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Buffets, Servers, & Sideboards Buying Guide

These three names refer to the same piece of furniture: a tremendous helpmate that provides storage and surplus table surface in a dining area. Formal dinners were once an everyday event, and a buffet was considered so indispensable it was usually built into a home’s architecture. A buffet continues to be no less handy, but you likely don’t have one already set into the wall. Here’s how to choose the right piece.

Types of Buffets, Servers & Sideboards

Types of Buffets, Servers & Sideboards

Buffets, servers, and sideboards come in several style categories. You need to decide whether you prefer a modern look or a classic piece. However, the buffet should complement or match your dining table and chairs. In other words, if you have a Craftsman-style table, don’t get a black lacquered buffet. Beyond style, a buffet is all about storage. Here are the features that distinguish one from another:

Cupboards Only

A basic buffet, server, or sideboard features a table surface at waist height (typically 36 to 42 inches high) with one or more cupboards below it. The cupboards contain shelves behind sliding or swing-out doors. Sometimes companies reserve the term sideboard for extra-wide pieces with several side-by-side cupboards, but the term is fairly flexible.

Cupboards and Drawers

Some buffets, servers, and sideboards combine cupboard space and drawers. The composition might be one long drawer, side-by-side drawers, or a stack of smaller ones. Drawers can be handy for corralling utensils, salt and pepper shakers, or place mats.

Cupboards and Specialty Storage

An increasingly common feature in buffets is an open wine-bottle rack. Some buffets also include bar storage or stereo component storage inside the cupboards.

Buffets with Hutches

A hutch, a separate tall cabinet, secures to the top of a buffet and turns the entire piece into a wall unit similar to a china cabinet. Typically, the hutch contains cabinets with glass doors. An open space below the cabinets allows you to continue to use the buffet’s table surface.

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Home Styles
$389.99 $350.99

Keep your kitchen essentials neatly organized with this hutch buffet. Boasting a spacious cabinet with two wood-framed doors, this... hutch buffet provides a handy place to store small kitchen appliances or serving pieces. Two utility drawers provide ample room for your finest flatware, and the hutch cabinet comes with convenient Plexiglas doors for showcasing your cookbook collection or favorite china. Use the wood surface top to keep hors d'oeuvres or drinks close by at your next dinner party. Crafted from durable Asian hardwoods, this hutch buffet is built for beauty and strength. Brushed steel hardware allow for easy access to each storage area while adding a modern touch to this piece, and the black finish with cherry wood top lends a classic look to your space. Crafted from Asian hardwoods for beauty and durability Black finish with medium cherry wood top creates a striking color contrast Brushed steel hardware lends a modern look to this classic hutch buffet Two utility drawers and a cabinet with two wood-framed doors provide convenient storage options Hutch cabinet with Plexiglas doors provides display space or additional storage Overall dimensions measure 71.5"H x 31.25"W x 15.87"D Assembly is required for this piece; product ships in two separate boxes Assembly required. This product ships in two (2) boxes. Note: This product will be shipped using Threshold delivery. The product will be delivered to your door or the nearest ground-level entrance of your residence. Signature required upon delivery. Color: Brown. read more

Home Styles
$552.66

Add a modern elegant look to your home with this beautiful black buffet. Featuring a built in wine rack, doors, and drawers, this ...simple, yet sophisticated hutch buffet has plenty of room for storage and display. The adjustable shelf allows you to customize the display space in this gorgeous buffet to your needs. Materials: Asian Hardwoods, stainless steel Finish: Black with 18 gauge stainless steel top, brushed steel hardware Three (3) utility drawers Two (2) wood framed cabinet doors Adjustable shelf inside cabinet Center wine storage area that can be removed for open storage if desired Hutch features two wood framed plexiglass doors with adjustable shelf Dimensions: 72.25 inches high x 44 inches wide x 17 inches deep Assembly required. This product ships in three (3) boxes. Note: This product will be shipped using Threshold delivery. The product will be delivered to your door or the nearest ground-level entrance of your residence. Signature required upon delivery. Color: Black. read more

Home Styles
$351.49

Augment the storage space in your kitchen or dining room with the cottage oak hutch buffet from Home Styles. This tall, narrow buf...fet and hutch combo gives you four cupboards, two drawers and a counter top in a compact package. Made of hardwood, this buffet and hutch will give you years of service. The upper cupboards have Plexiglas doors to show off special serving pieces, and the bottom cupboards and drawers hide clutter while keeping kitchen and dining essentials close at hand. Shelves in the cupboards are adjustable to give you even more storage options, and the counter is perfect for placing serving dishes during a meal. Constructed of Asian hardwoods in a cottage oak finish Buffet has two utility drawers and two wood-framed cabinet doors with brushed steel hardware Hutch has two wood-framed Plexiglas doors for display Cabinets have adjustable shelves for storage versatility Measures 71.5 inches high x 31.25 inches wide x 15.87 inches deep Assembly Required Color: Brown. read more

Home Styles
$349.99 $314.99

Streamline meal times with this hutch buffet. With graceful lines and a Shaker-inspired design, this buffet brings traditional sty...le to your kitchen or dining room. A warm cottage oak finish highlights the natural wood grain, and brushed steel hardware adds contemporary contrast. Take advantage of the narrow design of this piece; it fits into small spaces, including apartments, and combined living and dining rooms. Made from Asian hardwoods, the durable hutch provides years of lasting use. Two utility drawers store flatware, utensils or table linens, while the lower cabinet fits larger items such as plates and serving ware. Above, a hutch with an adjustable shelf displays your favorite pieces. A natural wood top provides space for serving dishes or clearing plates. Made from Asian hardwoods with a natural wood top for long-lasting beauty Cottage oak finish for rich warmth Brushed steel hardware creates visual contrast Two utility drawers store flatware or linens Lower cabinet with adjustable shelf and two wood framed doors accommodate larger items Hutch with an adjustable shelf, features two wood framed doors with plexiglass to display items Measures 71.5"H x 31.25"W x 15.87"D Assembly required. This product ships in three (3) boxes. Note: This product will be shipped using Threshold delivery. The product will be delivered to your door or the nearest ground-level entrance of your residence. Signature required upon delivery. Color: Brown. read more

Buffets with Mirrors

An early style of buffet included a short back that rose up from the table surface and contained a mirror. The mirror reflected the pretty dishes set on the buffet surface. Some companies honor this classic style and continue to make it today.

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Cost Plus World Market
$499.99

Beautifully weathered yet built to last, our buffet delivers rustic charm to your dining space while providing a stylish storage s...olution. Three roomy drawers and deep adjustable shelves guarantee plenty of room for glassware, dishes, serving plates and more. read more

Cost Plus World Market
$23.99

Crafted of metal and glass, our elegant Gold Mirrored Tabletop Tray features a footed base to place on tables, ottomans and other ...surfaces. read more

Ink and Ivy
$156.99

The Delano from Ink+Ivy provides simple beauty in a versatile style. Combining a powder coated frame with natural variant finished... shelves, this sideboard buffet is perfect for adding life to your home with decorative items and essentials. A tiered design allows you to make the most of your space. Set includes: One (1) Ink+Ivy Delano Sideboard/Console Note: this item is not free standing and must be drilled into the wall Materials: Wood, hardware Finish: Black finish with natural variant finish for the shelves Weight: 66 pounds Dimensions: 30 inches high x 55 inches wide x 14 inches deep Assembly required. Color: Black. read more

Ink and Ivy
$156.99

The Delano from Ink+Ivy provides simple beauty in a versatile style. Combining a powder coated frame with natural variant finished... shelves, this sideboard buffet is perfect for adding life to your home with decorative items and essentials. A tiered... read more

Purchase Considerations

Purchase Considerations

Purchasing a buffet, server, or sideboard for your home is not frivolous short-term choice. Most people buy dining room furniture once in their lifetimes. Our grandmothers invested so wisely, many of us still use their sets. If you want a piece to go the distance for you or to serve future generations, buy the best quality piece you can afford. Choose a classic style rather than a buffet reflective of today’s fancies.

Flexibility

The key to a good storage piece is flexibility. Not only should it allow you to organize items of various shapes and sizes now, it should continue to serve you as items change over time. The cupboards should contain adjustable shelves. Drawer compartments should also be adjustable or removable. If you choose a buffet with a wine rack, can it be converted later if your tastes change?

Size

Dining rooms can be tight on space once you install a table and chairs, and then add guests. Pick an extra piece that suits the dimensions of your room, but that also stores your items. Footed buffets float above the floor. This nice design element allows you to clean underneath the buffet, but it cuts down on interior storage space. Measure the interior cabinet space and the shelf depth, and compare the measurements to the space needed for your platters, pitchers, or stacks of plates.

Door styles

If the cupboard doors swing open, they need space to do so. If your dining room is tight, you may want a piece with doors that slide open and closed on tracks.

Hutches

If you choose to add a hutch to your buffet, be sure the attachment mechanism is strong and sturdy. As with any tall furniture piece, you may want to anchor the hutch to the wall as well. This will prevent the hutch from tipping forward from the weight of your dishes.

Furniture on sale

Groupon Goods
$232.80 $225.99

Contemporary Style Dining Buffet ; 3 spacious drawers; 2 large cabinet doors ; Materials consists of medium fiber board (MDF), Ven...eers, Metal ; Side compartments for easy-access ; Metal bars to protect wine glass read more

Groupon Goods
$187.83 $163.99

Contemporary Style Buffet ; 2 tone finish, White/Cappuccino ; Materials consists of medium fiber board (MDF), Veneers, Metal ; 5 a...djustable shelves with metal handles ; 2 open compartment shelves under table top and underneath cabinet read more

Groupon Goods
$229.37 $209.99

Contemporary multi-storage buffet ; Center X-shaped design wine rack ; Materials consists of medium fiber board (MDF), Veneers, Me...tal ; 2 center drawers for hardware storage ; 2 glass door cabinets with 4 shelves total read more

Sauder
$363.99 $259.99

Criss-cross rack storage can be placed left or right in open storage or behind doors Two adjustable shelves Antiqued Paint Harbor ...View Collection Made in USA Manufacturer's 5 Year Limited Warranty Sauder products are only available for shipment within the continental United States Products are not available for shipment to APO and FPO addresses read more

Sauder
$324.99 $231.99

Gallery display top Criss-cross rack storage Two adjustable shelves Estate Black Edge Water Collection Made in USA Manufacturer's ...5 Year Limited Warranty Sauder products are only available for shipment within the continental United States Products are not available for shipment to APO and FPO addresses read more

Sauder
$376.99 $268.99

Gallery display top Adjustable shelf Criss-cross rack storage Washington Cherry Carson Forge Collection Made in USA Manufacturer's... 5 Year Limited Warranty Sauder products are only available for shipment within the continental United States Products are not available for shipment to APO and FPO addresses read more

Home Styles
$1,409.99 $954.99

Cast away to an island retreat without leaving the comfort of your kitchen or dining room with the Castaway Collection by Home Sty...les. Hand-woven banana leaves and mahogany solids are natural components that create charm and beauty of this island inspired design. A rich dark chocolate tone, exquisite aged bronze hardware, and leather wrapped legs that simulate classic rattan pole design are additional attributes that complete this buffet and hutch. Features include two felt-lined drawers with dividers, base has two doors with two adjustable shelves, and hutch has two glass doors with four adjustable shelves. Finish and measurements may vary. Assembly required. Size: 43w 17d 72.5h read more

Baxton Studio
$344.99 $169.99

Sleek, midcentury modern sideboard displays decor accents and books in open shelves and conceals clutter behind three cabinets

Groupon Goods
$209.00 $177.99

Contemporary style dining buffet table ; Contains two cabinets with shelving and storage ; Built-in wine rack holds up to 5 bottle...s of wine ; Two drawers for discreet storage ; Chrome legs and drawer pulls read more

Home Styles
$413.99 $276.99

Home Styles Small Server with Stainless Steel Top is constructed of hardwood and wood products with an 18 gauge stainless steel to...p. Features include two utility drawers, two wood framed cabinet doors with an adjustable shelf for plenty of inside storage, and brushed steel hardware. Size: 29.25w 15.87d 36h read more

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