Style: Sideboards are stunning in every room

Mary Carol Garrity
Tribune News Service

Google “sideboards” and you’ll discover that these lovely old beauties have traditionally been kept in formal dining rooms, used for displaying and storing serving pieces. We set them free years ago, using these stunning storage pieces to add style and structure to almost every room in the house. Here are six spots you can add a sideboard to give your home extra elegance.

Foyer: In my Atchison, Kan., home, the foyer was large and empty, and it needed some warming up. So I filled the space with furnishings to make it feel a bit more welcoming and cozy. The first thing guests saw as they walked in was a sideboard on the opposite wall, snuggled up under the stairway. I topped it with a beautiful mirror and slid some large decorative baskets underneath to give it some heft, and add extra storage.

Hallway: Similarly, you can slide a sideboard in a long, open hallway to give it more charm, changing it from a utilitarian walkway to another pleasant space in your home.

Place some lamps on top of the sideboard to give the hallway warm light and make it that much more welcoming.

Bar area: Want to set up a fetching bar area in your home? Use a sideboard! My friend turned her little-used sunporch into a drinks station, with the help of an antique sideboard. The wide open top gives you ample room to display pretty glasses, bottles and appetizers when you entertain.

Having a serving area in a little-used room will encourage your guests to move about your home instead of staying clumped up in a tight little bunch in your kitchen. I have found that people follow the food and drinks.

Family room: Remember when we used to store our TVs in huge chunky chests? With the slim flat screens, now you can fit your TV on top of beautiful pieces of furniture, like a sideboard. Whether the TV rests on the chest or is mounted on the wall above it, hang a montage of artwork around the screen so the TV blends into your decor when it’s not on.

Bathroom: If you caught my blog a few weeks ago, you might recall my sideboard-turned-vanity in my bathroom. I picked out one of my favorite sideboards and had a carpenter transform it into a bathroom vanity. I love, love, love the look!

Dining room: Last but not least, sideboards really are an essential for a well-dressed dining room. Our grandmothers had it right – they finish off the room.

Whether your dining area is in a separate, formal room, or a casual spot off your kitchen, you’ll find a sideboard to fit your look and your budget.

This column was adapted from Mary Carol Garrity’s blog at