A few years ago, no household was without sideboards, as it had a vital place in the home. It is the domestic equivalent of the hotel and restaurant dumbwaiter, and serves a similar purpose within the dining area. Thought of as a fancy dresser, it adds elegance to a room, in addition to being a functional component.
Not confined to the dining room however, this furnishing can be a useful addition to other rooms. The living room in many English homes would contain this piece of furniture, using it as a drinks cupboard, crockery holder, or just a place to put knick-knacks. On the top of one of these furnishing went the photo frames, the chiming clock, and other ornaments.
Like most pieces of wood furniture, it can be made from all manner of hard woods. The finish can be high gloss sheen of mocha, blonde or brown cherry, light or dark. Many sideboards had a veneer finish, that is, a fine layer of wood placed over the basic structure. This very thin layer was finished with ornate and colorful designs and paintings.
As with many types of furniture, including dining room tables and chairs, sideboards come with a choice of different leg designs. The Chippendale look would produce swirls and curves at the base of each leg, and even determine the very shape of the overall piece. Most sideboards I have seen are of the rectangular type, which tend to fit nicely against any wall. But they are not restricted to this shape alone. In fact many a home can boast an oval or semi-circular shape.
In our modern world, some of the older sideboards are used for storing personal items, and even CD’s and DVD’s. They are also used to support TV’s, microwaves and stereo systems. Many of the heavier type can be found in thrift stores, and purchased at very reasonable prices. People buy them for student apartments, or basement suites when renting out. They prove to be a very versatile piece of furniture, and because of their construction, have good durability.
One of the advantages of this furnishing is the fact that many of them have drawers. Whether you need a place for cutlery, office items, paperwork, bills, or even clothing, these drawers can be utilized for these purposes. Many of them are used exclusively for clothing, as they have different sized compartments to meet all demands. The cupboard areas can be used for woolens or linens, whereas drawers house socks, undergarments, tee shirts or skirts.
You will also see the humble sideboard in use at the workshop or garage. Once again, it is a versatile piece of furniture capable of serving as a home for hand-tools, electric saws, drills, and every type of nail, screw or oil can.
Depending on which purpose you want it to serve, there are usually sideboards available somewhere, either in a thrift store, antique shop, auction house or furniture store. Whether it belongs in an elegant dining room, or a greasy garage, one is humble enough to serve many purposes.