10 Fresh Style Ideas on Decorating a Dining Room Buffet

how to decorate a dining room buffet // dining room buffet decor // dining room buffet styling // dining room wall decor // www.tantrumsandtools.com

If you’re wondering how to decorate a dining room buffet, then you already know that the dining table doesn’t need to be the focal point of the room and a dining room sideboard is a perfect place to add decor.

Thinking this sounds expensive? It doesn’t have to be! You can easily turn any piece of furniture into a dining room buffet. I’ve refinished an old dresser to look like an apothecary cabinet, making it the perfect buffet table. I’ve also used a farmhouse-style cabinet and turned that into a buffet. 

Thinking styling buffet decor sounds hard? It’s not! You can’t go wrong with these 10 fresh style ideas on how to decorate a dining room buffet.


Just a friendly reminder: This tutorial and any opinions or recommendations are genuinely mine, but this is not a substitute for consulting a professional. I also use affiliate links to earn a commission.


How to Decorate a Dining Room Buffet

Styling a dining room buffet table is easy when you use any combination of these decor ideas. Keep reading for more details on the different ways to use each of these on a dining room buffet.

  1. Large Mirror
  2. Mini Cocktail Bar
  3. Table Lamp
  4. Oversized Art
  5. Greenery
  6. Glassware
  7. Sculptural Piece
  8. Candles
  9. Open Shelving
  10. Serving Station

How to Decorate a Dining Room Buffet with a Large Mirror

A large mirror above the buffet is the best way to maximize lighting, especially in a smaller or darker space. The mirror should be on the larger size and balanced with the size of your dining buffet. Don’t go so small that the mirror gets lost behind your buffet decor, and don’t go so large that the sides of the mirror extend beyond the buffet sides.

Have you considered a vintage mirror? They complement dining room buffet decor, especially when your dining area is a little more formal. Vintage mirrors are so beautiful; they don’t make things the same today! My all-time favorite vintage mirror was made of real wood, had that gorgeous antiqued glass, and had the most unique curves. The best part about it was that I paid $5 for it at a barn sale! A little patience and shopping around definitely paid off.

Turn Your Dining Room Buffet into a Mini Cocktail Bar

I currently have my dining room buffet decorated using these first two tips, and it’s working out fantastically! I’m so happy with how these two decor ideas work together. As I mentioned, my dining buffet is relatively small due to the window layout and corner hutch; only a little wall space was left. The tricky part of this new buffet was the decor on top of the buffet also needed to be functional yet pretty. 

A while back, I was gifted a gorgeous antique wine bottle opener. But the problem with the piece is it’s a tall item, and the base is a little bulky. So, having the top of the buffet as a blank canvas, I decided why not try the wine opened on there. It turned out it was perfect! I moved the wine open to the far-left corner of the buffet, and the height of it balanced out the space perfectly since over to the far right of the room was our corner cabinet.

From here, I decided to stick with the adult beverage theme and style our dining room buffet as a mini cocktail bar. To the right of the buffet, I added greenery, a bottle of wine, and a candle and set all of these on a round marble serving platter.

One of my favorite things about having a mini cocktail bar in our dining room is how convenient it is to prepare and serve after-dinner drinks. It’s so handy when we’re entertaining to stay in the room because all the wine glasses and other cocktail-making supplies are right inside our mini cocktail buffet cabinet.

How to Use Lighting as Dining Room Buffet Decor

If you know me, you know how much I hate overhead lighting. I’m not sure if I was a vampire in another life, but either way, I loooove me some ambient lighting. And it just so happens that adding a table lamp looks great on the side of the buffet. Lamps are another functional yet pretty item because they have a purpose (providing light), and they are a great way to add height and act as a decorative piece when not in use.

I use the lamp on my dining buffet nightly and look forward to it! It’s become part of my evening routine. I come home, get out of my work clothes, switch on the dining lamp, and pour myself a glass of wine. It’s the perfect amount of light to work, but not so much that I can not unwind. My tip is to use a vintage low-watt light bulb to give the softest glow when turned on at night. It is so cozy and welcoming.

How to Use a Wall Art Piece as Dining Room Buffet Decor

how to decorate a dining room buffet // dining room buffet decor // dining room buffet styling // dining room wall decor // www.tantrumsandtools.com

Another option for dining room buffet decor is an oversized piece of art. A large painting is a great option if you want to avoid a mirror behind your buffet. The other great thing about a wall art piece is it’s an easy way to add a pop of color to the space! 

The right size artwork above a dining room buffet should be just a few inches shorter than the entire buffet, and the height should be enough to cover a good portion of the remaining wall space. The taller you go, the more it will draw your eye upward.

How to Decorate a Dining Room Buffet with Greenery

Greenery is a decor staple. If you’ve ever decorated a space and felt something was missing, I’m willing to bet there was no greenery! Plants are a great addition because they provide the perfect pop of color and texture and bring that natural element into the room.

Every room needs greenery and decorating your dining room buffet is no exception! What’s so great about using greenery for decor is that tall plants are the easiest way to balance the height of a space. You can place plants on the ground next to the buffet or find something smaller to use on the top of the buffet. 

Since there is a ton of natural light in my dining space, I can easily use real plants; however, if you don’t have a decent amount of light, faux plants work just as well! I have a mix of real and fake greenery throughout every room in my house, and honestly, it’s hard to tell the difference between the two at times. 

Tips for Finding Faux Greenery

Finding faux greenery takes a little practice; I remember the first fake tree I bought; I was so excited because it seemed like such a great price. Well, you pay for what you get. It was hideous and looked so unnatural that it actually made the room look worse. It looked so bad because the leaves were a brighter green than what you’d expect from a real plan.

There were also these white lines that were supposed to be the veins in the leaves, but instead, they just looked like white painted lines. The other dead giveaway that this plant was fake was its shiny finish; it looked like plastic and not a plant. When I’m shopping for this type of decor make sure to look at the leaves, their coloring, and how full the plant is. These are the things that help to make your plant look realistic.

Using Glassware as Dining Room Buffet Decor

The term glassware is pretty general, but you truly can turn any glass container into a piece of decor. Take my dining room, for example; the extra storage space in our dining room buffet and corner cabinet is needed because our kitchen is too small. So, all our serving platters, fancier utensils, and entertaining bowls are kept in these two dining room cabinets because we only really use them for dinner parties. 

The trick is that the corner cabinet has glass doors, so whatever we put inside the cabinet also functions as decor. And the same goes for the top of a dining room buffet; anything you put there doubles as decor. But that’s the beauty of glassware! When correctly organized and stacked, glassware makes beautiful decor. The best part may be how this type of decor is so budget-friendly because you’re using the things you already have (and need to find a place to keep them) to decorate.

How to Decorate a Dining Room Buffet Using a Sculptural Piece

A sculpture piece as dining room buffet decor is a fun way to decorate your dining room buffet. Something abstract would work well for a more modern space. Or if vintage is more your style, I’m willing to bet you can easily find a cool sculpture next time you’re out thrifting.

When adding a sculpture piece to your dining buffet, you’ll need to consider the size and scale of the item. Finding a taller sculpture is a great way to add height to one side of the buffet, similar to how I used my vintage wine opener. Then, using odd numbers, and drawing from the other items in this post, find two shorter items to form the decorative triangle.

How to Decorate a Dining Room Buffet with Candles

I don’t care what some people think about burning candles; I love them. All the different shapes, sizes, and endless amounts of pretty containers just make my little decorative heart flutter. They are a fantastic way to create ambiance and are my go-to decorative piece when looking for a smaller or shorter item to finish the decorative triangle. I also love to swap out my candles for every season, especially during the holidays, because burning my Pine candle makes the whole house smell like Christmas.

Try pillar candles or tapered candle sticks if jarred candles are not your thing. These are two other great options because they come in various sizes and colors. There are some really gorgeous, tapered candle stick holders available. If you’re not buying a set, make sure to go for varied heights when you buy them. 

How to Decorate a Dining Room Buffet Using Open Shelves

Open shelves above your dining room buffet are an easy way to add height and dimension to the space. They are wonderful because they provide additional storage – they are the perfect opportunity to displace glass wear, special China, or other trinkets that have meaning to you. Another great option is to add open shelves above your mini cocktail bar and use these for additional wine and liquor containers and different drink glasses.

Turn Your Dining Room Buffet into a Serving Station

If you love to eat family style, you know where food is presented on large platters where everyone serves themself, but the problem is there is never enough space on the dining room table to put all these different platters. The need for a surface to set serving platters is where using your dining room buffet as a serving station is a great idea! 

The top surface of your buffet does not have to be over-decorated – leaving blank space between the decor is actually quite useful. To use your buffet as a serving station and still have a decorative element, strategically style your decorations to the back and sides. Doing so leaves enough room for the overflow of plates and platters needed when entertaining or eating family-style.

How to Decorate a Dining Room Buffet to be Functional Yet Pretty

Functional yet pretty is my home decorating motto, especially since we have a large family in a not-so-large house. I recently re- did our dining room and added a small buffet which followed my exact motto. The top of the buffet was for the pretty, and the lower portion was a cabinet with ample storage, so there was the functional aspect of the buffet.

I hated decorating open shelving, centerpieces, or other surfaces like a dining room buffet table. That is until I figured out how to use the tricks and that there is nothing wrong with trial and error. You’ve heard these decorating tips before, and they are easy to implement. My best advice is to keep it simple and not overthink things!

The decorating tricks I used for my dining room buffet were the visual triangles using items in different heights. I put the tallest item in the back and shorter items in the front. The other important key to decorating my dining room buffet was that each group of objects was odd numbers; I prefer three.

The way the windows are positioned in my dining room made it so only a small buffet would fit, but every dining room needs a buffet, so I found a smaller piece of furniture that would work. With the smaller size of this buffet, I could have two different sections of decorative items, but if you have a larger buffet, you should fit more like three and possibly four groups.


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