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Sideboards- Where Have You Been?!

A sideboard is the perfect way to add that luxurious feel to an empty hallway, dining room or living room. Not only are they decorative extremely versatile in terms of where they may be used but they are also amazingly practical and functional, providing lots of drawer and cupboard space. For a long time the sideboard had been consigned to design history, the younger generation wouldn’t have dreamt of having one in their homes as “that’s what their Nan had”. However, much like the fashion world, interior design trends run in cycles and now the once forgotten sideboard is enjoying something of a modern renaissance.

It is largely the resurgence of retro design that sideboards have to thank for their return to popularity. The sideboard was a mainstay in the home between the thirties and seventies. From the Art Deco, all the way to the Pop period sideboards survived, periodically undergoing some cosmetic alterations, but always surviving. For almost five decades, the British public was in the middle of a love affair with the sideboard. So what happened? Good question. The answer is the open plan home. The seeds had been sewn during the amazing explosion of new design concepts that was the sixties. Though obviously a richly profitable era in terms of what it gave us, the restructuring of the home where split levels would indicate new rooms rather than conventional walls started a gradual pairing down of homes until by the late eighties the living space had become one giant room. The media proclaimed the death of the hall, the kitchen, the dining room and the living room- we were now living “open-plan”! Without a dining room or a hallway, there didn’t seem much point in an old sideboard, “besides it will just clutter up our minimal scheme” we thought.

Fortunately, the human brain needs to be stimulated, and after ten years of living in empty white boxes and wondering how to reach the settee without walking on the cream carpet the interior design world began to look to the past for inspiration. Colour was now back! Texture was back! Actually having furniture was back, and the more retro influenced, the better. This has all lead to the rebirth of the sideboard- how could we have been so heartless?!

This is great news for interiors of all types because the fact is sideboards are amongst the most useful items of furniture you can have in your home. Whether used against the wall in a dining room to store all of your finest banquet cutlery and china or backing onto a settee when you seating is being used to create a room within a room in an open plan arrangement, they will always add that extra element of expense and decadence. Available in countless styles and finishes ranging from black lacquer to walnut, there will always be a sideboard to suit your room. Though they have moved on from being solely a retro feature, if it is the retro look you desire, look out for a teak or rosewood sideboard and matching furniture then add lots of classic textures and fabrics in the shape of hide rugs, velvet curtains, wall tapestries and corduroy settees.

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