The term 'sideboard' has come to cover a lot of furniture styles, although the function has more or less stayed the same. In the 1950s, the sideboard was wide, low and on angled legs – a chic place to store and pour drinks at dinner parties. These have seen a popular revival, often doubling up as a TV stand in modern homes.
Before fitted kitchens, sideboards were used to bolster storage, and had boxier proportions designed to house cutlery and serve ware for Sunday best. The antique style of glazed sideboard is rarer, but still popular for displaying collections of more decorative dishes and glass.
1. Maisons du Monde Paulette Sideboard: £345, Maisons du Monde
The pop of yellow colour on this mid-century style sideboard gives it a fun and fresh appearance. The price is also worth noting – unless you’re a pro at shopping second-hand, a real vintage sideboard can cost much more. The 180cm-wide body is divided into two cupboards, two drawers and an open compartment. The frame is pine with a brushed oak finish.
2. West Elm Delphine Sideboard: £1,299, West Elm
A blend of luxurious materials on the Delphine sideboard makes it a piece to show off. The top is solid white marble, the body is cased in walnut veneer, and the dainty metal legs have a brushed bronze finish. At 46cm deep, the storage provision is good – accommodating glasses, dishes and a range of serve ware easily. The central cabinet has an adjustable shelf.
3. Swoon Editions Randall Mid-Century Style Sideboard: £599, Swoon Editions
As noted, the heyday of the sideboard was the 1950s, and this piece successfully captures the spirit of the era. Angled legs and retro-shaped handles nod to mid-century design, but the Randall sideboard stops short of imitation. Minimal details and a washed finish on the mango wood exterior keep it modern. There’s ample storage with three drawers and a large cabinet.
4. La Redoute Mambo Walnut Veneer Sideboard: £449, La Redoute
The Mambo sideboard is similarly 1950s-inspired, with a metal frame giving two types of storage. The upper cabinet has a finish of walnut veneer and black lacquered MDF sliding doors, which are elegant but make accessing smaller objects hard. The lower shelf is open for you to make a display of your drinks bottles or treasured serve ware. Self-assembly is required.
5. Marks & Spencer Hadley Sideboard: £499, Marks & Spencer
This neat sideboard has a slatted front in solid oak which gives it a contemporary but warm feel. At 140cm wide and 50cm deep, its proportions are more like a low cabinet than a sideboard. This means the profile lacks a certain sleekness but makes it a good fit for nooks and smaller spaces. Behind two sliding doors is a central fixed shelf.
6. Hoxton Large Sideboard: £999, Furniture Village
Reclaimed pine with knots and all gives this sideboard its character. It makes for a wild and rustic take on the sideboard. A raised plinth and slim metal handles give it a touch of refinement. At 180cm long, it’s a large piece with plenty of internal storage. A smaller version with a single cupboard is available (£799). It comes with a 10-year guarantee.
7. Dwell Basel Two-Door Sideboard: £499, Dwell
For the price, the Basel sideboard packs in a surprising amount of storage. Two side cupboards with adjustable shelves, two drawers and one deep drawer add up to make it the most capacious on the list. It comes finished in white or grey lacquer, with just a hint of walnut veneer for the recessed handles. With no legs or raised plinth, this sideboard can appear a little bulky.
8. Laura Ashley Dorset Charcoal Sideboard: £805, Laura Ashley
Made for a “country-cottage” look, Laura Ashley’s smart sideboard is made from beech and poplar. The top has a chalk wash to bring out the grain, and the body is painted in charcoal with brush strokes that enhance its craft appeal. The drawers are a little small for the size of the piece, but the two cupboards are roomy enough and have adjustable shelves.
9. Harley & Lola Wycombe 2-Door Sideboard: £743, Harley & Lola
At 85 by 140cm, the Wycombe sideboard has taller and boxier proportions than most. It’s a good choice for storing taller items, and can work well in small spaces. A body and turned legs in solid oak with light-coloured veneer, gives the sideboard a timeless feel. With two cupboards, a cutlery drawer and two deep drawers, you should find the perfect place for everything.
10. Turnbull & Thomas Belfort Glazed Sideboard: £536, Turnbull & Thomas
Glazed cupboards on this grand sideboard put your best china on show at all times. The traditional piece is a generous 160cm wide, and is elevated on three pairs of decorative legs. Raising the cupboards does give the sideboard some classic elegance, although it does mean storage space is compromised. The panel details and handles nod to antique French style.
The Verdict: Sideboards
If you are following the fashion for 1950s-style sideboards, then Maisons du Monde’s Paulette is a bright and cheerful number that comes at an affordable price. It also offers a decent amount and variety of storage. More substance than style is Harley & Lola’s Wycombe sideboard – a good all-rounder with plenty of storage and a light touch.
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