What is a Sideboard?
Resting against the wall, mostly in the dining room, and in traditional kitchens, the sideboard was originally used as a tabletop for food that was meant to be self-served. In the early days, these were rather long pieces of furniture and were also referred to like the buffet. However, with smaller dwellings, space has become a constraint and this can be seen in the new versions of the sideboard. Typically designed to act both as a tabletop and storage, sideboards are now shorter in length and have drawers to stow away cutlery and crockery, table cloths, napkins, etc. Most sideboard designs today feature short legs, allowing the drawers to go right down to the floor level. They are generally between 34 and 36 inches in height to allow food to be served on the top.
The utility of a Sideboard
In order to be functional as well as an integral part of home décor, sideboards have evolved over the ages – from the highly ornate to the extremely modern. While modular kitchen cabinets have increased storage in the kitchen, the sideboard acts both as storage and a tabletop. Designed with maximum storage potential, the sideboard still remains a popular furniture feature in most homes. However, given the large variety of sideboards available, homeowners need to figure out which sideboard would work best for them. This needs a number of factors to be taken into consideration.
Factors to Consider Before Purchasing a Sideboard
While we all have our personal tastes and choices with regard to furniture and fixtures in our homes, sometimes it helps to take the advice of experts/interior designers to ensure that we do not end up with a clash of styles. A great deal of thought and understanding is required in the selection or designing of furniture in the house. Factors like style, material, size, and colors play a big role in selecting the right furniture. The same factors need to be considered before deciding upon a sideboard for your dining room.
Most of us use our dining room informally as a place for a family gets together – a place to sit around, have a conversation over a cup of coffee. A sideboard is a big help in setting up food on its tabletop under such circumstances. That way the main dining area can be kept free of clutter. The drawers can hold not just crockery and cutlery, but also all the knick-knacks that would otherwise make the room look messy.
While the primary factor in deciding the size of the sideboard would be dictated by the size of the room and the space available; it is equally important to match the size of the sideboard with the existing furniture in the room.
Similar to the factor influencing the size, it is important to match the sideboard type to the rest of your furniture. Different types are available, ranging from long to short; narrow to broad, with multiple drawers or as single cabinet type storage.
The durability of the sideboard is an important factor while considering the material used in the sideboard. While wood was the traditional material used for making sideboards; the range of materials available today is astounding. Metal, glass, concrete, stone, plastic, composite, and many others – just about any material that you can think of has been used for making sideboards.
Although there are standard styles available, you could design your own and get it made. However, that could turn out to be far more expensive than buying one off the shelf. Some of the styles available are:
- Scandinavian: A popular style from the 70s, Scandinavian styled sideboards with their contemporary look and clean lines are very popular in modern homes.
- Rustic: If you want a farmhouse/rural look, then the rustic-styled sideboard is a perfect choice. Normally made with wood, it has a raw finish look.
- Reclaimed: Similar to the rustic style, reclaimed wood furniture is very popular. Environmentally friendly and extremely robust, these sideboards can be a great conversation piece.
- Mahogany: Unless you are a great fan of formal furniture, a mahogany sideboard, although very elegant, might not fit the bill. That said, a mahogany sideboard looks very classy and is very robust.
- Walnut: Similar to mahogany in terms of wood color, a walnut sideboard can be set in either a traditional or modern setting.
- Industrial: Very contemporary in style, an industrial sideboard is also extremely tough and hard-wearing.
- Painted: Available in a range of colors, painted sideboards have the advantage of blending with different varieties of décor.
Storage space is at a premium in most modern apartments. A sideboard is a good way to increase storage space. While, traditionally, sideboards were used to store dishes and plates, almost anything is stored in these nowadays. However, it is always better to have a sideboard with more drawers than open shelves. Removable shelves behind cabinet type doors are a huge benefit in storage space.
Sideboards are available in many different designs – and the selection of the right design is very crucial. It should complement the rest of the furniture in the room. Depending on your taste, the sideboard design could either merge with or stand out in the room. Some of the more popular designs are:
- Traditional: While this design encompasses the antique sideboards, it also is available new – designed to look like the classics.
- Modern: A very sleek but simple design. Mostly rectangular, popular colors are black and white.
- Contemporary: Clean lines and wood veneers make contemporary designs. Mid-century shapes and designs are also incorporated in this type.
- Farmhouse: Rustic, raw finished wooden sideboards – often painted and decorated with motifs.
- French Country: Made with pine wood and usually painted white, these sideboards are a favorite of those who like chic furniture.
- Some of the other designs available are Nordic, Art Deco, Art Nouveau, Victorian, and Asian.
Spoilt for Choice
Homeowners are spoilt for choice as far as sideboards are concerned. There will be a sideboard available to match all your requirements – all you need to do is look for one.