A sideboard is the solution for anyone struggling to find enough space in their kitchen. It can hold a number of essential items, from towels and placemats to fine china and everyday eating utensils. Best of all, a sideboard can make your home a touch more stylish and contribute to the overall aesthetic of your kitchen or dining room.
In this article, we’ll help you find the best sideboard for your home and introduce you to our top picks. You should walk away with a better understanding of what to look for in a good sideboard—and hopefully, an even better idea of exactly which one you want!
Editor’s Choice: Glenview 66” Wide Sideboard
The Glenview 66” Wide Sideboard made “Editor’s Choice” due to its impressive solid wood construction, intricate detailing and accents, and ample storage space. This is a piece that will great almost anywhere and provide the perfect “display” storage for your favorite dishes or trinkets.
Best for Price: Marabel 59.1” Wide 2 Drawer Buffet Table
The Marabel 59.1” Wide 2 Drawer Buffet Table is our “Best for Price” pick because it provides practical storage as well as an intriguing, multi-faceted design—both at a great price!
Most Versatile: Alanna Herringbone Sideboard
The Alanna Herringbone Sideboard is our pick for “Most Versatile” because it boasts a design and style that will look fantastic in nearly any setting. Its solid wood construction and accented geometric handles are complemented by the fact that this sideboard provides both cabinet and drawer storage space.
How to Choose a Sideboard
A sideboard is quite an investment, so it’s crucial to get the best one for you and your home. There are a few different factors to consider before shopping around for one:
There are five main types of sideboards:
- Sideboard dresser
- Drinks cabinet
I’ll talk more about each one in the “Types of Sideboards” section of this article.
When it comes to sideboard styles, the possibilities are just about endless! That said, styles are typically grouped into a few broad categories:
Within these categories, you’ll find certain design characteristics that vary from one to another. I’ll talk more about this in the “Styles of Sideboards to Consider” section of this article.
Many people overlook size when purchasing a new sideboard, but this is a crucial aspect to consider. A sideboard that’s too big will appear tacky or out of place, while a sideboard that’s too small will be unable to fit your kitchen goods or go completely unnoticed by company. Luckily, there are a few rules of thumb you can follow for best results:
- Your sideboard’s depth from the front to the back should be anywhere from 20 to 22 inches.
- Experts recommend purchasing a sideboard the same height as your kitchen counter—anywhere from 34 to 38 inches.
- Make sure your sideboard is far enough away (roughly 24 inches) from other furniture items, and ensure it isn’t going to cramp the dining area.
Of course, rules are designed to be bent. These guidelines should help you get a general idea of what to look for, but feel free to play around with them a little if you think it will better suit your space.
You can find sideboards constructed of just about any material you can think of, though wood (both solid and manufactured) is the most popular. There are so many reasons to appreciate wood in this regard: natural detail work and beauty, grain variation, excellent aging, and the sheer variety of tones and finishes that can be applied to it are just a few.
There are plenty of other material types used in the construction of sideboards, usually as accents or part of the hardware:
Because everyone’s preferences and needs are different, the most important thing is that the material you opt for is high-quality and will look great in your intended location.
Configuration refers to the different compartments the sideboard has. In order to figure out the ideal sideboard configuration for your kitchen or dining space, ask yourself what you plan on using it for. Will you be storing dishes? Tablecloths? Or even something unrelated to your kitchen, like a video game console or board games?
Below is a quick breakdown of the different elements you’re likely to find in a sideboard. Each sideboard is different, so before purchasing one, make sure it has all the elements you’ll need for your intended purposes.
- Cabinets are where you would store larger items, such as heavy dishes or kitchen equipment you don’t use too often.
- Drawers are typically used for storing smaller items, such as silverware, cutlery, napkins, and placemats.
- Marble Top. A sideboard with a marble top is ideal if you need a place to set hot dishes while cooking or serving food.
- Dry Bar. A dry bar is a part of the sideboard that can be used for serving drinks.
If you have a little extra dough to spend, consider purchasing a sideboard with extra features such as LED lighting or a modular design. If you need a sideboard for your outdoor kitchen (hello, summer!), then you might want to look for an outdoor-rated sideboard that can withstand the fickle weather and hot sun. You can also order custom sideboards, designed to your specifications—but this is going to cost you a bit extra!
Styles of Sideboards to Consider
As mentioned earlier, there are several style options to consider when searching for your perfect sideboard. Each basic style has its own unique elements and attributes, so it’s important to ask yourself what kind of look or mood you want your new sideboard to evoke. Here’s a quick breakdown of each basic sideboard style.
Classic and Traditional
Classic or traditional sideboards are those designed to look like older models. They generally feature neutral colors and are crafted of wood.
Contemporary and Modern
Contemporary or modern sideboards are known for their simplicity of design and their high level of functionality. They typically feature sleek lines and a clean overall appearance.
Retro sideboards typically employ the styles and designs popular throughout the 1900s, especially from the 1930s onward. Think I Love Lucy or Ratched, and you’ll have a good idea of what to expect from this style.
Industrial sideboards are generally made of metal and light-colored woods.
Scandinavian sideboards are similar in design to contemporary/modern ones, though they place greater emphasis on simplicity and the use of light, comfortable colors.
Asian-style sideboards are known for their simple builds, glossy finishes, and sometimes ornamental designs.
As the name suggests, Victorian sideboards are reminiscent of the Victorian era. They feature darker colors and are fairly large in size.
Rustic sideboards are crafted from solid wood and often feature a “worn” look that works well in a farmhouse- or cottage-type setting.
Designer sideboards tend to be on the expensive side, as they’re designed with special features, shapes, or decorations you won’t find on other models.
Types of Sideboards
Type and style often go hand-in-hand and one often influences the other. That said, here are a few different types of sideboards you might come across:
Traditional sideboards tend to be lower to the ground than other types, and they feature cabinets and drawers for storage.
A sideboard dresser is a bit different, featuring a tall design that more closely resembles a dresser. This type of sideboard will have cabinets, drawers, and open shelves for storage.
You can find glazed sideboards in a variety of styles, though they all have one thing in common: a glass element of some type or another. In most glazed sideboards, this manifests itself as glass windows.
Highboards feature a similar “tall” design as sideboard dressers, but tend to be sturdier in design and built to hold much more than a sideboard dresser. Highboards possess a lot of storage room in the form of drawers and cabinets, and feature glass windows so you can put your dish sets on display.
Drinks cabinets tend to be smaller in design than other sideboards types, and they’re specially designed to store and display wine glasses and bottles.
More on Mid-Century Style
If you’re looking for a furniture piece that implements the popular styles of the last century, you should definitely consider going for a mid-century sideboard.
The mid-century style has roots in post-WWI Germany, where the Bauhaus (or “building house”) art school was founded. The school encouraged the creation of pieces that were just as functional and practical as they were appealing to the eye and soul. Following WWII, the style found its way to the United States via Bauhaus immigrants and quickly evolved into what we now know as “mid-century modern.” The style’s peak period of popularity was from the mid-1930s through the 1960s, though more and more people are coming back to it and finding new ways to reinvent it for today’s world.
Mid-century modern pieces are specially designed to be functional yet attractive. A few defining features include:
- Clean lines
- Sleek and minimalistic designs
- Bolder colors and textures
- The use of “futuristic” materials such as glass and plastic
- A “back-to-nature” vibe
Another common trait of mid-century modern pieces is the variations of shapes, textures, and materials used within a given piece.
Whether you’re looking to add a pop of color to your dining room or would like to integrate a simple yet functional storage unit into your kitchen, you’re bound to find a mid-century modern sideboard that fits the bill!
The Best Sideboards
Now that you’re more familiar with the territory, I think you’re ready to take a peek at our top sideboard picks—and hopefully find one you love!
The Stefon 71” Wide 2 Drawer Sideboard offers ample storage space with two drawers and two cabinets (both Soft Close), as well as its two adjustable shelves. The storage elements are crafted of kiln-dried walnut wood, while the metallic drawer pulls and other hardware boast a refreshing brass finish. A prime example of a mid-century sideboard, this model is simple but attractive in design. From its short, splayed legs connected by a brass bar to its finished back and spacious top, everything about this sideboard practically screams “practicality.” Throw in its tip-over restraint device and 2-year limited warranty, and you have one amazing deal.
The Keziah Buffet Table is an attractive piece constructed of solid acacia wood and adorned with a distressed finish and “chevron” pattern. Its light-colored wood is contrasted by the black finish of its splayed metal legs, while its top provides a clean space to display the décor items of your choice. This buffet table also provides a lot of storage room for whatever items you might need to have tucked away someplace: your favorite china, spare pillows and blankets, and the list goes on. You’ll get three drawers, two cabinets, and two adjustable shelves to carry and protect your goods. To make your life easier, the drawers make use of ball-bearing glides, the cabinet doors have magnetic catches, and the table itself is designed with a tip-over restraint device. For storage galore and a touch of mid-century flair, look no further!
The Arianna Buffet offers abundant internal storage space, featuring two cubby compartments with four doors; each compartment features a top shelf and bottom shelf, for a total of four shelves. All of this is housed within a modern frame of solid oak and polyurethane in a black finish, which rests atop a gorgeous brass leg support system. From an aesthetic point of view this, you’ll love the gray finish and brass accents on the doors as well as its long, narrow top. For an elegant piece that offers more than enough storage and still maintains a reasonably small footprint, the Arianna Buffet should be one of your first choices!
If you thrive on distinguished patterns and textures, you’ll love the Alana Herringbone Sideboard. Let’s forget the storage for a moment and just admire the aesthetic appeal of this mid-century sideboard: a solid acacia wood construction adorned with a herringbone pattern, tapered dowel feet, a white marble counter, geometric handles finished in gold…the very definition of beauty.
This sideboard gets high marks for its storage space, too. It features three drawers, a single two-door cabinet, and a single shelf that’s lined with felt for an added dimension of care and style. The item makes use of metallic pulls, magnetic door catches, and roller glides to make your life easier.
The Marabel 59.1” Wide 2 Drawer Buffet Table marries simplicity with sheer elegance, featuring a manufactured wood construction with tones of walnut and a quality metal base with trestle-style supports. Its top is constructed of contrasting white stone to pull the look together and add an extra “pop” of color. This modern sideboard manages to supply a lot of storage space (two cabinets, two drawers, and four cabinets) in a relatively small frame that’s only 59.1 inches wide, and it also provides cable management—no more stray cords running everywhere! This makes it an ideal piece to place in a particularly crowded dining room or kitchen that could use a little extra storage or an aesthetic pick-me-up.
The Kadyn Sideboard is a unique modern piece you and your guests will love to admire, wherever you place it! Its most defining feature is its wavy design that runs across its four walnut doors, though its narrow top, metal accents and trim, and two flared sled legs (available in either silver steel or brushed gold) are also worth noting. This modern sideboard is crafted of a solid wood/engineered wood mix and provides two shelves’ worth of storage space; this will go a long way toward helping you keep your extra dishes, linens, or appliances squared away. Finally, this sideboard features a tip-over restraint device for your peace of mind. This piece is sure to enhance the aesthetic appeal of any dining room, living room, or entryway.
A sideboard can hardly get as streamlined as the Corban 57” Wide 3 Drawer Buffet Table. This table is crafted of a solid poplar wood/manufactured wood combination and features an antique gold finish on the hardware (such as the metal glides for the drawers). Its simplistic frame is supported by tapered, splayed legs, and contains ample storage space consisting of two cabinets, two adjustable shelves, and three drawers. You can purchase this table in one of three color options (mahogany, acorn, white) to best match your existing space. Considering that this table also employs a tip-over restraint device, it’s safe to say it offers a whole lot at a very reasonable price!
The Glenview 66” Wide Sideboard is such an elegant piece of furniture you might forget it’s also a storage solution! Seriously. From the fine details and black finish of its solid acacia wood frame to the metal Chrysler building-style metal design gracing its glass doors, every aspect of this modern sideboard was designed with care and thoughtfulness. As for storage, you’ll receive three cabinet spaces and six interior shelves to keep—and display—your most valued items. Few sideboards can match the sophistication, quality, and affordable price point of the Glenview.
Fluid. Practical. Attractive. These are three words that summarize the Clarendon Small Buffet Table. This piece may look basic, but its simple design is perfect for meshing with any environment or aesthetic theme you have going on. Its wood frame is quite appealing, perfectly complemented by the silver-capped feet of its splayed, tapered legs. As for storage, this table offers two cabinets, three soft-close drawers, and two shelves—more than enough room to keep all those extra plates or spare room blankets! If you’re still not sold, you’re about to be: This buffet table is eco-friendly, certified to be constructed of composite wood that promotes environmental health.
The sleek, no-fuss design of the Marabel 70.9” Wide 2 Drawer Buffet Table is a prime example of the Scandinavian style. Its light manufactured wood frame pairs nicely with its elegant black iron base, and the wood’s walnut herringbone pattern is unobstructed by any handles or other hardware. The top of the table is set in white to provide a fresh two-toned look that will lighten the mood in any room. This buffet table also offers a good deal of storage: three cabinet doors, two drawers, and three adjustable shelves. You’d better start picking out the best spot in your home for this beauty!
The Guidinha 70” Wide Sideboard puts an innovative spin on the modern sideboard look. This model features a black oak veneer frame and white ceramic top, both accented by the model’s soft rose gold barrel feet. Its sleek frame holds four cabinet doors, each one with a glass shelf inside for storage. If you’re looking for a very minimalistic sideboard that still possesses unique stylistic traits, you’ll love this one!
The Alton 43” Wide 4 Drawer Wood Sideboard is minimalistic yet clever in design. Its frame is constructed of both solid and manufactured wood, and its legs are solid stained walnut wood. As for storage, there are four drawers as well as a sliding door that houses two shelves. This is a rustic piece that will look great just about anywhere and add a touch of rugged practicality to any room.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ
What are sideboards used for?
The main function of a sideboard is to provide extra storage space for your kitchen or dining room utensils and dishware. Some sideboards can also be used to store additional items, such as video game consoles or blankets. Depending on the design, a sideboard can not only store your belongings but also display them.
Sideboards are also used as décor pieces to add dimension or a certain aesthetic to a room. This is why you’ll find countless style and design options on the market—search long enough (and smart enough), and you’re sure to find the perfect sideboard to complement or bring together your existing dining/living room furniture!
What is the difference between a buffet and a sideboard?
This is a great question! Buffets and sideboards share many of the same design features and are used for similar purposes (namely, storage and decoration). There are two main differences between the two: what they store and where they’re located.
– can be used to store a variety of items, kitchen-related or otherwise.
– is typically located in the living room.
– is mainly used for the storage of kitchen- or dining room-related items.
– is typically located in the kitchen or dining room.
That said, most people interchange the two terms, and you’ll find “sideboards” designed for the kitchen, dining room, or living room in equal measure.
Sideboards and buffets designed for the dining room tend to have subtle differences in design. For example, a sideboard will be closer to the ground with shorter legs while a buffet will have longer legs.
What is the definition of credenza?
A credenza is very similar in design and function to a sideboard, though you typically find credenzas used in office environments to complement the desk.
What is a credenza used for?
Like sideboards, credenzas are used for both storage and decoration. In the context of an office environment, a credenza might be used to store “extra” items you wouldn’t want to clutter your main desk: files, papers, a spare laptop, etc.
There you have it: our top modern sideboard picks! We did our best to include sideboards that represent a variety of styles to help you find the best one for your space—or at least to set you on the right path. Remember that the best sideboard for your home will match your personal tastes, complement your current furniture and décor, have enough space for your storage needs, and fit within your budget range.