Oak Sideboards

Oak Sideboards
by Julie Billington

A ‘sideboard’ is usually (though not exclusively) a piece of dining room furniture that is used for displaying dishes and silverware, serving meals, or storage. The typical sideboard of several cabinets (or cupboards) and one or multiple drawers.

Additionally, there is a flat top surface that is used for display and/or serving, as well as the presence of lighting (occasionally). Normally, sideboards are waist level in height. Sideboards today are constructed out of a variety of woods with oak still being the most popular.

It began in Europe, a fad for the elite of society who wished to create an atmosphere conducive to the ultimate dining experience. With a room specifically designed with dining as a focal point, a piece of art with functionality was needed. Then came the creation of the oak sideboard. These pieces with their engraved ornamentation and intricate facades were used to both display and serve during dining.

At the time, the majority of these were manufactured in Belgium, England, France, and Scotland. Though oak was the primary wood used in the construction of these pieces, it was not uncommon to see them manufactured in very elaborate styles decorated with expensive veneers and inlays.

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It is a simple unit made up of shelving and drawers that can be used to store kitchenware as well as a base for serving them. These dining room pieces come with lighting as well, however they are usually sold as extra features. Just as when the sideboard first became popular it is not only about efficiency but also about aesthetics. With an oak sideboard in your dining room, an ideal atmosphere is set.

Although there are more modern styles available on the market, the majority of the oak sideboards that are manufactured today are still done with an antique appearance and can be very ornately decorated with curved or serpentine facades. Inlays and other intricate woodworking add to the sophistication of the room that the oak sideboard is used in.

Whether it is as a side hall space with accented painting or mirror or as an extra cabinet in your bathroom for those towels and essentials, this piece can brighten up any space. You can store scarves, gloves, hats, even photo albums inside and display family photos or what knots on the top.

Additionally, people occasionally purchase them to decorate their hall entryways by placing them under an ornate antique wall mirror. When used in this area of the home, people will generally lay their keys on them and use them to store gloves, hats, and scarves during the winter months.

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