Google “sideboards,” and you’ll discover that these lovely old beauties have been kept in formal dining rooms, used for displaying and storing serving pieces.
At Nell Hill’s, 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 five alternative uses for a sideboard to give your home extra elegance:
▪ Put it in the foyer: In my Atchison home, the foyer was large and empty. So I filled the space with furnishings to make it feel more welcoming and cozy. The first thing guests saw as they walked in was a sideboard, tucked under the stairway. I topped it with a beautiful mirror and slid a large decorative basket underneath to give it heft and add storage.
▪ Dress up a 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.
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Place lamps on top of the sideboard to give the hallway warm light and make it welcoming.
▪ Set up a fetching bar: My friend turned her little-used sun porch 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. A serving area in a little-used room like this will encourage guests to move about your home instead of staying clumped up in a little bunch in your kitchen. People follow the food and drinks.
▪ Make it a media console: 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 décor when it’s not on.
▪ Convert it to a vanity: If you caught my blog a few weeks ago, you would recognize this photo of the sideboard-turned-vanity in my bathroom. I picked out one of my favorite sideboards at Nell Hill’s and had a carpenter transform it.
Mary Carol Garrity is the founder and owner of Nell Hill’s home interior boutiques in Atchison and at the Village at Briarcliff.