French Country Decorating

French Sideboards: Popular Then & Now

Throughout history, art depicts royalty and nobles indulging in meats, breads, wines and grapes from a sideboard at grand celebrations.

Sideboards, often called “credenzas,” “buffets,” or “servers,” origins date back to 19th century Europe when the French adopted the idea of less formal meals. The word “bufet” meaning “bench” or “stool,” has French origins dating back to the 12th century. By the 19th century, the word “buffet” was widely used to refer to a meal served on a side table. The sideboard quickly became an essential furniture piece in French homes when the Parisians began emulating the Nordic dining tradition of smörgåsbords.

Today, the sideboard has evolved to being an important dining piece for serving, storing dishes and displaying all your prized curiosities. Let’s take a look at some sideboards that are specifically French, and see if you can make a style match for your home.

Image: decorpad

This regal French sideboard boast elegant details such as centered rosettes on the lower doors and a detailed foot. The rich, dark blue hue anchors the room with a nod to French-style.

Get the look: 
The equally elegant details on this French provincial sideboard features fluted side columns, beveled doors and drawers and contoured base detail. Have it finish it in midnight blue for a style match.


This French country-inspired living room is gracefully anchored by an antique country French sideboard finished in a weathered white finish. The casual everyday feel of this room makes you want to sit and converse the afternoon away.

Get the look: The classic design and glazed finish of this French country long sideboard is a perfect style match for your space. Have it finished in champlain white for an aged-French appeal.


Francophiles unite. This classic French country buffet is a traditional and essential storage piece for a dining space. The contoured details on the doors and drawers combined with a pottery and finial collection harken you back to a simpler time.

Get the look:
The Country French Buffet has many of the same classical attributes as the antique. The beveled detailed moulding on the doors and drawers and ring pulls give the piece an aged elegance not typically found in furniture of today. Have it finished in millstone with a glaze for a style match.


The 3-drawer, black lacquered French sideboard is an important design detail to anchor this Parisian apartment. When combined with a grouping of artwork, cocktail tray and a pair of classic lamps, French style is abound.

Get the look: 
Clean lines of this three door French Wine Buffet is a design complement to any dining room. Updated for today, the open center bottle storage is a functional addition to store wines and liquor. Have it finished in black for a style match.


Most loved, but often overlooked—a French sideboard is a work-horse in your dining space. The low-and-long piece provides tons of storage for dishes, baubles and linens without visually overwhelming a room.

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