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Cottage Furniture Basics: The Sideboard
A functional storage space and an elegant display area, the sideboard is a truly versatile piece to add to your cottage.
The sideboard is an elegant cabinet resting on short legs, used for both storage and entertainment. Sideboards, introduced and popularized in the late 18th century, were originally referred to as “boards.” Historically, they were plain, long planks of wood that sat on trestles and were pulled apart to make room after finishing a meal. Common... Keep Scrolling
Written by Jin Hyun


The sideboard is an elegant cabinet resting on short legs, used for both storage and entertainment. Sideboards, introduced and popularized in the late 18th century, were originally referred to as “boards.” Historically, they were plain, long planks of wood that sat on trestles and were pulled apart to make room after finishing a meal. Common in French and English homes, they were placed in the back of the dining room as a spot for food and dishes. This is where phrases and terms such as “room & board,” “chairman of the board” and “cupboard” come from. Eventually sideboards transformed into ornate pieces of decorative furniture designed to reflect wealth and status.

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1. Livingston buffet, $1,699, PotteryBarn.com

Wooden Pottery barn sideboard in gray wash tone.
Courtesy of Pottery Barn

While the main purpose of the sideboard was to hold food after service, people also began to use it as a place to store their silver and other valuables. Sometimes shelves and mirrors were even added so the silver could be on display at all times, with the mirror helping to highlight the display.

2. Rosson sideboard, $761, birchlane.com

retro style of midcentury sideboard
Courtesy of Birch Lane

3. Magnolia Home Elyse Sideboard, $998, livingspaces.com

 

Black, wooden sideboard with functional chalkboard.
Courtesy of Living Spaces

Sideboards come in various sizes and styles, so whether you’re looking for a traditional cottage look or a contemporary twist, there’s something for everyone. Rather than using up space in your kitchen cupboards, use a sideboard to provide precious extra space to safely store fancier serving pieces reserved for the occasional family gathering or holiday party.

4. Eau Claire 6-door accent cabinet, $582, birchlane.com

Eau Claire 6-door accent cabinet in the color Scrimshaw
Courtesy of Birch Lane

5. French farmhouse solid wood sideboard, $1740, zinhome.com

French Farmhouse Solid Wood Buffet Sideboard
Courtesy of Zin Home

7. Emma 3-Door Console, $899, Ballard Designs

White 3-door sideboard with dark knobs.
Courtesy of Ballard Designs

Want more sideboard inspiration for your home? Check out this post on Our 12 Favorite Sideboards.

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