How to Style a (Mid-Century) Sideboard

By Brittni • Updated on 02/15/2024

Mid-Century Sideboard

I’ve been looking for a sideboard, credenza, buffet-thingy….whatever you want to call it…..for the studio for months and I finally found one! I wanted something with a mid-century vibe, that was also practical, because as much as I’m in it for the looks when it comes to design, I have A LOT of stuff at the studio and need as many places to put things as I can get.

So, I teamed up with Ave Home, a New Orleans-based furniture company that offers classic styles from iconic design periods, to share how to style a mid-century inspired sideboard inside and out. It’s a minimal, but fun, and highly functional take on a classic dining room piece. Click through for my tips, tricks, and photos for styling a sideboard in a flash.

Dining room details...How to style a sideboard

How to Style a (Mid-Century) Sideboard

First things first. What IS a sideboard anyway? And why do people call it so many different names?

A sideboard is a flat-topped, long(ish) piece of dining room furniture with storage (drawers), typically placed along a wall and used for storing dishes, glasses, table linens, etc. The top is often used for serving food, setting out plates, etc for more formal dinners. And as for why it has so many names…. that’s a good question! Maybe it’s a tomato, to-mato thing?

Since sideboards are used in dining rooms, why did I want one for the studio?! I really wanted a long piece of furniture that would fit into the living room / seating area in the studio, look good, AND provide plenty of storage for props, etc. And this piece definitely checks all of the boxes.

It’s from Ave Home’s Anders collection and it’s called the Anders Sideboard. The mid-century silhouette is pretty much the bomb dot com. And I can store SO much overflow from the kitchen, I nearly lost my mind over it when it first came in. My kitchen cabinets are teeny tiny and momma likes to shop for tableware stuff A LOT.

As soon as I got this bad boy delivered, I stuffed it with glassware, cake plates, pitchers, silverware, etc. Then, I closed the tambour doors and it magically went away. Out of sight, out of mind. Much better than the stacks of dishes and glassware that had piled up on the counter.

An organized sideboard

How to Style a Sideboard (on the inside)

Let’s start with styling on the inside of the sideboard, which pretty much consists of grouping like items together and making the most out of the space you have. My sideboard has the little drawers for linens and silverware and since they’re shallow that’s really the best spot for ’em. As for some of the other areas…I like to put the tall stuff in the back and smaller items in the front, so I can see everything at a glance. AND I try to make the most out of the height of each shelf too – that means plenty of stacking and a little rearranging to find room for taller items, etc.

Other than that, there’s not a ton of styling involved on the inside. I mean, the goal is always for something to look nice and if you’re going to keep the doors open, it makes sense to keep some semblance for organization. BUT if you know you’re going to keep the drawers closed for the most-part, the inside isn’t nearly as crucial as the outside.

How to Style a (Mid-Century) Sideboard

How to Style a Sideboard (on the outside)

Since sideboards are hypothetically used for laying out desserts, plates, linens, etc for dinner parties, I didn’t want to clutter up the top with tons and tons of stuff. So, for this one, I kept things simple with a couple of pieces of artwork, a big vase full of flowers (coral peonies are my fave in case you didn’t know), a bowl or fruit, and some matches for lighting candles, etc. Oh, and a little light on the opposite side too, to balance out some of the asymmetry. This exact combo is highly unnecessary though, of course. The main thing to focus on is keeping things relatively uncluttered and varying the heights of the objects.

How to Style a (Mid-Century) Sideboard

How to Style a (Mid-Century) Sideboard

A tropical centerpiece

Photography Amelia Lawrence

Source list: Anders sideboard from Ave Home / mustard yellow painting (made by me) / pink pineapple print (from the DIY leather wrapped frame project) / giant gold vase from West Elm (removed the base) / green fruit bowl from Crate and Barrel / grid cup Charlotte Smith / colorful matches from Fredericks and Mae / copper light from CB2

That’s pretty much all there is to it. I am pretty obsessed with my new piece of furniture and am so glad to have another thing check off the list for the studio. What do you think? Do you have a sideboard in your home?

This post is in partnership with Ave Home. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Paper & Stitch running.

17 comments | Click here to reply

Hi Sina. I have both sizes actually, but the one shown is the larger of the two. I don’t know the exact dimensions unfortunately.


what size of gold planter did you get?


I love how the color pops out in your home. Sideboards can do amazing job. It’s simple yet gorgeous. Thanks for sharing.


I love it how you’ve turned an old-timer into a sophisticated new-looking piece of furniture that goes well with every style! Great work right there.

KMP Furniture Blog

I’ve just got obsessed to the sideboard. Looks so clean, beautiful and mostly, handy. Will definitely try this making. But by a carpenter. Can’t make it on my own though.


Thanks Alexis. I painted it so long ago, I had almost forgotten about it….found it in the closet when we moved and brought it over to the studio. 🙂


I love your mustard painting! It’s gorgeous! The whole vignette is really nice, but the painting jumped out at me. 🙂

Alexis @ Persia Lou

I love it! I am on a hunt for a sideboard like this! x

What Mum Loves

Thanks so much Polly. It is kind of cool to have a drawer just for silverware. I’ve never had a piece of furniture quite like this before. 🙂


It’s so beautiful and colourful! I’m absolutely jealous of the cutlery drawer as well!




It looks so beautiful. Thanks for sharing it.


Thanks Michelle and The Pink Pineapple. 🙂 Happy to hear that you like it.


It looks beautiful, thank you for the tips!


Beautiful decoration!
The Pink Pineapple
New post:

The pink pineapple

Thanks Paige. I really love it! It’s perfect for what I was looking for.


I’ve been dying to incorporate a sideboard in our home somewhere! Your’s is absolutely gorgeous!


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