How Long And Deep Should A Sideboard Be?

If you're looking for a piece of furniture that will tie in with your existing dinette set, you might be considering a sideboard. Should you have a smaller dining area in your home, you are no doubt taking care not to commit to a piece that will crowd the room any more than you have to. Will a sideboard be too big for your dining room? We looked at numerous sideboard designs to get the typical dimensions, so you'll have a definitive answer.

Sideboards should be at least 16 inches deep. The sideboard length is a standard 60 inches, but if you are looking at one that will take up less room, sideboards as small as 44 inches wide can be readily found.

Now that we know how long and deep a sideboard should be, we'll break down why sideboard sizing really matters. We'll also discuss whether or not a sideboard should match the dining room table, how much space you'll need between the sideboard and other furniture, and what should be stored inside this piece of furniture. To see what we discovered, read ahead in this post.

A wooden sideboard with lamps and a small chair on the side with dangling lamps, How Long And Deep Should A Sideboard Be?

Why size matters with sideboards

A sideboard can store excess dishware and serving ware and provide an area to set out food for large dinners and gatherings. For these reasons, the sideboard size is very important to fulfill these functional objectives. The sideboard depth should be at least 16 inches, as we noted earlier in this post. This will allow you to safely place large platters of food on top of it without any risk of tipping or falling off the front side. 

The length is also critical. If you are setting a lot of food out, you'll need ample tabletop space to achieve this. While you can get a sideboard that is 44 inches long, the average sideboard measures around 60 inches. The latter size is best for the intended purposes of this piece of furniture. However, sometimes the smaller models will work much better for dining rooms that are smaller than normal or for use inside of an eat-in kitchen.

Lastly, the height of the sideboard matters. Most sideboards are 36 inches tall, putting them on average six inches higher than the typical dining room table. This noticeable difference in the sizes between these two objects makes the room seem larger in scale.

How to choose the right sideboard?  

The right-sized sideboard for your home will depend upon the available space you have for the sideboard, as well as what you intend to use the sideboard for. 

Sideboard as a Buffet

Should you want to use the sideboard in the dining room as a buffet, you'll want to make certain that it is several inches taller than your dining room table. You'll also want to make sure that you choose a sideboard that will comfortably fit into the space, leaving enough room to maneuver around the sideboard safely. For now, we'll just point out that if you have a smaller dining room, you should consider a sideboard that measures shorter than the standard 60 inches.

Sideboard in the Living Room

If the sideboard is going to be placed in the living room, it should be far enough away from other furnishings so that the drawers and shelves are easily accessible. For obvious reasons, if you use the sideboard as a television stand, having it spaced a good distance from your other living room furniture is important for best viewing and comfort. 

We found this rustic sideboard, which would be great as a dining buffet, or living room accent piece. This sideboard has plenty of storage and ample tabletop.

To view this sideboard on Amazon, click here.

Does sideboard have to match dining table?

Some dinette sets will come with a matching sideboard. But this doesn't mean that you are committed to searching for a sideboard that is a close match to your dining room table. Having a sideboard that stands out from the other furnishings in the room can be a fun way to showcase a vintage piece and will definitely draw attention to any decor you place on the tabletop when you aren't using it as a buffet. 

Not having the sideboard match your dinette set will be convenient if you ever repurpose the sideboard in another room of your home. If you move it into a family room or bedroom, it clearly won't matter at all if it matches your dining room furniture. 

How much space between sideboard and table?

Proper spacing between your furniture is important in every room of your home, and the dining room is no exception. For safety reasons, you should provide enough room to maneuver bodies around each piece of furniture, as well as in between them. You also want to have ample spacing to ensure that the traffic flow is not hindered.

It's recommended that you keep a distance of at least 24 inches between each piece of furniture. This is especially important when considering the needed space between the dining room table and your sideboard. You not only need room to move behind guests when they are seated at your table but those that are seated also need enough room to comfortably move their chair back when they leave the table.

Interior of a rustic dining room with wooden furniture's, wooden cabinets, and wooden dining tables and chairs

What do you put inside a sideboard?

What you place inside a sideboard will most likely depend on what room of your home you place this piece of furniture. When it's in your dining room or kitchen, the sideboard is referred to as a buffet. When in either of these rooms, it's common to store dishes, serving ware, silverware, and other useful items. 

If the sideboard is in another room of your home, use it to store a number of different objects. If you're using the sideboard as a television stand, it might store blue-rays, DVDs, or video games. Set against another wall, it might be a practical place to store family photo albums, books, or other items that might not need to see the light of day often.

A modern Scandinavian themed living room with a wooden screened sideboard with furniture's on top

In Closing

Sideboards have been an important piece in homes for centuries. Their size and storage space allows them to be used for different purposes in pretty much any room in your home. Whether you are using your sideboard as a buffet or have it placed in your family room and are using it as a television stand, you can be certain that your family will get years of good use out of this furnishing.

If you found this post on sideboards to be helpful, we believe you'll enjoy reading the following posts on home furnishings and home decor:

How To Decorate Glass Cabinets In Living Room [5 Timeless Options]

How to Separate the Kitchen and Dining Room [and How to Combine Them Too!]

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