MODERN TAKE ON THE DINING ROOM BUFFET- Here are some great ways to update and use the dining room buffet

I recently replace my painted, repurposed dining room buffet with a new one. If you have a dining room or dining area a buffet is a very important and versatile item to put in it! Let’s talk about dining room buffet updates. Lots of tips to keep the dining room area fresh and a buffet both functional and fabulous!

Today’s episode on DECORATING TIPS AND TRICKS is…


You can hear our best tips below… 

Now here are some things to think about when updating your dining room buffet!

Really any horizontal surface will work as a “buffet surface”. A buffet was originally used as a server to put food on.  Buffets are usually long and narrow and are still a perfectly useful and beautiful addition to a dining area.

Let’s update our buffets…


Gone are the days (thank goodness) when the furniture in a dining room matched. You might be old enough to remember buying all the pieces of your dining room in one collection or set! I did! And in its time it was certainly beautiful but there are so many interesting and far less expensive options for decorating a dining room.

Today’s dining rooms are curated and collected and interesting!  They are pieced together and not right off a showroom floor!


If you have a buffet with a “top” piece remove it. Usually, the bottom storage area and the top display case are two separate pieces.

Removing the top half of your hutch will automatically give your dining room a fresher look.

Put a big piece of art or a mirror over your buffet. I know change is sometimes hard but you can always put the display case back on if you don’t like it.



Now let’s talk about how to update our buffet with accessories. I say a lamp and another small grouping of objects is enough on a buffet especially if it functions as a true buffet area at dinnertime. 

Think a la Downton Abby. Think about how the man and unmarried women served themselves at breakfast and how the buffet was used. Not much on the buffet but things that were used to serve food. Stay away from decor that is too to fru-fru or fussy. 

Today, we most often serve our food on the kitchen counter or island. But there is no need to over accessorize a buffet!



A real tale-tale sign of a buffet that needs an update is a pair of symmetrical candlestick lamps on either side of the buffet. Update a buffet by putting away those skinny little lamps and opt for one larger table lamp. 

A bigger curvy lamp with a fabulous lampshade will be a very fresh addition to a buffet!



The one thing I looked for when I decided to get another buffet was storage space. And this buffet has tons of great space. I have a large collection of cake pedestals and soup tureens so instead of storing them in the basement I could display and store them in the buffet.

Depending on the style of a buffet, they usually have lots of wonderful storage space! 


The top surface of a buffet is prime real estate! So use it! Don’t let it collect dust!

A buffet can also pinch hit for a mini bar! Set up a large tray and add your favorite libations to it along with a handsome ice bucket and a glass cube filled with bar tools. 

Glasses and other bar equipment can be neatly kept behind closed doors!

Here are other ways to use the top of a buffet…

  • appetizer bar
  • dessert bar
  • to hold all dishes, utensils, napkins etc when serving a buffet
  • as a food  “station” when having a big gathering
  • drink station with punch bowl or large bowl filled with water and drinks


I’m obsessed with glass front buffets. I love being able to see all the pretty dishes and other things I keep inside. The tableware inside a glass front buffet become part of the decor! Sigh!


Buffets have both a decorative value and great usefulness in today’s homes. So make sure you update and get the most out of your buffet!


Here a few of my pics for a buffet…



alsace sideboard  || 2  mirror sideboard  ||  3  lake manor sideboard  ||  4  rotag sideboard  ||  5  foundry sideboard  ||  6  leanna sideboard  ||  7  mirror side sideboard  ||  8  bengel manor sideboard  ||  9  stein sideboard  ||  10  hadaway sideboard



You might like to follow me on Pinterest and see what I’m finding to pin every day HERE.

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  1. We just recently removed the top of our older Ethan Allen pine hutch. It was in the kitchen, and during a refresh in decor I had decided the heavy dark wood was just overpowering the room. I have plans to paint the lower portion a French blue and add new hardware. I have added some farm style items over the buffet. What a big difference it has made. It has given new life to our much loved hutch.

    1. Oh Sandy! This sound beautiful!!!!!!! I would love to see a picture!

  2. I like the buffet you chose, but something about my tall glass front cabinet seems so elegant. Especially st night when I can put on the interior lights. I’ve pared down the. Intents with select objects all in the same color white. I just can’t seem to part with it, someday it will be back in style I’m sure. I have a sideboard on the other wall. I need all the storage I can get.

    1. Janet, I am so convinced that we should follow our own style and do what we love. I hope you can pull out a couple tips for your gorgeous china cabinet.

  3. Yvonne, I don’t have a formal dining room in our house but if I did yours would be the one I would have. It is so inviting and your guests and family must love it.I especially like the pops of color you add with your table arrangements. Like the top of your new buffet. With the warmer weather here it feels right to eliminate and simplify our decor.

    1. Thanks, Kathy! I have a breakfast area between my kitchen and family room. We have a piece there that acts like a small buffet and a bar.

  4. Love your new buffet! I totally agree with how you use it and glass fronts. If I had a buffet I would definitely use it like you explained. Our home is open and kitchen dining area are one and there is no room?

  5. Your dining room is so beautiful! I love the buffet, bench, chairs, and table…well really all of it!! Can you please provide the source for your table? You have posted it before I am sure I just missed it.

  6. I love your new buffet!!! Beautiful!!! Thanks for sharing the other buffet pieces.

  7. Yvonne, your new buffet is so attractive! I liked the old one, also! I prefer the look of a buffet or hunt board over the expected glass front china cabinet. Everyone continues to look for much needed storage space and a buffet offers just that. I inherited a corner china cabinet from my precious mother and love that it has a more unique look, and it can be used along with my buffet.

    Maybe a good topic for the DTT podcast would be “secret storage places”! I am always searching for additional storage.

  8. Loving your new buffet, nice addition to your dining room..I also like like the idea of reinventing an old piece into something new again which I have done many times in my home.

    1. Hi Doreen, I love it too. Much more space to display my white dishes.

  9. kellybf3@gmail.com says:

    I have my grandmother’s buffet and I love it. One end is in the corner of my small dining room, and that end needs something tall. I often have a pitcher of flowers or greens there, but would you believe I have never thought of a lamp?! I’m so excited to begin looking for one. Thanks!

  10. Your new buffet is lovely! When do we get to see your Master Bedroom update? I’m also updating my master bedroom, and I know I’ll find inspiration when I see what you’ve created.

  11. Susan DeMarco says:

    Yvonne this is a great post and your dining room looks lovely. Your pictures of other buffets are spot on! Loving your sunflowers on the dining table…artificial? and if so where did you find them…charming!

  12. Sherry Darlington says:

    So pretty! Glad to see those ceramic lanterns that I LOVE ! Looks like I’m going to try to find a place for buffet! Thanks for sharing.

  13. Love the buffet and the way you styled it. I have a question about the slipcovered bench where did you get it?

  14. jill nelson says:

    Love all the white! I have a very similar bench and would love to use it in my dining room. Beautiful photos!

  15. I’m updating. I finally took the top off my hutch. I’d like the buffet a different color but I need it to be wood toned because it sits right next to just painted cabinets. I’m going to put shelves made out of the hutch top above my new .”buffet”. It will be a way to display some of the pretty dishes I’ve been given over the years! I like the idea of a lamp on a buffet. I’m not sure what I’ll put on the shelves. Probably I won’t be as efficien!!!you are an inspiration

  16. Virginia Eddy says:

    Love the sunflowers in this! I would love to duplicate for my kitchenette table. Any ideas?

  17. The rug! How did you get the wrinkles out? It looks lovely in your updated pics. I just ordered one that will go in our great room then transition to the dining area as soon as I figure out what I want…

    1. Just time, Julie! They folds came out in a matter of a few weeks. I adore this rug. It has held up so so well!

  18. The whole room works together beautifully. And I am taking notes on your decorating ideas.

  19. I have several questions. Did you painted the top of the table gray or white. Did you use chalk paint and what is the name? Where you find the end table chairs? Did you reupholster the two end table chairs and what color you use for the nails? Is the back of the chair cover with another type of fabric? The guest chairs and side board you also use the chalk paint? After you use the chalk paint do you apply a sealer? I have not been able to find the lamp, is sold out. I will give it some time because I do not want a replacement. Most of everything else I found in the Alibaba.com website. This is a nice summer project.

    1. Hi Lillian, I did not paint anything in my dining room. Soon I will have a page on StoneGable that you can see everything I purchased for my home and where to get it. The chairs are here: https://rstyle.me/n/c6fk6gb6by7. The side chairs are no longer in stock, sorry! The top of the dining room table is concrete. The buffet can be found HERE: https://www.wayfair.com/furniture/pdp/lark-manor-saguenay-sideboard-lrkm3569.html./

      I love chalk paint and only use Amy Howard One Step. It’s the best in my book. If you use a wax finish you do not need to seal chalk paint.