Style Guide: Dining Room Sideboard

When we were moving into our home it took what felt like hundreds of trips back and forth between our old apartment and the new place. On one of those hundreds of trips something caught my eye curbside, a pre-loved brass bar cart. I couldn’t believe it. I had been planning all things new home purchases and I was so excited to check a bar cart off the list (especially a free one!).

I cleaned it off and set it up in a tiny corner of the dining room. As days, weeks and months went by I struggled with the identity of the bar cart. It collected dust and random trinkets from around the house and was hardly serving it’s intended purpose.

A few weeks ago, I got an idea. Into the basement the old bar cart went and instead I moved our entryway table against an empty wall in the dining room. I stepped back and instantly loved the new arrangement. In the following days, I added a mirror and a few other accessories that were struggling to find a home in our house and couldn’t be happier with how it all came together.

Much like styling kitchen shelves, there are a few things to keep in mind when styling a bar space. I am sharing a few sideboard styling tips below.


1. Start with an anchor piece- a mirror, large piece of art or several smaller art prints/frames are all great starting points.

2. Function vs. Style— Find pieces that serve a purpose. Barware, glasses and your favorite spirits are all functional pieces that add style.

3. Consider height and dimension. Position each accessory to move the eye. I like to look at my sideboard in 3-levels (low, mid, high). Lamps and vases are great ways to add height as well as texture while candlesticks are great for the mid-line. The lower level is great for smaller accessories as well as book stacks. Also, consider purchasing spirit bottles of different heights.

4. Use a tray to create a base or grouping of items. I used a contrasting white marble tray to separate the bar space from the rest of the sideboard.

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 Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Jenna Ogle