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The Best Ways to Elegantly Use Your French Sideboard

The Best Ways to Elegantly Use Your French Sideboard

Nov 30th 2020

With the right vintage furniture pieces and the proper guidance, you can craft a beautiful arrangement throughout your home with ease. If you are concerned about the look of your dining room and want to incorporate an elegant French sideboard into the picture, you have found the perfect guide to help you accomplish this task.

A sideboard shouldn’t be treated as a mere fixture of your dining room. These pieces of furniture have a lot to offer in terms of style and functionality if you know how to utilize them. Not only are they exceptionally useful for storing important dinnerware items, they can also be used decoratively in a variety of ways.

If you have recently come into possession of a fine sideboard of your own, or if you have your eye on one of the beautiful pieces in our vintage furniture boutique and you would like to better understand how to utilize it in your home, this guide will help provide some inspiration and insight.

Why the French Style is so Appealing

The qualities of French style furniture make them ideal for creating stunning home arrangements. With an emphasis on floral carvings and other elements that call to nature, warm tones and colors, high-quality construction, and a bit of whimsical energy, these pieces are unmistakably elegant yet easily incorporated into most homes with a little forethought.

Designed mostly for relatively well-to-do but still down-to-earth households, French Provincial furniture has long been cherished by collectors of antiques for its high-quality designs that are as beautiful as they are practical. Not nearly as ornate and elaborately decorated as Parisian furniture of the era, the Provincial style captures a more sensible aesthetic while still managing to be quite elegant in its own right.

Its popularity as a home decor style is due in large part because of how natural these pieces look in most homes. Unless you are going for a completely modern, minimalist aesthetic, these pieces of antique furniture will allow you to easily create a warm and refined atmosphere in your home.

There are several clear benefits to investing in these kinds of furniture pieces for your home, not least of which is the quality in the construction. The pieces that typify the era were designed to last, with hardy woods and tough joints, they stand in stark contrast to what we’re used to seeing in many modern pieces of furniture. With beautiful solid wood construction and lovely hand-carved designs, French-style furniture simply provides instantaneous luxury that is hard to match.

French sideboards in particular are a treat if you intend on putting together a beautiful yet functional dining room. A well-crafted sideboard is not only useful in terms of storing fine china and utensils, but they can also be used artistically as well. In fact, depending on how you want your dining room to look, your sideboard may very well end up being the most artful element.

Arranging a Beautiful French Dining Room

Before trying to create a dining room look that works, you want to make sure your furniture pieces complement one another. If you own a French Provincial dining room set, the tone of the wood should match your sideboard. Matching the wood grain and decorative elements isn’t completely necessary but it does help tie a room together if you can create visual connections like this.

If you prefer the rustic or shabby chic look, you may not even have to worry about wood tone that much, as visual harmony will be created simply through all of the various whitewashed tones and distressing present throughout the room. If you need some guidance on how to match tones in your furniture, consider taking a look through our Instagram feed, where we routinely feature a variety of home designs that might give you the inspiration you need.

As for the actual positioning of your furniture, you want to keep in mind a few simple points when it comes to putting together a magnificent dining room. You want to find a happy medium between comfortable and spacious. While you don’t want your dining area to feel empty and unapproachable, you also want to avoid clutter and obstruction.

Your sideboard can either be a help or a hindrance here. If your dining room is too small to comfortably accommodate a sideboard, you may want to play around with the positioning of your table, eliminate a couple chairs, or forgo the sideboard in your dining room altogether. A cramped dining room is an unused dining room. No one is going to want to set a table, much less eat, in a room where they feel hemmed in.

French Provincial dining

One of the first rules you want to internalize when decorating your home is the importance of walkability and space. Just because a design or arrangement looks good on paper (or in a painting!) doesn’t mean it actually works well in real life. You want to make sure your dining room is easy to navigate and holds a welcoming atmosphere. One of the benefits of French Provincial furniture is that it naturally has a warm and inviting feel to it, but this can quickly become clunky and obtrusive if these pieces are placed too close together. When you are designing your dining room, think about freedom of movement and the artful use of space, which actually helps to highlight the furniture that is present.

Consider placing your sideboard behind the head of the dining table for a refined effect. This can be particularly artful if you place small ornate lamps or candelabra on the ends of the sideboard. Think about the way in which your sideboard decor can frame the head of the table, or help to amplify the decor you have placed in other parts of the room.

If you rather have your sideboard be placed off to the side, make sure there is plenty of room between your dining room chairs and the sideboard itself. Not only is this important for the simple practical purpose of being able to access your sideboard when you need it, no one likes to feel like they are “in the way” when sitting down for a meal. Ideally, when arranging the furniture in your dining room, you want to leave enough space so no one has to scootch their chair in just so you can grab an extra fork. Be mindful of the way in which you arrange your furniture and this will help you create a truly welcoming room that everyone loves.

With that being said, try and place your sideboard so that it lines up with the “middle” of your table, for a pleasantly balanced look. Either way, you probably don’t want to stuff your sideboard in a corner, which can make it hard to access it correctly and is generally unattractive. If you are trying to fill space in one of your dining room corners, consider an extra vintage dining chair or even a suitable armchair, which will not only look great but will also provide auxiliary seating if you’re having guests over.

The Perfect Place For Eye-Catching Decor

The final aspect of the design you should consider is what to place on your sideboard to help pull the room together. This is where you want to be creative and let your imagination carry you a little.

A sideboard or buffet can actually act as the highlight piece of your dining room if used correctly. Not only can you use an antique sideboard to tie the design elements of your other dining room furniture pieces together, but these pieces are the perfect place for creating interesting and fun decor arrangements that can set the mood or help to generate a more welcoming aesthetic.

Even if your vintage-style table is oversized, there’s really only so many different decor pieces you can highlight in the center without crowding it up and throwing off the balance of the room itself. A few candlesticks or a fruit bowl work well in this instance, but anything more would be a bit much.

However, you can think of your sideboard as a miniature stage where you can craft a small arrangement of decor worth highlighting. This is where sideboards as a furniture piece shine, because they are not only exquisite in their own right and rather functional as well, they are perfectly suited for artistic setups, to help you capture a true feeling of elegance in your home.

Here are just a few examples of how you can use decor items with your French sideboard:

●Use an attractive earthenware bowl full of fruit, surrounded by decorative vines or other floral elements.

●Two matching lamps that also match elements found in your dining chairs or other items you have present.

●If you are using whitewashed furniture, consider a white or pearl-colored tea set as an ever-present and useful decoration.

●Don’t shy away from rustic elements. This is the perfect place in your dining room for abstract wood art, flower vases, antique pottery, glass or bronze statuary, or even luxury perfume candles.

●Since this is the ideal location in most dining rooms to highlight certain items, you can use this space to help create a seasonal theme. Use fall leaves and decorative squash for simple autumn elegance, or some holly and wintery candles for an unmistakable holiday look.

●You can also utilize your sideboard to help frame the overall theme of the meal in question. Special lavish holiday dinner? Use your sideboard as a place to highlight your various side dishes or desserts. Having a small lunch with some friends? Your sideboard is an excellent sport for a serving tray and tea set. In this way you can make full use of the functionality of this piece while also enjoying its artfulness as well.

As you can see, a sideboard is an excellent way to show off your favorite decor items, whether it's china, candles, pottery, or plants, you won’t have any trouble using this space in an artful manner that also helps to create a stylish atmosphere throughout your dining room.

An antique French sideboard

Your Source For High-Quality French Furniture

Captivated by the thought of owning a beautiful antique French sideboard and want to know where you may find one? You are going to want to take a look through our furniture catalog here at Eloquence, where you will find an incredible selection of authentic vintage pieces as well as our meticulously crafted reproductions that would look great in any Provincial, farmhouse, or shabby chic setting.

When arranging your dining room, you want all of the pieces to feel connected by the same level of detail and quality, and that’s what you will find in our store. We make it easy to craft beautiful home arrangements through the use of high-quality furniture that holds the essence of luxury. Whether it’s an elegant sideboard or a matching whitewash dining table, you want to be able to find the right furniture pieces that can help you complete the look you are going for. No matter what room you are furnishing, you can be sure that we will have what you need to help your vision come to life.

You can see that with just a couple pieces of vintage-style furniture and a little bit of creativity, you can put together a truly stunning design for your dining room. We have additional resources if you are interested in decorating your whole home with shabby chic decor, and for more inspiration, you can simply take a look throughout our online store, which features an array of beautiful and inspiring designs that will help you.

For more information on our hand-picked furniture pieces or on our lovely re-designed items, you can easily reach us at 310-876-0661. We can help you discover which of our pieces is best for you and assist you with crafting a dining experience that you and your family will love. 

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