One of the oldest kinds of furniture used in modern dining rooms are sideboard buffets. A sideboard buffet is both a storage unit and also a display unit. For storage, the sideboard usually can accommodate dishes, utensils and anything used during a dinner service that needs storage close by. The reason these are also called buffets is due to their ability to be used as a serving station for food items. The buffet is usually just the right height in order to have food, plates, utensils, etc put out in order for people to serve themselves. Hence the name, buffet.
sideboard buffetsBuffets and sideboards come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and materials. The main difference that will dictate which name is used is generally the height of the unit. A buffet can be used to serve food off it’s top, while a sideboard might be the same height but could also be much taller and used as more of a hutch.
As for construction, by far the strongest sideboard buffets are those made of oak. If you know someone with an antique sideboard, chances are it is made from oak. Oak is a hardwood, and when used by a master furniture craftsman can be made into a piece of furniture that can last for centuries. The origins of sideboard furniture go back hundreds of years to the upper class of European society. These people needed a place to store their dinner ware and, of course, the storage item had to be something of a show piece in and of itself.
Some of these pieces were created with very intricate details in the wood. Over time these pieces became family treasures that would spend many years in the exact same location before they were moved to the home of another family member, where it would stay for many more years. This resulted in a piece of furniture that became a conversation starter during dinners held in the same room. And now, hundreds of years later, these family treasures are still in use. There is something of a market for these antiques, but the prices can get quite high as it is hard for a family to make the decision to seel something that holds as much emotional value as a sideboard buffet can.
With modern mass production abilities, manufacturers have been able to put many different kinds of sideboard buffets on the market at reasonable prices. For most people this is a good choice in buffets, but if you want to get a piece that will allow you to start a tradition like the one mentioned above, you should look into a hand made piece of sideboard furniture. The mass produced pieces cannot stand up to the test of time like a piece made by a real furniture craftsman.