Sideboards and Buffets

Sideboards and buffets have been around since at least the time of the Renaissance and have been evolving ever since. These beautiful pieces of furniture add elegance or interest to your kitchen or dining room. With the vast selection available, a style that fits your décor can be found.

What is the difference between a sideboard and a buffet?

There really is no difference between a sideboard and buffet. Both have drawers, shelves, and compartments to provide whats needed at the dining table or the kitchen table, whether it's serveware, glassware, table linens, or bottles of wine. Food can also be served off of a sideboard or a buffet during buffet-style lunches or dinners. A crédence is a French Gothic sideboard, while a credenza is an Italian form of this furniture.

Can a sideboard or buffet have a hutch?

Some sideboards or buffets either come with hutches or can be fitted with one. Hutches, provide more storage space. Sideboards and buffets with hutches seem to be found in the kitchen more than they are in a formal dining room. One alternative to a hutch is a mirror that matches the buffet. Another idea is to fit a plate rack on top of the sideboard. This both stores your dinner plates and protects them.

Can a sideboard or buffet be placed in the living room?

A sideboard or buffet can definitely be placed in the living room. You may want to choose one that has drawers and cabinets that hide the dinner service. A sideboard in the living room can also double as a TV cabinet. Contemporary-style sideboards with sliding doors, simple lines, and slim, tapered feet can pull a contemporary living room together.

What is a tansu-style buffet?

Tansu is a style of cabinetry that was originally meant to be carried around. It originated in Japan around the late 17th century. Tansu cabinets are made of both hard woods, such as chestnut, and soft woods, such as pine, and are full of decorative hardware.

Can a sideboard be used as a bar?

There is no reason not to use a sideboard as a bar. Many types of modern sideboards and buffets come with cubby holes to hold bottles of wine. There is certainly storage space for glassware, stirrers, mixing glasses, and other accoutrements that go with a bar. The top of the buffet or sideboard is a perfect place to store decanters or to group bottles of liquor and cordials on silver or mirrored trays.

What is marquetry?

Marquetry is a type of furniture decoration where contrasting materials are arranged in a veneered surface to make a decoration that is flush with the surface. The material can be exotic, coloured woods or other materials, such as tortoiseshell or mother-of-pearl. This type of furniture decorating has been around since the Renaissance. A contemporary marquetry is often imitated. A sideboard or buffet with real marquetry is considered an heirloom.