A high or low sideboard or cabinet is a wonderful opportunity to create a beautiful scene at home. Every time I have to design a living room or dining room with a sideboard for a client, my favorite part is just the sideboard area, because you can create a very charming corner. That is why I have prepared this article with 26 ideas to decorate a sideboard, so that you can take notes, be inspired and decorate yours with style, get the most decorative advantage and show off your corner. There are many things that can be put on top of a sideboard, so I have divided the article into different sections, so that you can go directly to the one that interests you, or, take a look at all of them, since all the ideas are worth it. This is the article’s index in case you want to go directly to what interests you:
DECORATE A SIDEBOARD WITH MIRRORS
Decorating sideboards with mirrors is, for me, the most effective, beautiful and practical way to do it. I always try to do so, although for various reasons it is not always possible. It does not matter if you want to decorate a wooden, rustic, classic or metal, industrial, Nordic or any other style sideboard. If in your case it is, because you have a wall behind it and because you like it, congratulations. Let’s see some ideas and practical tips for decorating a mirrored sideboard:
WITH A MIRROR THAT KEEPS PROPORTION WITH THE SIDEBOARD
The first idea is the one that works best, the easiest to execute, the one we see in the decoration of the white wooden sideboard above these lines: Put a mirror in the middle of the sideboard. For this idea to work, the mirror must be in proportion to the sideboard. A mirror that is larger than the sideboard does not work, nor one that is very small. Take a good look at the scene above these lines and see the ratio between the charming rustic white sideboard and the round mirror. It is perfect. That’s why it looks so good. If you want an exact measurement for your sideboard, I could tell you that the mirror you put is about 20 or 30 cm smaller than the sideboard. In this way, the mirror remains centered and keeping spatial proportion with the sideboard, creating a scene that the eye likes very much. Let’s see another idea to decorate a sideboard with mirrors.
WITH A MIRROR THE SAME SIZE AS THE SIDEBOARD
Also or, at most, you can put a mirror that is the same size as the sideboard, as we see in the dining room with sideboard and mirror above in this paragraph. Pay attention to the fact that, although the mirror on top of the Nordic-type wooden sideboard looks quite good, it does not do as well as in the previous example. This is, for me, the limit. If the mirror is bigger than the sideboard, then the scene doesn’t work. You can also see these ideas to decorate the dining room with large mirrors. Let’s keep going.
WITH SMALL MIRRORS
If you do not want, or cannot put a large mirror, you can also decorate on top of the sideboard with smaller mirrors. In this case, depending on the measurements of the sideboard (if it is very wide or short), they can be put in different ways. The most effective is using the resource of asymmetry. That is, instead of putting the mirror in the center and then putting decorative ornaments of the same size on each side to create a symmetrical scene, the small mirror is put to one side, leaving the other side to put pictures or any other decorative element to “fill in” that area.
In this case, a small mirror has been used, and as you can see, it has also been put to one side, leaving the other side free for shelving. The whole thing works because it is “filled” and almost at the same height. Then the eye perceives balance, nothing is missing, not even any empty hole. That’s why it works. For that reason and because the carved wooden sideboard with geometric shapes is spectacular, everything has to be said. You can also do the same but with a large mirror:
Instead of putting it in the center, it can be put aside. This idea works very well if you then use a lamp or some tall decorative element that “fills in” that area that does not fill the mirror. Although I usually recommend putting the mirror in the center because, as I said at the beginning, it is the safest and most effective way, if it is put to one side, it creates a more beautiful scene.
But I don’t recommend it very much because to make it look good, you have to be very tactful and know what to do, since not everything goes. The photo that we see above these lines is decorated by a professional stylist and that is why everything works wonderfully. Let’s see another solution to decorate a mirrored sideboard. In this case, the idea is for when you have a very wide sideboard, and a small mirror.
The idea or the best solution would be to put a bigger mirror, and that’s it. You get rid of headaches. But if you don’t want to put a bigger mirror, because you have one that you love and want to use, you can decorate the sideboard with style using the mirror as if it were a painting or another decorative piece, instead of as a mirror.
To do this, instead of putting it on the wall, rest it on the furniture, as if it were one more decorative element, and in this way you will integrate it perfectly, even if it is small and does not keep proportion with the sideboard. Naturally, for it to work fully, you have to add more decorative elements on top of the sideboard to complete the scene and the eye perceives balance and harmony in the whole. Let’s see now how to decorate a sideboard with pictures.
DECORATE A CHECKED SIDEBOARD
After the mirrors, the paintings are the decorative elements that I like the most to use to decorate the sideboards. Paintings have an advantage over mirrors and that is that they are more versatile, because they come in many different sizes, as well as more decorative, since the painting itself can say a lot with its content, adding decorative value to the entire scene. . Much more than a mirror. Let’s see some ideas and tips:
DECORATE THE SIDEBOARD WITH A LARGE PICTURE
The first idea or solution that I would recommend for its effectiveness is to use a large large painting that is in proportion to the sideboard. It is the same as we saw with the mirror. If we have a large painting with a good proportion to the sideboard, that is, it is not very small, but not excessively large, then we have 80% of the work done.
Simply place it in the center of the sideboard on the wall, and then decorate on the sides with some pretty accent items to match the décor style of your home. If you have a painting that is too large, it can also work, but instead of putting it on the wall, you can put it leaning on the sideboard:
The picture we see above is large. It is still in good proportion to the sideboard and could be installed perfectly on the wall. But a sure success when the painting is large, especially at the top, that is to say, in its verticality, is to put it leaning on the sideboard. Although this form is practically a sure hit, it does not remove so that you cannot put the picture hanging on the wall:
As you can see, it also looks great. But I don’t want to catch my fingers when recommending this option, because although there we see that it works very well, if the painting you have is somewhat larger than the one we see in the image, it would probably be too high and it would no longer look so good. Therefore, to play it safe, my recommendation is that you put it leaning on the furniture. But you can do one thing first: Test it. Tell someone to help you.
Tell him to take the painting and hold it to the wall as if it were installed on it, and see how it looks. See if it is too high, or stands out too much, if it is proportionate or not, etc. If you see that it looks good, go ahead and hang it on the wall. If it doesn’t look good or you don’t like it, then you rest it on the furniture, as we see just below and we saw before:
Despite being a large painting, even taller than the sideboard itself, when placed against the sideboard it integrates perfectly and its height is concealed. Do you know that another element of that scene makes the painting fit well into the sideboard despite being a very tall painting? Plant.
Thanks to the plant that is almost the same height as the painting resting on the furniture, it gives meaning to the whole. If the plant were not there, the height of the painting would stand out much more, and it could look bad. But when you add the plant, it all makes sense.
PUT TWO BOXES
Another idea that I really like for its efficiency and the decorative power it has is to use two pictures to decorate the sideboard. It may well be leaning on it, as we see in the dark walnut sideboard with black metal legs above, or placed on the wall, as we see below:
As they are two paintings, we can play both with their location and their content, since we can create contrast between them by putting paintings with different colors or shades, or combine them, putting similar paintings, as if it were a diptych, as we see above. The first thing I would recommend is that you put them in the center of the sideboard. Naturally, even the paintings, even if there are two, have to be in proportion to the sideboard, otherwise they wouldn’t look good either.
But even if the first thing I recommend is that you put them in the center, it does not mean that they always have to go there, you can also create an asymmetrical scene by putting them to one side, as we see just below:
If you then add some decorative element on top of the sideboard that is tall and “fill in” the gap left by the paintings, then the result is guaranteed. Take note that, in addition to the flexo on top of the wooden sideboard with black metal legs, it “fills in” the gap left by the paintings, it is also the plant that is the same height as the flexo that makes the whole set work, providing height and symmetry to the whole. In addition to the tall plants to create harmony in the whole, you can also lean on another element: On the adjoining furniture.
Take a good look at this scene that we see above with a nice white wooden sideboard and a painting in blue tones. A large painting has been placed to the right of the sideboard, leaving an empty area, which has been filled with a vase with grass from the high pampas. And it looks great. But we must not forget the tall display case that we see next to it, which is also the culprit that the whole scene works. If not, why do you think they have put it in the photo?
Let’s look at another example so you can see that what I say is true:
In this other wooden sideboard, it has been decorated with two relatively large paintings that have been put to one side, leaving another side of the empty sideboard, unfilled, in which a beautiful vase has been placed to match the colors of the paintings with pampas grass, and on some books to give it greater height. It looks good, yes. It does. But everything works better thanks to the tall wood and white bookshelf on the right.
By this I do not mean that you have to add a tall plant or a tall piece of furniture to fill that gap. What I mean is that if you do it, it looks better. But if you don’t, as long as everything is in proportion and harmony, it will also look good. If not, see below:
There is no plant, furniture or any other decorative element next to the sideboard, it has two pictures and both are on the left, and the result is very good, right? If a plant had been placed the same height as the pictures on the right, would it have been better? Yes, it would have been better. But it is neither essential nor mandatory.
Small sideboards, like the one we see just above, can also be decorated with great style using paintings. But a rule that does not fail, is to put a single painting, either on the wall or leaning on the sideboard, that is in proportion to the sideboard. Let it be neither bigger nor too small. And you can put it both in horizontal format, as we see above these lines, or in vertical format, as we see right here below:
Another idea that we can use to decorate a sideboard is the following:
It’s about putting a large gallery of paintings and photographs on the wall, so many that it almost doesn’t matter what you put on the sideboard. By putting so much emphasis on the sideboard wall decoration, the sideboard decoration almost takes a back seat, so you don’t have to worry as much. Well, I hope these ideas to decorate a sideboard with pictures or photographs have helped you. Now let’s move on to another point:
DECORATE A HIGH SIDEBOARD
Decorating a high sideboard or tall cabinet is somewhat more complex, but only because it allows us to put fewer elements, since if we put too many or too high, the scene doesn’t look good. Let’s see some successful examples so you can get inspired and take note.
DECORATE A HIGH SIDEBOARD WITH PICTURES OR PHOTOS
Although it is a high sideboard, we can also add pictures and photographs, but, in this case, my advice is that they are not too high, since otherwise the height of the set would rise a lot and it would not look aesthetically good. A good example can be seen above these lines, in the high sideboard that has been placed on top of a painting as the main decorative motif. As you can see, it is not a very tall or very large painting. And it looks great.
Another tip that I want to tell you if you are going to use a painting to decorate a high sideboard is that you do not put it on the wall, but rather lean on top of the sideboard. In this way, the painting, being in contact with the sideboard, integrates better into the whole than if it were not, because it was hanging on the wall. In addition, as it is leaning on the sideboard, the total height will always be less than if we put the painting on the wall. Let’s see more ways to decorate a tall sideboard or display cabinet:
As I mentioned before that when I have to decorate a sideboard, the large mirrors and large paintings are the first thing I look at because they look great, in the case of sideboards or tall cabinets, one of the first things I look at in order to decorate them is the plants. But not just any plants, but one in particular: The poto.
Poto is the perfect plant to decorate a high sideboard, because we can let it grow wide and not high, and also make a branch hang down the furniture towards the floor. And this, on tall furniture, looks spectacularly well. I’m not saying that you can’t use other plants, but the most effective, for me, without a doubt, is poto. In addition, poto is extremely easy to care for and we can buy it for four dollars, as it is commonly said. Let’s see another tip for decorating a high sideboard:
PUT A FEW DECORATIVE ELEMENTS
A sideboard or tall cabinet is a piece of furniture that has a lot of visual weight. And if the sideboard or the display case is already beautiful, in reality you have little else to do to decorate the space. Therefore, it is kind of silly to put a lot of things on top of it to decorate it. Basically because it does not need much more. So if you have a tall and beautiful sideboard, or it is beautiful for you, do not complicate yourself. Add four little things that you like, without excesses. You don’t need anything else to create a charming corner. Ok, now that we have seen ideas and tips for decorating a high sideboard, let’s move on to the next point:
DECORATE A SIDEBOARD IN FRONT OF OR BELOW A WINDOW
The first thing you have to take into account is what type your windows are. If they are sliding or sash windows, then you have more decorative options, since you can put tall elements and create a scene as beautiful as we see above these lines, where they have opted for the resource of symmetry, and two beautiful lamps have been added high tables, one on each side, and in the center a decorative set of books, crockery and plants.
Although a sliding or sash window allows us to put tall elements, since no matter how high they are we will be able to continue opening the window, you also have to take into account that the taller and more voluminous, the more natural light they will prevent from entering your home. So if you fill the sideboard to the top with objects, you are going to block out all the natural light. So put few decorative elements, and if these are made of glass or metal, which have a positive effect on the light, much better.
DECORATE A SIDEBOARD UNDER A FOLDING WINDOW
If you have casement windows, the matter is much more complicated here, since you cannot put anything that reaches the height of the window, or if you want to open it, you will have to remove everything. So, in this case we only have a single solution: Put small elements that do not reach the height of the window. It seems obvious, but it is the only solution there is and I have to say it. It is true that small elements are not the same or offer as much play as large and beautiful paintings or mirrors. But chosen wisely, these small decorative elements can create a very beautiful scene.
So, choose them carefully, choose the ones that mean something to you, if they are emotionally charged, the better. And put them in a balanced way. Neither many nor few. With that it will be enough to have a well decorated sideboard. In addition, although having the sideboard in front of or under a window is initially a decorative handicap, we can use this setback as an advantage, and take advantage of the window as a decorative element of the sideboard, as we see below:
There is not only one window, but two, but both the windows and the gap between them, as well as the curtains, have been used so that everything is part of the sideboard assembly, and the result is perfect. Rustic / classic wood sideboard matches perfectly with white linen textiles and black curtain rods. So, when you go to decorate your window dresser, think about the whole complete set: windows, curtains and sideboard. And decorate the sideboard based on the whole set. It will give you much better results than if you decorate the sideboard as if it were a single “bundle”. Let’s see another idea to decorate a sideboard that has a window behind it:
DECORATE A SIDEBOARD WITH A WINDOW ON ONE SIDE
Sometimes the window is narrower than the sideboard, so we have an area where we can use the wall, and another where the window is that we cannot. Well, in these cases, the best we can do is treat the window as if it were a mirror or a large painting that we have, and then decorate based on it. Do you remember the examples we have seen before of how to decorate a sideboard with a large painting? Well this would be the same.
So get the idea that what you have there is not an independent window, but one more element that is part of the decoration of the hall, and decorate based on that idea, just as they have done in the sideboard that we see above these paragraphs. Well, these have been the ideas to decorate sideboards. I hope they have helped you, since I apply many of these tips in my projects. If they have helped you or you think they can help a friend or family member, share them. And if you have any questions, leave a comment that I will be happy to answer you.