Sideboard is a piece of furniture that is used for storage. It is a long and a low piece with short or no legs, and is available in different array of styles, with glass-front or mirrored doors, high-gloss lacquered and nailhead trim finishes. It also comes with cabinets below. Think of it as the precursor to modern day kitchen cabinets and you’ll get a good picture of what the piece exactly looks like.
Sideboard originated in England. When it originated, it was just a simple plank set atop trestles or a shelf attached to wall. It was a place for putting all kinds of food while serving. Over time, cupboards and drawers were added below and the piece then became more important as the one with which prized possessions are displayed. Its antique variation is a huntboard, which is basically taller than a typical sideboard. The piece was designed for the hungry folks to stand around and eat from after hunting.
Sideboard that’s used in dining room may be called a buffet. Only when it is placed in living room, it is called sideboard. Buffets were used first in Sweden for laying out big spreads of food as well as drink, popular as smorgasbords. In practice, shops & manufacturers of bespoke furniture in Berkshire seem to call low, long pieces of storage that have higher legs as buffets and those with shorter legs as sideboards.
A server is more formal, smaller and lighter in scale than a buffet. It may have a drawer on a taller leg or a cabinet like a sideboard or a buffet. It basically came from the concept when people used to serve food in a restaurant or a formal dining room; the server is usually the place where people serving the food can place their serving dishes. Although furniture makers and shops use the word buffet interchangeably with server, a server is smaller in size.