What is a Sideboard? Uses, Styles, and Benefits

What is a Sideboard

A sideboard is a versatile piece of furniture commonly found in dining rooms or living spaces, providing both storage and serving functions. Its purpose extends beyond mere storage, often serving as a stylish accent piece that complements the decor of a room. Sideboards come in various styles, ranging from traditional to modern, allowing them to seamlessly integrate into different interior design themes.

Apart from its aesthetic appeal, a sideboard offers several practical benefits. With ample storage space typically consisting of drawers, shelves, and cabinets, it provides an organized solution for stowing away dining essentials, tableware, linens, and other items. Additionally, the flat top surface of a sideboard serves as a convenient area for displaying decorative objects, artwork, or serving dishes during gatherings, enhancing both functionality and visual appeal.

What Is a Sideboard?

A sideboard is a piece of furniture traditionally used in the dining room for serving food, displaying serving dishes, and for storage. It usually consists of a set of cabinets, or cupboards, although it can have drawers, all topped by a wooden surface for conveniently holding foods, serving dishes, or lighting devices. The main purpose of a sideboard is to provide additional surface space for holding food and serving dishes.

what is a sideboard

What Are the Types of Sideboards?

Types of sideboards include traditional, modern, antique, Scandinavian, minimalist, mirrored, mid-century, and farmhouse styles.

Here are the 10 types of sideboards:

  1. Traditional Sideboard: This type of sideboard embodies classic style with intricate detailing and ornate features, often reminiscent of historical periods.
  2. Modern Sideboard: These sideboards are characterized by clean lines, minimalist aesthetics, and a focus on functionality, making them suitable for contemporary spaces.
  3. Antique Sideboard: This category of sideboard exudes vintage charm, showcasing the craftsmanship and design sensibilities of the era.
  4. Wooden Sideboard: Wooden sideboards are timeless, adding a dash of elegance to any room, and can be made from various types of wood such as oak, mango, mahogany, and walnut.
  5. Industrial Cabinet: Industrial cabinets and sideboards are characterized by their rugged industrial look, often featuring metal frames and wood.
  6. Classic Style Sideboard: Classic style sideboards are firmly rooted in traditional design, featuring classic craftsmanship, warmth, and attention to detail.
  7. Luxury Wooden Sideboard: Luxury wooden sideboards are high-end pieces, often featuring premium wood and intricate designs, adding a touch of sophistication to any room.
  8. Contemporary Sideboard: Contemporary sideboards are modern and sleek, often featuring bold designs, unique materials, and cutting-edge functionalities.
  9. Mid-Century Modern Sideboard: Mid-century modern sideboards are characterized by their retro aesthetic, clean lines, and an emphasis on functionality.
  10. Hutch Sideboard: Hutch sideboards are versatile and practical, often featuring a combination of cabinets, drawers, and shelves to provide ample storage and display space.

What Is the Sideboard Used For?

uses of sideboard

A sideboard is used for storage and display and is often placed against a wall. Sideboards have various usages, such as serving buffet meals, as a bar or drink station, and for decorative display. 

Here are 8 common usages of sideboards:

  1. Storing items: Sideboards are used for storing dining ware, cutlery, table linens, and plates in a dining room. 
  2. Displaying items: Sideboards are used for displaying serving dishes, and for serving food.
  3. Providing additional storage space: Sideboards provide additional storage space for miscellaneous objects, electronics, mail, and keys.
  4. Serving as a buffet table: Sideboards can be used as a buffet for serving food in a living room or room.
  5. Holding electronics: Sideboards can be used to store electronics, such as TVs, sound systems, and other devices.
  6. Serving as a credenza: Sideboards can be used as a credenza for storing office supplies and equipment.
  7. Providing a surface for decorations: Sideboards can be used as a surface for decorative displays, such as vases, plants, and other decorative items.
  8. Serving as a dessert station: Sideboards can be used as a dessert station for serving desserts and other sweet treats.
  9. Providing a convenient area for serving food: Sideboards provide a convenient area for serving food, holding serving dishes, and displaying food.

How to Make a Sideboard Look Good?

To make a sideboard look good, start by considering the style and theme of the room it will be in. Choose a sideboard that complements the room’s decor, taking into account factors such as the color, material, and design. Next, think about the items you want to display on the sideboard, ensuring they are visually appealing and create a cohesive look.

Balance the display with decorative objects, such as vases, sticks, and boxes, to add visual interest. Consider the height and scale of the items, creating a visually appealing arrangement. Add some greenery, such as a potted plant or a botanical print, to bring in a natural element. And don’t forget to leave some negative space to avoid cluttering the sideboard.

What Are the Benefits of Sideboards?

Discover the advantages of incorporating a sideboard into your home decor, from maximizing storage space to adding timeless elegance, here are 10 benefits of sideboards:

  1. Maximizes Storage Space: Efficiently organizes belongings, minimizing clutter and creating a more organized living space.
  2. Enhances Decor: Adds a touch of elegance and sophistication, elevating the overall aesthetic appeal of the room.
  3. Adds Versatility: Adapts to various interior design styles, seamlessly integrating into different aesthetics.
  4. Provides Additional Serving Space: Ideal for entertaining guests, sideboards provide additional surfaces for serving food and drinks during gatherings.
  5. Increases Storage Capacity: Offers ample concealed storage, helping maintain a clutter-free environment.
  6. Serves as a Workspace: Serves as a practical addition to a home office, offering storage for documents, supplies, and office essentials.
  7. Adds Flexibility: Empowers greater flexibility in rearrangement, as their versatile design allows them to transition into nearly any room seamlessly.
  8. Improves Organization: Enhances bedroom organization by providing additional storage space for clothing, linens, and personal items.
  9. Creates a Focal Point: It welcomes guests with a practical and stylish focal point for everyday essentials.
  10. Elevates Interior Design: Elevates the beauty of the room, making it look more organized, elegant, and sophisticated.

These benefits highlight the importance of sideboards in enhancing the functionality and aesthetic appeal of a room.

Where Can I Use a Sideboard?

Sideboards can be used in various ways, including as a statement piece in the living room, as an at-home bar, for extra dining room storage, as a way to add personality to bedrooms, and for decorative hallway storage.

  • A statement piece in the living room, sideboards can help to finish off a living room look with little needed. Sideboards create a focal point that draws the eye towards that area and helps to tie together the rest of the room cohesively.
  • As an at-home, providing plenty of storage space for bottles, barware, and styling can be made easy by incorporating decorative trays.
  • For dining room storage, sideboards can provide a place for storing tableware, bowls, and extra cutlery and can be used to display signature pieces on top.
  • It can also add personality to bedrooms, sideboards can make great places to both store items and add personality into the bedroom through styling choices on top.
  • For decorative hallway storage, a wide sideboard might be the addition needed to make a better first impression.

What Do People Put on Sideboards?

You can put one art piece above the sideboard that complements the insets, plus a single impactful piece sitting on top.

Sideboards serve as efficient storage solutions for dining necessities, such as cutlery, porcelain, linens, and flatware. They also accommodate candles, matches, placemats, and glassware.

You can also put lighting, such as lamps or candles, to create soft pools of low light and accentuate your sideboard decor ideas.

In addition, mirrors, antiqued glass, or intricately framed ones, can add drama and double the visual impact of any sideboard decor ideas you’re showcasing, particularly in smaller or dimly lit spaces.

Lastly, art hung centrally above a sideboard or positioned centrally behind a dining table can establish a focal point that encompasses the entire area.

Sideboard vs. Buffet vs. Credenza vs. Hutch

The main difference between sideboard, buffet, credenza, and Hutch furniture pieces lies in their design and functionality. A buffet typically has longer legs, while a sideboard has shorter legs or no legs at all. A credenza resembles a sideboard but often features more glass in its cabinet. A hutch, on the other hand, is a tall, multi-level storage unit typically consisting of a lower cabinet and an upper cabinet with glass doors.

Sideboard Buffet Credenza Hutch
Often has legs, a taller frame, and is used in multiple rooms Similar to a sideboard, but larger, and typically used in dining rooms Lower to the ground, no or short legs, more formal, and used in multiple rooms Large, full-sized cabinet, extra storage on top, and often has low open shelving or tall storage with doors
Used for storage and serving, can be placed in dining rooms, entryways, or kitchens Used for serving and storing food, typically in dining rooms Used for storage and serving, often in formal settings, and can be in multiple rooms Provides additional storage on top of a buffet or sideboard, and can be used in multiple rooms
Generally smaller than buff, with more emphasis on style Larger than sideboards, with a focus on functionality Smaller and more formal-looking, often with shelving Taller and larger, with extra storage capabilities

Can a Sideboard Be Longer than A Dining Table?

No, a sideboard should not be longer than a dining table ideally, it should be proportional to the table length.

Can Sideboard Be Used as TV Stands?

Yes, sideboards can be used as TV stands, so long as the sideboard has the correct surface area to house the TV securely, and the height is comfortable for viewing.

Can You Put a Sideboard in A Bedroom?

Yes, a sideboard can be a great addition to a bedroom, providing extra storage space for items such as bedding, linens, books, or clothes, and adding elegance to the room.