How to style your sideboard: Showing different arrangements and décor ideas

For so long, my sideboard was completely bare. I knew I was wasting this surface area and it was making my dining area feel sparse so I recently played around with some different looks.

While I was at it, I took photos of the arrangements and different bits of décor I used in case you’re looking for some ideas on how to style your sideboard!

Pin ↓ this image ↓ so you can find these tips later 🙂

How to style your sideboard

The book stack

A foolproof way of styling is with books. Select hard cover books that relate to your interests, and beautiful covers are definitely a bonus.

You can stack books horizontally and vertically for added interest. And rather than using bookends to hold them in place, try using a stylish piece of décor instead. I used a Zakkia jar with brass lid which picks up on the brass spine of the ‘Styled’ book.

Book stack

The rule of 3

If you have a long sideboard like I do, it can be quite tricky to cover the whole surface without it looking too hodge podge…

The solution? Focus on creating 3 distinct focal points.

For this look, I’ve used fewer books on the left and placed a Milk and Sugar pot with Ivy plant on top. The centre is a styled tray (see next point for more on this) and to the right is a lamp.

Rule of 3

Trays are your friend

Quite possibly my favourite styling prop is the tray!

They can make just about any arrangement of items look beautiful and as they belong.

Tips to style items on a tray:
– mix heights and sizes for interest
– use a variety of materials i.e. glass, concrete, metal, etc
– incorporate ‘life’ like a small plant, flowers or even a burning candle (I adore this Maison and Blanche candle)
– stick to odd numbers (an odd number of items on the tray will look more appealing)

Protea flower in glass

Cluster like items

Here’s another look I created using the idea of 3 focal points but this time I clustered like items together.

A trio of candleholders with cork base add ambience to my dining space. I styled the tray with 3 indoor plants in different vessels in the centre. And to the right is a book stack by the table lamp.

Cluster like items

Look for colour references

If you find it hard to shop for décor that will ‘go’ with your space, try looking for colour inspiration in the room. For example, I got this Milk and Sugar pot because it picks up the deep denim blue tones in my Annie Everingham artwork.

Just a few colour references like this will really make your styling work.

Ivy plant

I had fun playing around with these different looks and hope you got some new ideas on what you could do on your sideboard at home.

It’s nice to now feel like my dinning area is complete but no doubt I’ll continue to play around with the items on my sideboard!

How do you like to style your sideboard? Share it in the comments below so we can all get some new styling inspo!

Disclaimer: Some items featured in this post were gifted.

Dining area


  1. Your dining room is stunning- LOVE that artwork! Great ideas for styling too- for some reason that can always be so tricky! Definitely pinning for later. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Thanks for your lovely comment, Beth! Totally agree that sideboards can be a tricky area to style but once you’ve got a few of those essential pieces like a tray and indoor plant, it can come together easily 🙂


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