What Is a Sideboard?


A sideboard is a piece of furniture used to serve food, display valuables like china and silver pieces as well as a place to store items. Sideboards are usually found in dining rooms.


  • Sideboards can be traced to England in 1770. Prior to that, large serving or side tables were used in dining rooms to serve food. They didn't have shelves, cupboards or storage like the sideboards that came later.
    Sideboards have enjoyed popularity since their inception and can be found today in many styles to fit any decor.


  • Sideboards, also called servers, act as storage cupboards and display units as well as food service areas. They usually have open or glassed in shelves on top and storage cupboards below tied together by a flat area used for serving food. Sideboards are especially handy for buffet style dining. These days they sometimes act as entertainment units. Some come equipped with wine racks.


  • Most sideboards are made from wood. Oak is a popular choice but they can be found in pine, mahogony and other woods as well.
    Sideboards can be untilitarian or ornate.
    Antique sideboards were hand crafted and can be quite costly.
    There is a sideboard for any decorating style. One of weathered pine finished with milk paint is perfect for the country dining room, while a modern home may call for a contemporary high-gloss finish.


  • Before buying a sideboard for your dining room, think about how you intend to use it. A sideboard can be strictly a place to serve food and store china, napkins and other items or it can be set it up as a bar or entertainment center.
    Consider the size of your room. Sideboards come in a wide variety of sizes. Consider what color and style will complement your decor. Think about how much you are willing to spend.

Fun Fact

  • Sideboard is slang for sideburns as well as a term used in card tricks.

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  • Photo Credit Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Jeremy Burgin
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