Decorating sideboards and buffets or any Flat Surface

It's easy to decorate a sideboard or a buffet so it adds to the beauty of your home with these easy tips.

Decorating sideboards and buffets in our dining rooms and other rooms in our home is so important! These are prime pieces of decor real estate that can show off our personality! Today I’m sharing easy ways to decorate a sideboard or buffet and useful, fabulous, and doable styling tips too!

It does not take a lot of time or things to decorate a buffet. With my tips, you can style a buffet beautifully in minutes.

I’ve decorated my white sideboard in three different ways to show you how easy it can be!

buffet in the great room

My white buffet is one of my favorite surfaces to decorate. I love the height and length of it! Most buffets and sideboards are wonderful areas to add pretty decor to your home!

The buffet was once in our dining room at our StoneGable house but now it is in the great room of our Tanglewood house. Buffets are not just for dining rooms!

I thought it might be helpful to show you three different ways to style a buffet. And I’ll share a couple tips that will help you use your buffet to add YOUR personality to your dining room.

Actually, any long flat surface can benefit from these easy tips!


three faux plants in cardboard containers

Basic buffet decorating things to know…

  • decorate your buffet’s space but don’t overdo or overlayer it!
  • try to avoid using lots of little collectibles or small things
  • use faux blooms and plants only if they look real up to 1 foot away
  • experiment and play with your accessories
  • less is more
  • keep a tight color palette
  • change things up often


When we remodeled our StoneGable dining room (feels like a hundred years ago) I found this pretty white buffet and knew it would work in the room.

One thing I did to keep it updated and fresh was to keep my china and dishes off the top! This is very important!

Lots of dishes on the top of a buffet even in a dining room looks cluttered and dated.

Try stying it without dishes! Keep the dishes in the buffet and not on it.

dining room buffet with lamp and dough bowl with textured moss balls

The buffet decor is classic, adding a juxtaposition of bling and burlap! I love those two words together! BLING AND BURLAP!!!!

I like this decor because it looks sharp and clean and pretty!


Your dining room table, in most cases, is the star of your dining room. And the centerpiece on it should be its Diva! Nothing in the room should show up the Diva! So the things on your buffet or sideboard should not fight for attention.

But that does not mean your buffet should not be decorated too.

Here is a decorating recipe for styling a fabulous sideboard every time.


Whether your buffet is in the kitchen or in your living room like mine is now all sideboards can use a few pretty organics.

Buffets and sideboards are the perfect places to add an element of organic design.

buffet in the great room

Here are a few ideas…

  • a bunch of seasonal greens or flowers
  • moss balls
  • plants
  • topiaries
  • a trio of the same potted plant

You might like to see how to make these moss balls. TEXTURED MOSS BALL DIY. They are so super easy!

moss balls in a basket

If you are thinking about going the faux route you might like to read CREATIVE WAYS TO USE FAUX FLOWERS


Have you heard of buffet lamps or candlesticks? You know, the tall, skinny, candle-type lamp duo that go on either side of a buffet? They were so popular years ago because they added ambient light to either side of a sideboard and added a great bit of symmetry to a buffet.

We can bring a fresher, updated look to sideboards and buffets by using the buffet lamp principle but giving it a more modern feel!

Do add something tall to either side of your buffet. A lamp with a little more heft and a tall item to the other.

The mesh lamp works on the left side of the buffet. It’s just the right size and scale for the buffet. It’s a nice tall element at one end of the buffet. And it offers another layer of lighting too!


Use something tall on the buffet opposite a lamp.

stacking basket son a buffet

A tall vignette would also work on one side of the buffet.

I often find myself creating a simple vignette using three items. And no wonder! Our eyes and mind LOVE anything grouped in threes. To see how to use this magical number when decorating, see THE MAGIC RULE OF THREE.


It’s a good idea to add a little something to bridge a lamp and a tall item at the other end of a buffet.

trio of faux ferns on a buffet

Three things that are alike make a beautiful “bridge” between the lamp and the other tall element on the buffet.

Instead of the three faux ferns in the same pots, I popped the middle fern in a slightly different container and put it on a couple burlap-covered books. I think just that little difference adds a lot of interest and a bit of texture to the decor on the buffet.


buffet in the great room

One easy way to create a buffet that has a cohesive look is to use the colors in the room on the buffet. For the image above I used the browns in the lamp the sand and white colors of the baskets and the greens and browns of the faux plants.

And even if your room is colorful still use a tight color palette on a buffet.

three little potted plants

Now it’s your turn! Take a look at the buffet in your dining room. Could it use a bit of a makeover? Why not put these tips and ideas into practice during a few commercials? I know you can do it!!!!!

a decorated buffet in a living room

Here’s a great little book filled with easy-to-do home decor ideas! And it’s FREE!



  1. I love all your buffet schemes. My buffet is longer than yours and it stumps me because things look far apart. Any ideas for this situation?

  2. Love your style. I’m getting a new 80” long dresser. Can’t begin to think how to style it. Tall buffet lamps? I don’t know how to put things together.

    1. Just remember Marylynn, you do not have to decorate the entire length of a piece that is so long. Start from the middle and work out. It is okay if the ends aren’t decorated, probably better.

  3. Yvonne, you always have such helpful info. Thanks for always sharing ways to decorate our home. We appreciate you so much.

  4. Can you tell me the height of the mesh lamp as well as the stacked baskets on the buffet? Also, do you have a source for the baskets and the antique white clock? Thank you!

  5. I love your white buffet decor ideas. Could you show some ideas for buffets (lovely antique) that are dark wood, please. I am the fortunate recipient of my grandfather’s dining room set … beautiful table, and both a short ( 41″) and
    long (78″) buffet. I have antique silver candlesticks on either end of the buffets and on the dining room table but am looking for something else to add or something different in these three places. Thank you. Barbara

    1. Barbara, I don’t think the color matters it’s more the style! Your buffet would look beautiful with a big bowl of flowers (real or faux)in the middle of it. Hope this helps.

  6. I love the way you use anchors and switch up with different items and textures. I have a wall that goes up about 36 inches above the buffet, and then there are three windows that go up to the ceiling. My dilemma is what to put on the wall as a backdrop for the items on the buffet.., any suggestions?

    1. Keep it simple because the windows probably act as a “mirror” or focal point. Try adding a large real or faux plant in a pretty urn on one side of the buffet and a low basket with some dishes in it on the other side. Hopes this helps.

  7. I have three great pieces that operate as dining hutches and furniture for the dining area, which the living room is open to. My best arrangement has been having the three pieces, which are different but work together very well, and help with storage I do not have in my small kitchen next to the dining area. It is not crowded, and I do not think anything competes with the look of the dining table. I have my plants on two of the three pieces, and I have stuck to the tight color palette you recommend (listening to your advice). I did mainly white, green, and tan or copper. There are French doors that the dining table is centered on, and that leads outside to the deck. The green trees look very pretty, and it feels spacious with the French doors allowing natural light in. I have been removing clutter to donate from all areas of the house, and I am mainly not displaying little knicknack type items.

    In the house as a whole, in the main area, I do have the tight color palette you advised. Everything flows together well, and the house feels pretty to me. I mix using real plants and quality fake ones, and dried ones I bought. It feels like in the main room it looks right and does not draw clutter.

    1. Hi DJ- I would layer several frames in one area of a buffet. Use different size frames. I wouldn’t scatter them across the buffet. I think they would look too visually busy. Keep your best photos in a grouuping. Hope this helps.

  8. I love your style. I have an antique family buffet with a small mirror across the back and then a small shelf above it. Right now I have 2 small candlestick lights on each side of the shelf across the top. Do you have any different suggestions for an antique buffet or would you stick with the recommendations you have already shared. It is wood. Thank you.

  9. Those are wonderful ideas for buffets and tables. My challenge with my buffet is that it is up against a half wall, with and open arch above, which you can see through to the foyer, which has a console table with a mirror above. The console surface usually has either a large green arrangement or in the fall, a dried arrangement. I have a photo and a candle to accent, although often just the large arrangement. So I don’t want what is on the buffet,( that can be seen from both rooms) to compete. I am sensing something low like a dough bowl or similar shaped basket would be the answer. Would you have another suggestion? I don’t have lamps on either the buffet or the console table.

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