Hands up if you know the difference between a buffet, sideboard or a credenza? Don't worry, most people don't know the difference because these words are used interchangeably by furniture companies. They are pretty much the same because they have similar functions of storage and offering additional space for serving food.
The nuances are subtle when distinguishing between a buffet, sideboard or credenza. The difference between a sideboard and buffet is that sideboards have shorter legs and the cabinets are closer to the ground. A buffet will have longer legs thus more appropriate to serve food. Historically, a credenza will not have legs and the cabinet will be close to the ground. A distinguishing feature is that most credenzas have sliding doors.
Here are our top 3 design tips if you are looking for a buffet cabinet:
1. Height should be higher than 750mm H - The buffet will be higher than the dining table. You want the visual cue of seeing the dining table and then your eyes move up to the buffet. It is at a height easily accessible to serve food.
2. Doesn't have to match the dining table - This will be hard to resist but I assure you it's okay not to have matching timbers or stain. The dining table should be the focal point in the room. The buffet is the support piece to compliment it. As long as there is one similar element i.e. black legs in both pieces, it will work wonderfully.
3. Be proportionate - Buffets come in a wide range of sizes from 1600 to 2200mm wide. You want the buffet to be proportionate to the dining table. Ideally, it should not be longer than the length of your table. Otherwise, it will take the focus from your table.
Decorating with a buffet cabinet is easy because it's so versatile and allows you to be creative. You really can't do much with a dining table because it's usually left bare unless you are having dinner on it. Our favorite design trick is to have floor lamps beside the buffet and hang a cool mirror above it. A grouping of different vases also makes for a spectacular effect.