STYLING SECRETS : Part 1 Buffets and Sideboards

Sideboard or buffets, few pieces of furniture are as timeless and versatile at providing extra storage, serving space and display surface. Being long and somewhat lean, they’re great additions to any room and offer a perfect opportunity for self-expression through curated and varied vignettes. Here’s how to decorate a buffet.


The buffet, which dates back to the 16th century, is one of my favorite pieces of furniture to incorporate into a client’s home. That’s because it offers so many uses and has great form.

Acting as a storage space or sofa table, an ad hoc bar or bookshelf, or a place for fancy dishes and extra linens, the buffet is a multiuse wonder that offers the perfect opportunity for seasonal displays, curated collections or mixed drinks and pre-dinner snacks.


Installed in a dining space, a buffet is generally used for setting out serving platters, bottles of wine or extra dishes during large meals. When it’s off-duty, it stands ready to add to the ambiance and showcase your favorite things.

Like all things in design, there really aren’t any rules that can’t be broken; however, time-honored styling tips can help you pull things together to create a look you’ll love.

A buffet used in a living or family room is usually referred to as a sideboard, but it’s essentially the same thing, also providing ample opportunity for expression.



A pair of lamps

Traditional styling suggests a pair of elegant buffet lamps — purposefully tall and thin and providing low light to showcase the food — flanking a central object set in front of a piece of art or a large-scale mirror.

For special occasions, a grouping of candles or a selection of lovely desserts on simple white cake plates could be used.

If your taste leans toward modern, such as white lacquered sideboard, try mixing things up by pairing more traditional elements (the pair of lamps) with an array of eclectic accessories and an unexpected statement piece (like the driftwood mirror). Avoiding a matchy-matchy look keeps the styling interesting and creates a fresher, more youthful point of view.

3dsmax White Sideboard