Sideboard Buyers Guide

A buyers guide for sideboards and dressers

Home PageBuying a sideboard

Buying a Sideboard

A sideboard is possibly one of the most versatile and useful pieces of furniture that you can buy for your home.

Traditionally used in the dining room to house crockery, cutlery and other dining related items

Mayan Walnut Six Drawer Sideboard

A beautiful solid walnut sideboard from Pine Solutions

and also for serving food (sideboards are sometimes called Servers),  sideboards can also be a useful addition for almost any room in the house, including, if space allows, the bathroom where they can be used for housing towels and toiletries.  How about having one in the hallway?  They are a great place to store boots and shoes, post can be put away in the drawers and they give space on top to put your favourite decorative items to add a real wow factor to your entrance hall.


Sideboards come in many shapes and sizes and can be made in a multitude of materials, from wood to metal and even in Venitian mirror styles.  Choosing the material for you sideboard will probably be an easy decision, you would need to select a piece that complements your existing decor and furniture, or maybe you could have one as a statement piece.  Alternatively, there is a great selection of characterful painted sideboards that are unique and will make a talking point for any environment.

What your sideboard is made from will determine not just its looks but also its longevity.  A solid oak sideboard, for example, should last a lifetime and beyond.  Just make sure that the shelves are also solid oak.  Many sideboards will use a veneered chipboard for the shelves.  This will lead, over time,  to sagging shelves, particularly if you are putting heavy crockery on them.  A solid oak shelf should not sag in the same way.

The finish of an oak sideboard can be lacquer, oil or wax.  This will effect how the sideboard ages and will determine the look and feel of the wood.  This again is personal preference.  if you are likely to spill liquid on your sideboard, you may want to opt for a lacquered finish.  Of course any spillages should be cleared up immediately, but a lacquer will prevent the liquid penetrating the surface of the wood and staining it.


Oak Dresser From Pine Solutions

Oak Dresser From Pine Solutions

Dresser To Impress

A dresser is basically a sideboard with a top half placed above making optimum use of the footprint of the base.   They can be particularly useful in kitchens and dining rooms for storing and displaying your favourite kitchenware and ornaments.

Dressers can have open shelves, is the case of Welsh dressers,  or have glazed or wooden doors.

They nearly always come in two halves, a base and a dresser top,  so it is not too heavy to deliver and also it is easer to manouvre through doors and up stairs etc.  Plus,   if in the future, you decide you only need the base, the top can be easily removed.    Converely, if you already have a sideboard, and you decide you need more space, you may be able to buy a matching dresser top for it.  You will need to ensure you are buying from the same range though, as colours of finish will vary between them and even if buying the same range, you will most likely notice shade variations between old and new pieces in the same range.


Planning is Everything

When planning to buy a sideboard or dresser, be sure to measure the space in which you want to put it.  Ensure you will have enough room to move around it without knocking into it.  If it is placed in a dining room, make sure you have room to open the doors and drawers when someone is seated at the dining table. Making them vacate their seat to get something out of a drawer for example would be annoying for your guests and you may not get a reciprocal invite!

Check there is enough space to open your room doors widely enough.   Also, if you are buying a dresser, ensure it will not obstruct and light switches or wall lights.

While you are at it, why not have a think about the rest of your room.  Could it do with a freshen up?  Maybe you could buy a matching dining table and chairs at the same time to  complete the look.

If you like to have things matching, it’s important to consider the whole range of furniture and what it offers.  Is it likely to go out of production any time soon? If you decide at a later date to add a matching coffee table for example, would it still be available?  Do they do all the items you need in the same range?  Very often a range will have the sideboard you want but it may not have a corner cabinet for example if that is what you need.  Often it may be necessary to compromise practicality to get the look you want or you may need to concede some of the style to get the practicality you need.

Flat Pack Hell?

Do you like making things?   Maybe you get satisfaction from creating a piece of furniture from small pieces of wood?  If so, you are in a minority!  However, buying a flatpack sideboard can be a good way of saving cash.  The price of flat pack furniture tends to be lower than factory assembled items because the factory have not had to spend time assembling and being a able to pack them in a smaller box means that transportation costs are lower.  These savings then translate to a lower price for you, the customer. But before you consider the flat pack option, be ready for the hassle that might befall your diy project.  It may be better to look for a factory assembled sideboard instead!

Solid oak sideboard

Solid oak sideboard

Pre-assembled solid oak or walnut furniture is no longer the preserve of the wealthy.  Prices for great quality solid wood furniture have come down hugely in recent years, with the advent of the internet and falling production costs, suppliers such as Oak Furniture Land can supply solid oak sideboards at near flat pack prices.  Indeed, some of their sideboards are cheaper than many flat pack items you see in some of the trendier high street stores.  Plus you don’t have to waste your weekend assembling them!

All in all,your sideboard should give you many years of service, and if you love furniture, it will give you a lot of pleasure too.  We are sure you will find the ideal sideboard or dresser for your needs here at the Home Furniture Shop!

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