Choosing the right storage for your dining needs

February 10, 2016.

Now that you’ve selected the right dining room table and chairs, you need some place to store your linens, dishes, stemware and other dining necessities.  Purchasing a server, sideboard or hutch is challenging because they come in a variety of sizes, shapes, materials and designs.  No matter what the style of your home decor, it is possible to find something to suit your space.  For most, buying dining room furniture happens once in a lifetime!  A wise investment will last a lifetime and can be handed down from generation to generation.  If you want a piece that will last and serve future generations, buy the best quality piece you can afford.

72L 38T 18D

Here are a few things to consider before you purchase your next piece.


Dining rooms can be tight on space once you install a table, dining chairs and entertain a group of dinner guests. Buy something that not only suits your decor but also fits your space! Before you purchase your new storage piece, start by making a list of what you need to store. This helps to determine exactly what you are looking for and what features matter most.  Use masking tape to mark off the area where the piece will sit in the room. Measure the height, width, length, and depth of the area to get a full picture of the size that you need.  Measure your platters, stacks of plates and other larger items you will be storing to determine the right interior depth and height needed.  If your dining room is tight, you may want a piece with doors that slide open and close on tracks rather than swing open.  If it has doors that swing open, make sure there is enough clearance to fully swing open the doors without hitting a wall or another piece of furniture.


After determining the size and what features are essential, look at the style of the other furniture in the room. It is important that the new piece compliments the other furniture both in terms of style and in terms of color; but it is not necessary to match the other furniture exactly. Gone are the days of purchasing matching dining room sets!


The key to a good storage piece is flexibility. Not only should it allow you to organize items of various shapes and sizes now, it should continue to serve you as items change over time. The interior should contain adjustable shelves. If there are drawer compartments, they should also be adjustable and removable.

Divided drawers



61W 21D 37T sideboard

As a rough guide, the average traditional sideboard unit is 36″ tall, however, there is no standard height for a sideboard.  For functional reasons, the height of a sideboard typically is at the waist of an average height person.  This is because we typically use the top for holding plates and food, similar to a buffet table, so it makes sense that it should be at a level easily reachable, but also slightly higher than the dining table.  A marble topped sideboard offers scratch resistance and is easy to clean, but the good quality material will be reflected in the price.  Alternatively,  place a cut-to-size piece of thick, tempered glass on top of the wood surface, so that the beauty of the wood grain shows through while the glass protects the surface from scratches. Glass will not provide heat protection.  It’s best to use a trivet or thick table pad under hot plates.

Server & Credenza

If displaying fine china is out of the question. Modern credenzas provide ample space to store dishes, napkins and linens.

A (3)


Custom_glass server wood_01The practicality of having dishes on display and closed storage below makes the hutch a welcome piece of furniture in many dining rooms.  As with any tall furniture piece, you may want to anchor the hutch to the wall to prevent the hutch from tipping forward from the weight of your dishes.

A Restored Vintage Piece

breakfront (4)

A vintage piece creates visual interest, a focal point for the room, and can generate a sense of architecture in an otherwise bland space.  Vintage cabinets by North American furniture manufacturers made around the turn of the century can be an excellent investment.  Their fine details and trim work is very expensive to recreate today.  When considering purchasing a vintage piece, look for dovetail joints.  These joints are strong, require skill to produce and are generally a sign of a well made piece.  Look for the manufacturer’s stamps.  Around the turn of the 20th century, manufacturers used paper labels that later progressed to brass plates tacked onto the insides of drawers or the back of furniture.  In the 1950s & 60s, manufacturers used spray on stencils.

Henrdeon stencil Henredon Furniture Industries – branded

Corner Cabinet

Geddes Furniture

Corner cabinets are designed for use in rooms with limited space. They are triangular, with a flat or rounded front, and are designed to set into the dead space at the corner of a room. 


As people are downsizing more and more, there is a need to buy furniture that does double duty.  A sideboard in a condo or apartment can be placed below a flat screen TV in the living room becoming useful in an open space that requires both a TV console and also a place to store things.  Hallways are also sometimes overlooked as useful places for storing or display, but the right piece will be able to fulfill both functions adequately. The height and overall size of the furniture piece will be dependant on the size and shape of the hallway itself.  Cupboards can be used to store shoes, umbrellas and other items, while drawers can be used to store keys or mail.

Most importantly, when choosing the perfect storage piece for you home be sure that it is functional for your household, looks in place with other pieces in the room, and is well made so it will be cherished for a long time!  Door hinges and drawer runners should be of high quality to withstand the test of day to day usage.  A stunning piece of furniture can be both a talking point with visitors and lift the rest of the decor in the room.

This is a great time to speak with us about ordering your custom solid wood sideboard, credenza, hutch or storage cabinet.  We are offering 15% off all dining room furniture purchases now through March 2016.