seasonal elements from Mother Nature herself since the neutral color will make any decorations you choose stand out even more. There's no need to gather natural items yourself either with so many dried and fresh materials available at craft and home furnishing stores. Build up a collection of seasonal items and rotate them throughout the year, or start fresh each season with new inspiration.
Grab a Large Decorative Tray
If you routinely use your buffet during parties and dinners, you'll want to be able to clear away any decorations with minimal effect. A large tray that can hold all of your decorations simplifies the clean up process as much as possible. These trays are also great for adding a horizontal visual element, and those that feature bold or colorful designs can really add to the appearance of the sideboard. Test your tray to make sure it can support the weight of the decorations you sit on top before actually using it to move them so you don't end up with broken ceramics or damaged picture frames when rearranging your home in a hurry. Metal and wood trays are widely available, but for something more unusual that will really stand out, consider a tray carved from natural stone or made with polished cement.
Brighten Up with Lights
With sideboards already placed out of the way and against a wall, they're a great place for placing lamps and candles that might get knocked over elsewhere. Add light to your dining room or kitchen without having to sacrifice any important space by arranging your fixtures on your buffet table. Lamps are a great vertical addition to a sideboard to connect the surface decorations to wall art, while candles can serve as tall or short visual elements depending on the height of the candleholder. Unless you prefer asymmetry for an eclectic look, make sure to invest in a pair of lamps or candles for a sense of balance.
Match the Sideboard Finish
Finally, consider the finish of your sideboard when planning decorations for it. Materials with a strong wood grain stand out on their own even without decorations, meaning that you'll need to keep the elements simple and stick to just one or two colors. Pieces with a neutral finish, such as our Ilyssa and Daire sideboards, are easily matched with practically any kind of decorations you like. Try to avoid colors that are too similar to the finish so your decorations don't blend into the surface.
Here at Impress Home Design, we have plenty of great sideboards and buffet tables for you to expand the storage and display options in your home. All of our sideboards feature oversized drawers and cabinets, providing plenty of secure storage for keeping your best dishes clean in between big parties. Our Ilia sideboard includes two different open shelving areas for even more decorating opportunities than you'll get from the average sideboard. Come to our showroom to check out all of these pieces and more organized into realistic room arrangements so you can really imagine how they'd look in your home.