Hang a round mirror.
"Used in the past to illuminate rooms by reflecting candlelight, convex mirrors are still relevant today, although not as functional," says Phoebe. "I love them because their shape softens the lines of a sideboard."
Use multiple light sources.
For pretty pools of light, place a pair of slender lamps (no more than 28 inches high) with appropriate shades on your sideboard. Also, hang a pair of unwired mirrored candle sconces close by. Phoebe says, "Nothing can replace the flattering glow of candlelight. Everyone loves to look good, especially during a party!"
Tuck in a stool.
A painted piece or one with modern lines can lighten up the look of dark wood furniture. It's also handy to pull up for an extra seat.
Add fresh greenery.
Phoebe places simple foliage plants (maidenhair fern and ivy are great options) in glass pots topped with moss. "Get into the habit of using real plants indoors," she says. "They last longer than flowers and are always in season."
Get the Look:
4" Maidenhair Fern $8.95/pot; greenwoodnursery.com
Luna Dos Mirror Sconce (VNG1108) by Venetian Gems, $249; wayfair.com
Serena Bench (UB018) in Gray over White, $379; ballarddesigns.com
Federal Round Mirror in Gold Leaf, 28" D, $575; 901/529-0844 for retailers
Kathryn Table Lamp 15" D × 27½" H, $219; crateandbarrel.com