The sideboard, usually found in the entrance hall or main area of the house is often the first point of call for householders and a first impression of the house for visitors. It can be the focal point in your home; giving everyone a sense of the home’s style, but also a place for communication between household members, where notes are passed, spare change kept and keys stored. It’s also a great spot to touch up before you head out if there is space for a large mirror.
Some points to consider when dressing your sideboard:
When choosing a piece of furniture for your display think of where the sideboard is situated in the house and how much storage you will need. If you are somebody who likes to keep the clutter out of sight, a console with drawers, or even a chest of drawers is the perfect piece to adorn your hall. Try some baskets beneath for storage for children’s toys or shoes and umbrellas, or a fancy waste-paper basket for paper waste.
A chair beside the sideboard is another handy place for hanging a coat or hat, or beautiful designer handbag.
A sideboard is an ideal place for scented candles, flowers or diffusers. Think of how it feels to enter a home filled with fragrance. Or choose a beautiful plant to bring the outside indoors. A palm or a structural bonsai can really create a sense of tranquility.
Lamps create a welcoming glow. You can also put a lamp on a timer to help with home security or visibility by having the lamp on when you arrive home, giving you that much needed light. If you are short on space atop of the sideboard, sconces installed in the wall above are a great solution.
Mirrors are fabulous additions to the sideboard. They create drama, space and a handy place to do a last-minute check before you walk out the door. If you prefer artwork above your sideboard, let the artwork be the hero and guide you to how you will decorate this space.
Simple things can often pack a punch like this collection of jugs and pots clustered together to form a welcoming, interesting and casual display.. It’s full, colourful and perfect for storing keys, spare change and other bits and bobs (providing you recall which pot you put it in!) Your display could be vintage coffee makers or even gardening implements. To make this style work, be consistent and stick to one theme only. Scatter the colours so that you don’t have too much of one hue to one side of the collection. If your collectibles are wood or metal, use this rule to balance out the hues and grains in the materials.
If you love the great outdoors, why not bring that world inside with this eclectic mix of flora encapsulated in an array of kitchen glassware and bowls. The effect is rustic and earthy. You can really infuse the room where the sideboard is positioned with a selection of fresh pinecones scented with cinnamon; perhaps a pot or tray of herbs or wildflowers. This style is all about being carefree and completely natural.
Sometimes we all get a little hung up on making everything match and sticking to those old rules about colour. Remember what they used to say about blue and green? Try breaking out of your comfort zone and really mix it up. Anything goes with colour – pinks, purples, orange and blue. Make sure you pick up on all the colours in your homewares to marry each to the other. And anchor the whole vignette with one or two bold pieces. My display fuses an oriental vase with a French throw and a sumptuous red bouquet, all pulled together with a Georgian-style mirror. Hints of green in the scattered trinkets add interest and detail.
Nothing beats black and white for conveying class and style. Think of a Manhattan or Parisian apartment. The key to using this colour scheme is balance. I chose the bold round mirror as a starting point, used quite a lot of black as the base and then punctuated the dark with pops of bright white in the bust, the flowers and the detail on the elephants and in the books. This colour scheme looks great with a little symmetry, all achieved with a pair of elegant lamps framing the display at either end.
A sideboard can be the perfect canvas to express your creativity. Think of it as an area for experimentation and expression and the options are endless. I’ve played with height in this shot by placing a chair atop the sideboard and carefully selecting a few key homewares to draw the eye down from the chair and hanging silk. The whole look is minimal, calming and utterly contemporary, not to mention attention grabbing! It’s almost as if the sideboard display is telling a story. The key to achieving this look is thinking outside the square and taking away till you are left with only the things that speak to you.
Photography and styling by Katie Evans