How to buy a Sideboard

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Firstly, what is a sideboard?  When a storage unit is in the dining room it is referred to as a buffet.  When we take that same unit and move it into the living room or a hallway, for example, it becomes a sideboard.  Very often the units’ drawer and cupboard configurations are the same as the buffet’s so it seems that it is a placement thing that generates the different name.

Most sideboards are approximately 26” to 30” high and between 12” to 18” deep.  The widths of these units vary from small hallway size at 36” to 42” up to larger living room sizes for 48” to 84”.  The most common construction material is hardwoods, softwoods, wood combinations and metal.  Make sure to check over all of the door hardware so that they close properly.  Check the hinges (adjustable if possible), and make sure they have used a solid product that will stand up to day-to-day abuse.  Check drawers for joinery methods.  If butt joints have been used, see if they have used nails, screws and glue to hold them together.  Check to see if the unit has a four sided finish (meaning the back of cabinet is finished) so that the unit can sit exposed in the middle of a room instead of against a wall.  In many homes that have the Great Room type layouts these four sided finish cabinets are ideal as a room separator.  Know what it is you are wanting to store inside the unit.  Check the measurements of the items you wish to put in there to be certain that they will fit and then, while at the store, confirm your sizes.

Often manufacturers will add legs to these cabinets to give them a lighter visual appearance and more positive space in the room, which is a nice feature.  If you are looking at a leg (short or tall leg) assess while in the store, the strength of the unit.  It should be able to easily support your weight.  Confirm the item is not wiggly.  Once you have placed all of your items in there you will have at least 100 lbs inside, so a sideboard should be able to hold a person up.

The best part about sideboards is there are so many different looks and styles to choose from that you could spend days just going from showroom to showroom looking at the different choices.  The selection of this particular piece gives you an opportunity to juxtapose your styles, say with a modern sofa and chair combination, and an antique sideboard.  The combinations are endless.  It is items like these that can make your interior truly unique and different from the rest.