Decor, Dining Room Ideas

How to Tell the Difference Between Servers, Buffets and Hutches

dark wood dining table next to a dark wood hutch

Whether you require more space to store your holiday placemats, plates, flatware, linen, or other bits and pieces, or you want an extra surface to place hot dishes and food trays, there are several dining room furniture options to try. However, with so many different names such as buffets, servers, hutches, credenza and sideboards, selecting the most suitable option may confuse you before you’ve even begun looking through stores. 

The Difference Between Dining Room Buffets, Hutches, and Servers

You may be thinking what is a hutch and how is it different to dining servers? What are the benefits of a buffet vs. a credenza? While many stores use the furniture names interchangeably, there is a slight difference between buffet tables, dining hutches and servers. Knowing these distinctions can assist you in deciding which one is ideal for your home. 

Dining Room Buffets

What is a buffet table? Buffets were traditionally used in Sweden for laying out large amounts of food or smorgasbords. After France caught on to the idea, the use of a buffet in dining rooms spread throughout Europe. Buffets and sideboards look very similar — however, the leg length and which room you place it in can alter the name. Buffets are a piece of storage furniture on higher legs and are often used in the dining room, while sideboards have low or no legs and are found in living rooms or entryways. If the furniture has low legs and sliding doors in front of the storage, then it may be referred to as a credenza. 

If you’re debating the merits of a buffet vs. a sideboard, there is minimal difference between the two except the leg height. As most people use the names interchangeably and call it a buffet when it’s in the dining room, we recommend selecting the ideal style and storage option most suitable for your home interior regardless of the furniture name.

Dining Room Hutches

A hutch has extra storage on top of a buffet or sideboard and is more of a full-sized cabinet. It can feature low open shelving or have tall storage with doors in front, usually glass so that you can display fine china or other accessories. You can still use the furniture to serve hot drinks or food from the countertop and store flatware or linens below in the drawers or cabinets. Some hutches may have a mirror behind the upper shelving to give the illusion of more depth in the room. 

The benefit of a hutch vs. a buffet is the extra storage above the counter so you can display decorative accents in your dining room. It has a simpler style compared to a china cabinet, and you don’t need to limit what you showcase on the shelving. You can house your favorite books or add greenery to your space with a plant. 

Dining Room Servers 

Servers are typically smaller than buffets and have a more formal or elegant style. They can have drawers, cupboards, or an open space below with taller legs. Dining room servers differ from buffets in that they are designed to hold dishes or platters while a person formally serves food to a guest. As servers are smaller and don’t have as much storage compared to a hutch or buffet, they are ideal if you are short on space in your dining room yet desire an extra surface for placing items. 

What Dining Room Furniture Fits Your Needs? 

Whether you opt for a server, buffet or hutch will depend on your personal preference and how much space you have in your dining room. A tall hutch may appear overwhelming in a small area, yet a buffet with a wall mirror above it can give you the storage you desire without overpowering the room. If you have a medium to large dining room and love to entertain, a hutch can provide you with extra counter space to hold food and enough storage to house your spare flatware, cutlery and linen, while the sophisticated style of a server is ideal for formal dining rooms. 

Find Your New Dining Room Furniture at Home Zone Furniture

You can easily style your home and find the perfect dining room storage solution from our extensive range of furniture. We also have an extensive range of accents to style your new buffet, server or hutch, which you can conveniently browse online or by visiting your nearest Home Zone store. Still wondering what a buffet is? You can contact our friendly and knowledgeable team for assistance, and they can guide you in finding the perfect piece for your home.

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