what is a sideboard

What is a sideboard? 

There are two pieces of furniture that are essential to every dining area, and of course those are the dining table and dining chairs. Whether you have a dedicated dining room or you’re eating your meals in the kitchen, or both, you naturally need a table and chairs to see you through breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but there are plenty of other furniture pieces you can add to bring extra practical appeal to your space and tie the decor together. 

One of the best additions you can bring to your dining area is a sideboard. But what is a sideboard, exactly? What is its purpose and what is a sideboard used for? How do you choose one to go with your dining table and chairs, and how do you style it within your dining space? We’ll answer all these questions and more; read on for our guide to the best sideboards for your dining room.  

What is a sideboard? 

A sideboard is a convenient, stylish, and functional addition to your dining area. But before you can consider the best sideboards for your dining room, you need to know exactly what this useful piece of furniture is. A sideboard is a long piece of furniture that is part table and part dresser, similar to a console table or TV unit, that can be used for storage, display, or holding extra plates or dishes at mealtimes. 

Sideboards are also sometimes called buffets, buffet tables, or credenzas. While there are minor differences between each of these furniture types, you will often see them used interchangeably, so when you’re shopping for your new sideboard, you might see any of these terms used to describe what you are looking for. 

What is a sideboard used for? 

Your sideboard can serve a number of functions in your dining room or even in your kitchen. For one thing, a room can look empty if it only has a dining table and chairs in the centre, with no other furniture to complete the look. A sideboard can add a coordinated accent to the room and help to fill out the space. 

Sideboards are also perfect for special occasion meals and entertaining guests. Whether it’s a dinner party or a holiday feast, sometimes there’s just not enough space on your dinner table for all of the serving trays and dishes. By adding a sideboard to your mealtime setup, you can set platters out of the way as needed and keep your dining table from getting too cluttered. 

When you’re not serving a meal, or when you want to add a few extra details to your dining room decor, a sideboard is a lovely place to display trinkets, candle holders, and the like. And many sideboards also come with built-in storage drawers or cabinets that will give you a place to organise extra plates, special occasion glassware, and so on. 

How big should a sideboard be?

When you’re choosing a sideboard for your dining room, you want to make sure it gives you enough space to maneuver between the two. Make sure that whatever sideboard you choose allows for enough room between the sideboard and the dining chairs, even when they are pushed back from the table.

Additionally, a consideration to make when buying sideboards is to ensure it fits proportionally with your dining table. A very large sideboard will not be suited for a compact, two-person round dining table and similarly, if you have a spacious dining table intended to seat eight or more, you’ll want an appropriately stately sideboard to match. 

Sideboards will often be slightly taller than your dining table, making them comfortable to serve food from. However, a sideboard can be the same height or even a little bit shorter than your dining table if that fits your decor preferences. Just don’t choose a sideboard that is too low or it will be a hassle to use as a serving area, and will look out of proportion with your dining table. 

What style should a sideboard be? 

As with choosing the correct size for a sideboard, your sideboard’s style should match or at least coordinate with the style of your dining table and chairs. In many cases, you can choose a sideboard that is from the same range as your other dining room furniture and create a perfect set.

However, you can also use your sideboard to add visual interest to the space. For example, if you have opted for a minimalist dining table with a simple wooden design and natural finish, you could add a painted sideboard for a pop of colour. Or choose a sideboard with mirrored doors to catch the light and bring a touch of glamour to your space. 

The size of your dining area and whether you want to use the sideboard for storage can also help to decide on the ideal style of sideboard you should buy. Most sideboards come with some sort of storage in the form of drawers or shelves, and some also have an upper hutch section on their top, so the amount that you want to store within them or the pieces that you want to display can inform your choices in terms of configuration. 

Find a collection of stylish sideboards at Corcoran’s

With options ranging from rustic and farmhouse-inspired, to classic and elegant, to chic and modern, now that you know what a sideboard is and why you need one for your dining area, you can shop a gorgeous array of options here at Corcoran’s. 

Find the perfect sideboard to suit your space online, or visit us in-store and select a sideboard that fits your kitchen or dining room. Need help choosing? Our sales team are always happy to assist. Set your home up for mealtime success with a sideboard that will finish the space in beautiful and functional style. 

Lauren Mateer

Lauren Mateer

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