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New sideboard....your thoughts: Will this look rubbish?

June 11, 2019
last modified: June 11, 2019

I am considering adding a built-in sideboard against the wall in our dining area, adjacent to the dining table. At the moment it is just a blank wall. I'm worried it's going to look like one big massive wall of cupboards going from the kitchen continuing into the dining area...like excessively cupboardy. What do you think? I thought perhaps I'd do the sideboard in a timber finish at least - to contrast with the white kitchen finish we already have. Will it look okay? Or too much cupboards? Suggestions to improve the transition from kitchen to dining area perhaps?

Comments (23)

  • herbflavor

    it requires care to detail/proportion and other aesthetics. Might be good, but my initial reaction was.....what is going on with the wall in the kitchen with the corner open shelves and then the two columns, the bridged area across and the cubby hole in the middle? what ever that is....for the dining zone- I would select a buffet or counter height coming from the kitchen area , continue with that, and one vertical column at the window end w glass doors etc., generally. Too much vertical mass between the two rooms on the one wall. Maybe go back to the kitchen corner and put cabinets starting there and continue for as many wall cabs as you need, then start to think about free up the wall as you get down near dining zone and on. Its just too much , the way it shows.....but yes.....using the wall is fine for something. Can you carefully refine the kitchen part with this in mind...maybe do dining area later. IF YOU WANT TO FILL THE ENTIRE wall between kitchen and dining it has to work together better.... this is all planning..do you have someone helping w your design,generally?For example the abrupt end of surface finish in kitchen and change in dining room can be improved with integrating the two finishes along the entire wall...Or one finish but use more glass doors and your open shelves on wall between both areas instead of way over in the corner. WAYS to do it.

    plecostomus thanked herbflavor
  • shirlpp

    It looks like too much. Can you add storage to the island? If you need the storage then don't take it up the wall, just on the bottom, otherwise just purchase a long buffet.

    plecostomus thanked shirlpp
  • catliesl

    Although you're concerned about creating one massive wall of cupboards, I think the space you are designing is so close to the kitchen that the materials/colors used for the sideboard really should flow from the kitchen. My sense is that an abrupt change in materials will actually create the illusion of MORE cabinetry, rather than less, and it could create a heavy look.

    Aside from the color/materials issue, adding a built-in seems like a great use of that space. It looks like it will anchor and define the dining space nicely.

    plecostomus thanked catliesl
  • Sammy

    I like it; not too “cupboardy” at all.

    plecostomus thanked Sammy
  • elunia

    EAST 79TH · More Info

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  • felizlady

    Dining room storage is always a good idea, but it does not need to be built-in. If you think built-ins will look too monolithic adjacent to your kitchen, simply purchase a freestanding buffet cabinet with storage doors and drawers. If the buffet has legs, it will appear less bulky.
    Best deal: you can take it with you when/if you move.

    plecostomus thanked felizlady
  • PRO
    Norwood Architects

    First of all, let me congratulate you on coming up with the word "cupboardy"! That is an awesome new word that should be added to Websters. Second, I don't like the space between the kitchen cabinets and the new built-in. If you are gonna do it I suggest go all in and make the entire wall a bank of cabinetry using the same materials and colors. You can design the built-in portion as you like with display space, etc. You could make the built-in portion less deep (as it looks like you may have in your model). Does the cabinet supplier you are using have a designer on staff who could assist you with the design? Good luck on whatever you choose!

    plecostomus thanked Norwood Architects
  • shirlpp

    Ummmm...Norwood A:



    (comparative more cupboardy, superlative most cupboardy)

    1. (rare) Cupboardlike: for example small, fusty or poorly lit.
    2. (archaic) Associated with cupboard love.


    cupboard +‎ -y

    plecostomus thanked shirlpp
  • jbtanyderi

    Do your best to match the wood tone of the dining furniture. Use glass doors on at least the central part of the upper cabinets.

    plecostomus thanked jbtanyderi
  • salex

    The gap between the two sets/types of cupboards looks weird, at least in the schematic. Can you add a narrow tall cabinet (e.g., a side-accessed broom closet, if you need such a thing) to the kitchen side to fill in the gap?

    plecostomus thanked salex
  • ljptwt7

    I think the suggestions to continue with same materials in kitchen have been good BUT I think a free standing unit would define the area better. I would want to have a "dining room" rather than extension of kitchen. What I would do is find an old, interesting, well made piece at a thrift store and chalk paint it in a color I love and wax it.
    It depends on what look you are trying to achieve.

    plecostomus thanked ljptwt7
  • Casamacho

    I'd keep the built-in lowers in the dining room but take out all those uppers, add long rustic shelving above the console instead! I'd do cabinets in the kitchen instead of shelving there.

    plecostomus thanked Casamacho
  • beckysharp Reinstate SW Unconditionally

    This recent kitchen reveal might provide some ideas and inspiration,


    plecostomus thanked beckysharp Reinstate SW Unconditionally
  • Pam A

    I agree with CasaMacho and FelizLady. If you put the thing on feet it will look more spacious and less heavy in the room. And if you forgo the upper cabinets in the dining room you can use attractive shelves or plate racks for displaying china or serving pieces.

    I hear you on having the color be different between the kitchen cabinets and the dining room. But I also imagine you'd want a counter in the dining room and that could match the kitchen (you might wind up with a leftover piece that is big enough to do this from the same counter material you use in the kitchen). That makes life harder in some ways because you'd be looking for a counter material that looks great in two different rooms, with two different kinds of light & different cabinet finishes. It's not impossible - just might mean more trips to more stoneyards to find the right thing. But if you are going with white cabinets in the kitchen it will be easier (white is so cooperative about working with different counters).

    plecostomus thanked Pam A
  • ilesliemy

    I would get rid of the open shelves and built upper cabinets if you need more storage and go with an attractive buffet in the dining room.

    plecostomus thanked ilesliemy
  • functionthenlook

    There is such a thing as too much storage? I did the exact same thing in my last house. I extended the same kitchen cabinets behind the kitchen table. Only I used upper cabinets for the bottom and top with the same counter. I loved the extra storage and the look.

    plecostomus thanked functionthenlook
  • chantelle1

    I agree with all the comments about making the cabinets all one color, finish. Being that the "dining room" isn't really a room it needs to be grounded by being either cohesive with the living room or the kitchen. And since it's an extension of the kitchen by extending the shelving deep into the dining room with all the same cabinets it would give the whole area the effect of being one unit. I would maybe nix the tall unit to the left and extend the lower unit all the way to the tall unit in the kitchen. Making a long lower surface then adding a wider taller unit to the right at the far end wall to include the space lost by nixing the 2nd tall unit. This will make it look more intentional because of that beam along the top. I would also extend the counter top material onto the top of the side board as well to finish up the singular look. And if you are looking for some display space do the floating shelf look between the two taller units with a mirror behind to give it more depth.

  • plecostomus

    Wow! I'm blown away by all the replies! I'm also pleased to hear that some approve of my coining of a new adjective :-)

    Given the differing views I realise now a photo will make it much easier for people to make a recommendation. Behold...our work-in-progress....

    Note the table is currently left-of-center. I feel like this just doesn't look right. So I suppose the first question is - do you agree that it looks a bit lousy not-centered?

    Assuming you do, then my thought was to remove the corner unit, center the table, add a nice pendant light over it, and then add some kind of sideboard/buffet for storage space.

    PS. It won't be difficult to fill that gap in the kitchen cabinets (just right of the pole in the photo) with another matching white cabinet if needed.

    Your thoughts...?

  • chantelle1

    Plecostomus, I agree that the corner unit throws off the balance. And I do think that centering with a pendant light would look great. Seeing the actual picture now I completely think that you need a sideboard along that wall. I would leave off the taller unit at the end though I think it would cut off the length of the wall making it look less roomy. Unless you really need the storage. It should be a white unit from the kitchen cabinet straight through the dining room wall for sure though. It will totally open up that space and make it one cohesive area I think you will be really surprised at how big the whole area will look even by putting that unit along that wall.

    plecostomus thanked chantelle1
  • OneRidgeOff

    One of the members here, Helen, did something similar, she used the same cabinet style continuously into the adjoining dining. Don’t think she has done a reveal thread but found a few pictures on a recent thread, other topic thread so scroll down a bit


    plecostomus thanked OneRidgeOff
  • plecostomus

    How does this look? I've added another floor to ceiling cabinet to fill the last of the kitchen "area", then put a buffet along the wall. A pendant will be added too, and probably a painting or something decorative on the wall above the buffet.

  • chantelle1

    I LOVE it!! I think it is going to really look amazing! And feel so much bigger. <3

    plecostomus thanked chantelle1
  • PRO
    JudyG Designs

    In late, but I love your first idea. Here is an inspiratiion photo for you…cabinets white, but with more glass than your drawing shows, wallsand wall in cabinet niche the same color.

    plecostomus thanked JudyG Designs

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