How to spot the difference between a sideboard and Buffet and Hutch

January 5, 2023 Posted by La Maison Hamptons style interiors sideboard and buffet

If you are looking for a piece of furniture with storage function for your dining room, you will come along several options. For example, sideboard and buffet and hutch, or dining buffet cabinet. But how do you know which one you should buy? What is the difference between them, and is there a difference at all? Not only the names differ, but also the storage options and purpose. Hence, why it might be confusing to find the right piece for your dining room.

In the following guide, we break down for you the differences between a sideboard and buffet cabinet. Both have their qualities and advantages, but vary in storage space and design. Last but not least, your personal needs and style preferences play an important role as well.

What is the difference between a sideboard and buffet?

A sideboard and buffet and hutch are similar in construction and purpose, which is storing your dishes, dining utensils and decor. Yet, both are unique types of furniture and differ in style and design. A dining buffet cabinet is elevated off the floor by legs and consists of cupboards, drawers, cabinets and shelves – means plenty of storage options to keep things organised. Sideboards have no legs and sit directly on the floor. They also don’t have many different storage options, usually it’s only drawers and doors.

Storage furniture is important to fully furnish your dining room and have everything well-organised and at hand. Besides the style, it is crucial to determine how you want to use your storage furniture. Let’s take a closer look at the differences between a sideboard and a buffet.

Hamptons Dining

What is a sideboard?

A sideboard or cupboard is considered a low-profile furniture piece, which main purpose is to provide storage space. Its main feature is the simple and clean structure, consisting of cabinets with doors and drawers. Furthermore, cupboards come with a wide surface which offers space for displaying decor items. When placed in a living room, sideboards can also function as an entertainment unit. In fact, cupboards work great in any room of the house.

Modern sideboards come in an array of styles and materials, with many different features.

Hamptons Sideboard
The Frejac Sideboard is a classic and timeless piece that works great in a Hamptons styled home. It is a stunning piece for adding additional storage space to your dining room without compromising on style. Two practical drawers on metal runners paired with two pairs of cabinet doors provide some storage department for all your needs. Or opt for the Frejac Sideboard Petite with a practical slide out tray instead of drawers. 

Lifestyleshot Frejac White Sideboard
FREJAC White Sideboard
Frejac Sideboard Petite Front
FREJAC Sideboard Petite

Coastal Sideboard
The Manado cabinet is a beautiful option for a coastal inspired home. Consisting of multiple cabinets with adjustable shelving and rattan-wrapped cabinet doors, it provides a flexible and spacious storage solution. A solid hardwood frame and hand-woven rattan details enhance a calming aesthetic and natural style.

Manado Rattan Sideboard Angle With Transparent Background
MANADO Sideboard
Manado Rattan Sideboard

Industrial Sideboard
The Tommy sideboard showcases a statement making design with an industrial look and feel. Its simple box-style elements with decorative brass handles emphasise a modern style. The Tommy cabinetry offers eight deep drawers for all your storage needs.

Tommy Industrial Sideboard Angle With Transparent Background
TOMMY Sideboard

What is a buffet and hutch?

A buffet and hutch has a similar base as a sideboard, yet has a set of open or closed shelves or cabinets that is placed on top of a lower unit with a counter. Dining Buffet cabinets are ideal for displaying china, glassware and decor. While the lower part, typically a buffet with drawers, can hold silverware, serving plates, tablecloths and linens. The low countertop of a buffet can be used to comfortably serve food, tea or coffee.

Modern buffet
The Malval Black Buffet and Hutch stands as the ideal choice for showcasing and storing within your Hamptons-inspired residence. Its sleek and uncomplicated contours, coupled with dual upper moldings and inner back panelling, harmonise seamlessly with the utilitarian essence of this furniture.

Lifestyle shot Boule Chandelier Black
MALVAL Buffet and Hutch

Classic buffet and hutch
The Frejac Buffet and Hutch is a blend of Hamptons-inspired comfort and elegance. With its relaxed yet refined design, this exquisite piece boasts dual levels of sliding glass doors, thoughtfully designed to showcase your most cherished items. Complementing this are sturdy drawers and spacious cupboards, providing an organised storage solution for your dining and entertaining essentials.

Lifestyleshot Frejac Buffet Chalk
FREJAC Buffet and Hutch
Frejac Buffet And Hutch Black Chalk Front With Transparent Background
FREJAC Buffet and Hutch Black

Sideboard or Dining Buffet Cabinet?

Sideboards and dining buffet cabinets are in the higher price range of furniture. So, before you are making a large investment, you should consider which of both will be the right piece for your home.

Start with asking yourself the main purpose for the piece. A sideboard is great to store heavy items or any kind of items you want out of sight. A dining buffet cabinet can be a gorgeous way to display items while keeping things organised.

Tropical Living Room Furniture
TOMMY Sideboard, Photo by @ carlislehomes
Manado Sideboard
MANADO Sideboard, Photo by @donna_guyler_design

The next factor to consider is how much space do you have available. A buffet is designed wide and high, which takes a lot of space and won’t be suitable for a small dining room. On the other hand, sideboards come in various sizes and can work great in small and large rooms.

Last but not least, the style factor. If your home is mostly designed traditional and classic, a buffet and hutch will compliment the look. In a contemporary home, a modern sideboard can set a stunning accent as a centrepiece. Either way, your personal style preferences will surely lead you to a perfect match.

Dining Room Setting with Sideboard
Photo by @ Spacejoy via Unsplash


Sideboards and buffet and hutches have similar structures and storage option. The main difference is their usage. If you need a lot of storage space, opt for a buffet and hutch. For less storage but large display space, a sideboard would be the better choice.

Browse our dining room collection to find everything you need to create a welcoming space for dinner guests. From sleek sideboards for modern homes to traditional buffet and hutches for Hamptons homes, at La Maison Australia we offer something for every home. Come visit us in our Sydney showroom to get a glance at our designs.


PS: don’t miss our article on “how to style a Hamptons style sideboard” with practical expert tips.