Buffet, Sideboard or Hutch–What’s the Difference?

Beth Rice 10/05/2018

No, you’re not a rule breaker. There’s a chance you might have a sideboard in your dining room or a buffet in your living room, since they’re very similar and the terms used to describe both are interchangeable. When it comes down to it, sideboards, buffets and hutches share the common goals of providing storage and offering a serving area or a display space. Here are the subtle differences that set them apart.


A buffet is a lot like a sideboard and a sideboard is a lot like a buffet. Both are used for storage and display and for serving food on occasion. One main difference is where they are used in the home. When placed in the living room, you have a sideboard. When placed in the dining room, you have a buffet.


  • Originated in Sweden, starting out as tables used to serve pre-dinner drinks, then developed into a “smorgasboard” table for serving food
  • Popular choice for laying out a wide variety of food for self-serving
  • Offer more space horizontally than vertically, more conducive to hosting buffet style meals
  • Normally located in dining rooms, but have become popular in the kitchen for storing and serving
  • Often have medium to long legs that support cabinets or drawers
  • Offer plenty of drawer and cupboard space

Amish Old Century Buffet  

The Amish Philbrook Dining Sideboard

The Amish Philbrook Dining Sideboard can be used in the dining room or living room.

 Amish Christy Buffet Amish Iron Mission Buffet

The Amish Christy Buffet and the Amish Iron Mission Buffet

The Amish Christy Buffet and the Amish Eco Buffet are versatile dining storage cabinets that can be used in the living room for plants, books, or miscellaneous media storage.


  • Originally used to serve food; over time drawers and cupboards were added to store dishes and other household items
  • A long, low cabinet often with short legs; some sideboards have cabinets that extend all the way down to the floor
  • Narrow depth allows them to fit in smaller spaces
  • Called a buffet when used in the dining room for serving food, displaying dishes, and storage
  • Versatile, can be used in living rooms, dining areas, kitchens, hallways, and foyers

Amish Delphi Sideboard with Optional Wine Rack Delphi Sideboard with Wine Rack Option

The Amish Delphi Sideboard is shown here with and without the wine rack option. The Delphi measures 18″ deep, making it a great candidate to fit in a smaller space.

Amish Grant Sideboard

The Amish Grant Sideboard offers plenty of room to multi-task, organize, and banish clutter.


  • A hutch is a set of shelves or cabinets added on top of a lower storage unit
  • Provides added storage and display space
  • Popular in the dining room or kitchen, but a hutch is very versatile and can be used as extra storage anywhere from foyer to bedroom

Amish 57" Three Door Hutch

The Amish 57″ Shaker Three Door Hutch

Amish Rustic Aspen Log Hutch

The Amish Rustic Aspen Log Hutch
The Amish 57″ Shaker Three Door Hutch and the Amish Rustic Aspen Log Hutch all add storage on top of a sideboard or buffet.

Wherever you decide to use your sideboard, buffet, or hutch, you can’t go wrong with customizable solid wood dining storage.

Amish Mara 2 Door Dining Sideboard
The Amish Mara 2-Door Dining Sideboard is perfect for foyer or hallway.
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