We know the bar cart. We love the bar cart. We've chosen our go-to style (mixed metal, marble tops, built-in wine racks!) and filled it with our favorite liquors and tchotchkes. We've hosted many a shindig with our trusty bar cart by our side. It's served us well these past few years, but we've got our eyes on something else this season: the sideboard.
Kelley Mason, the stylist at one of our favorite furniture stores, Lulu & Georgia, said it best.
"We’re all familiar with the bar cart—we’ve styled them, we’ve Instagrammed them, we’ve rearranged them, and then we’ve Instagrammed them again," Mason says. "We don’t know about you, but we’re ready for something new. We still love a bar that’s displayed for guests to see (how festive!) but we’ve moved it over to a sideboard."
Meet the Expert
Kelley Mason has been a stylist at Lulu & Georgia since 2019. She's previously styled for Lamps Plus and held merchandising roles at Forever 21 and Macy's.
Though sideboards are nothing new in the design world (they've been around since the late 1770's), we'd be remiss to not appreciate the newer versions we've seen lately, complete with modern wood detailing, bohemian vibes, and even sleek lacquer finishes. The variations in style as well as the extra hidden storage space makes the sideboard a worthy contender for the best at-home bar setup.
"Bar carts are small and most of the time not very sturdy," Mason says. "A sideboard can stash all of your hosting essentials inside and all of your pretty bar pieces on the top. Plus, if you decide you don’t need a bar anymore, it’s a versatile piece that easily transitions to any spot in your home."
One of the many pros of the sideboard is its versatility. From an at-home bar to a storage unit, this piece does it all.
"If you want it to be a bar for a few months and then house a collection of vintage ceramics the next, fine by us," Mason says. "What we love most about using a sideboard as a bar is that you can stash extras in the cupboards. Perfect for napkins, tablecloths, extra glassware, and even a small trash can."
A sideboard can stash all of your hosting essentials inside and all of your pretty bar pieces on the top. Plus, if you decide you don’t need a bar anymore, it’s a versatile piece that easily transitions to any spot in your home.
Though your small space may seem better suited for a bar cart, there's still a sideboard that can work for you, Mason assures us.
"Anything with storage below and a cleanable surface works great." Mason recommends. "Just choose the piece that best fits your space - it doesn’t have to be huge."
When styling a bar, pair items into collected groupings and always include a bowl of fruit or a touch of greenery to keep everything feeling fresh and add some life to the space.
"Liquor and libations, glassware, and cocktail accessories are a good place to start," Mason says. "From there, incorporate a tray to differentiate your groups or use a small stack of books to add height."
Ready for an upgrade? Scroll through our picks for the best sideboards to shop now.