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How to Style Mindfully :: A Modern Sideboard

Updated: Aug 20, 2020

One of the ways to create a mindful space is to style your furniture with items that connect with you on many different emotional levels.

In my 'Style with Mindfulness' approach, every item's characteristics like color, shape and/or texture should emote a positive reaction inside you when you think of it. It can be something that creates warmth in you because of its beauty, function, nostalgia or a combination of all. I used this approach while styling my sideboard that sits in my home office.

The process begins even before you feel you need to shop. It is about looking around your home and seeing if something you already own can serve a different purpose. I've owned this sideboard for about 5 years now and it was previously used as a TV console. I realized while designing my home office that it will serve me better as a storage furniture and a place to decorate with things that offer me some sort of soulful meaning and significance.


The top of the sideboard was the same white paint as the rest of the furniture but I missed having texture. I sanded the sideboard to give it a more used look. To me, it meant not only embracing imperfection but celebrating it.


This beautiful custom creation called 'Her Flame', reflects me in so many ways. Art is powerful in its ability to reach our soul within seconds. Having art that speaks to you in your space will help alleviate feelings of stress. In this styling, it is an instant reminder to look within and a take a moment to myself every time I enter the workspace.

I hung my artwork about 9 inches from the sideboard. You always want to keep the distance between the art and the surface below within 6-9 inches. Visually, it should occupy at least two-thirds of the length of the furniture.


Having a lamp match the scale of the other two pieces makes the overall look more cohesive. If we were to put a smaller one, it would get lost in the view. The texture and patina on the lamp base reminds us of the rugged terrains of the earth. It makes for a beautiful contrast against the art and draws the eye towards its details.


In a workspace, there is always plenty of items that needs organizing and proper storage. Instead of cluttering things on the desk or elsewhere, I found baskets that help maintain order and simplicity. Each basket is designated with specific such as materials samples, client project files and design books that I use regularly.


Creating groups of items when styling a long narrow furniture makes for interesting little vignettes with enough negative or empty space to give our eyes some rest in-between. Having emptiness visually implies a look that feels free of clutter.

I'd recommend keeping it to three groupings at most because we want to have enough space between the groups for a clean but airy look and feel.

Group 1:

The first group already has the lamp to begin with, adding objects like little vases or candlesticks in various sizes and shapes gives us a healthy variation. The combination of colors was intentional. Neutrals with a soft addition of terracotta pink feels soft yet sophisticated. Using colors that emote positively makes for a composition that never gets old.

The arrangement shows a gradual height progression from the tallest to the shortest item in the grouping. I usually keep the total number of items within four unless of course, they are books.

Group 2:

The second group is on the other end of the sideboard. This approach to do the ends firsts and then tackle the middle is a great way to build slowly and methodically. This grouping has a large terracotta pink container which is a great spot for some foraged branches. It is placed close to books that feature designers that I aspire to be. Having inspiration in different forms around, tends to keep us motivated.

Group 3:

I love bringing in a bit of playfulness to any space. Life and especially work can get too serious sometimes. Animals always bring a smile to my face. I don't have any particular fascination with birds except that they have the cutest little faces and spindly legs that balance a rather large body :). I added more texture next to the bird with mango wooden cups and a cedar tray to bring in more earthiness.


Foraging is a soulful activity that brings us close to nature. On a trip to towards a lush forest near where I live, I saw miles of tall grass framing my route. This grass, also called 'pampas' weren't intentionally grown but rather grew by themselves as weeds. Since they were sun-dried, they were already done in their life-cycle.

I was so glad to give them a second purpose as the natural element in my composition. Their beautiful long stems and soft feathery grass blades balance out the proportions of furniture and art so beautifully.

The whole composition is a soulful reflection of the things that offer a positive associations. Having a workspace that feels meaningful is just as important as how it looks. While styling with mindfulness, we are able to create a perfect bond between beauty, function and soulfulness.

The sideboard is part of my home office design, to check out more of that project, click here. I hope you enjoyed this post. Don't forget to subscribe so you get notified when I write my next post. I'd love to hear your thoughtsso comment below! You can reach me on Instagram @shastudioinc for lots more projects coming soon.

Have a lovely rest of your day!

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