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Sideboards have been used for household storage for hundreds of years. But it was in the nineteenth century that their use became more widespread, in countries including England, France and Scotland. They were typically made of wood such as mahogany, and bore intricate carvings, veneers and inlays. 

In the dining room, a sideboard is ideal as a closet for storing crockery, cutlery and other tableware. It also offers extra serving space, come dining time. Your buffet table should add effortless style to the room, without detracting from the overall aesthetic or taking up too much space. 

While traditionally, a sideboard is long and rectangular, some are smaller and square, making them suitable for smaller spaces. In an African or Asian-inspired apartment, for example, a two-door unit with textured wooden patterns on the doors will work a charm. Ensure surrounding furniture and décor accents are in similarly earthy hues. 

Sideboards can be used in living areas as entertainment units. Got ultra-modern living room furniture, with a black and white colour scheme? Something simple and dark – such as a sleek, black wood and stainless steel piece with push-to-open doors, rather than door handles, will blend into the surroundings without detracting from whatever’s showing on the TV. 

In a more retro space, go for a wooden TV unit with small legs and a quirky finish on the doors, such as textured diagonal stripes. Simply top with a collection of pretty glass bottles and some fresh pot plants, and you’ve got a whole look to match your living room furniture