The Differences between a Sideboard, Buffet, and Hutch

January 04, 2018

When looking for a piece of furniture that serves as more storage space for your dining room, you may run into several different options that seem similar but have different names. You may come across a buffet, a sideboard, a hutch, a credenza, a cabinet, a console, or a server. It can be really difficult to know what the differences are between these different types of furniture that all seem to ultimately be the same thing.   

Luckily, the furniture experts at Riley’s Real Wood are here to help.

A piece of furniture with so many functions deserves just as many names. Let’s break down the differences between a sideboard, a buffet, and a hutch.

The Sideboard

A sideboard is a long, low storage space. It’s distinguishing features are its short legs and cabinets that may reach all the way to the floor.

Sideboards can come in an array of styles and with lots of different features. The modern-day sideboard is often sleek and can have slightly longer legs than a traditional sideboard.

When placed in a living room, sideboards can function as an entertainment center. Because of their large amount of storage space and that most televisions can comfortably fit on top, sideboards make a great option for an entertainment center.

When placed in a foyer, a sideboard can be used to welcome guests with a place that serves to store keys, mail, and decorative items.

The Buffet

A buffet, much like a sideboard, is a piece of furniture with a long, low storage space. Buffets are usually the more substantial piece of furniture between the two. Buffets can often have larger cabinets and shorter legs which make it sit lower to the floor.  

Ultimately, a buffet and a sideboard are interchangeable names for the same piece of furniture.The name only changes based on where the furniture is placed. A sideboard placed in the dining room is called a buffet, but once it is moved to the living room, it is referred to as a sideboard.

Buffets serve as a great piece of storage furniture for your dining room. Silverware, serving plates and linens are often stored in buffets. Their low countertops make a great surface area for serving food, coffee, or tea when having guests over.

The Hutch

A hutch is a set of shelves or cabinets that is placed on top of a lower unit with a counter, usually comprised of either a sideboard or buffet. A hutch can be low with open shelving or tall with closed cabinets.

Hutches are often used for displaying china and glassware. Hutches can be used as desks as well as in the dining room or as kitchen furniture. Many hutches will feature a mirror on the back of the shelving to add the illusion of more depth and space for the room in which it is kept.

A hutch can be used to serve food, tea or coffee. Hutch storage space is typically large enough to store items that are large or inconvenient sizes such as cake plates or large serving plates.

The most traditional use of the hutch is to beautifully display china. Hutches will often have drawers below the counter to store flatware in addition to folded tablecloths and linens.

Rileys Real Wood Furniture has a vast collection of furniture that is perfect for creating more storage. Whether you are looking for a sideboard to add to your foyer for a dramatic entrance, a hutch to display your serving china, or a buffet to store tablecloths and linens, we have the perfect furniture solution for you and your home.