“Honey, where is our good tablecloth?” Yep, I get asked that every Easter / Thanksgiving / Christmas. A tacky shelf is not a good place to put a nice table cloth and my wife would kill me if I put a plain shelf on any wall, so I started looking for a simple solution for storage while not looking horrid. I stumbled across a variety of Buffet with Hutch attached. Functional, practical, and stylish. I was all in.
A buffet, also known as a server or a sideboard, is where one stores dining accessories such as silverware and linens. Its surface is an exhibit area where food is kept before bringing to the table, thus giving an extra serving space, especially at family gatherings. This food on display can be drinks, desserts and any other item to be served later. Well, there can be even just finished plates and dishes instead of food.
On the other hand, a hutch is usually a big cabinet or a shelf, typically a wooden one. Several hutches are used at once for having an additional storage space for food to be served later, although a few may exhibit souvenirs as well. Because most hutches are at eye level although they can be even higher at times, they are the kitchen’s focal piece. Those with glass cabinets display as well as protect fine works of art or objects. A few hutches come with built-in lighting to exhibit items at any point of time.
Overview of Buffet with Hutch
Of all the types of hutch available, the buffet hutch is the simplest one. It is generally a short cabinet having a flat top on which beverages, fruit bowls, dessert plates and any other additional food is kept.
Below the flat top of a buffet with hutch, a cabinet with solid wood/glass doors and some shelves exist. However, these doors can combine both glass and wood as well. Occasionally, a big drawer lies on the top of shelves. At times, the cabinet of such a hutch will have wheels, giving you the ease of moving it from one corner to another in a kitchen or dining room. The buffet hutch usually does not possess shelves atop the flat crest, although some come with small shelves at a higher level than the eye.
A buffet and hutch design is also the largest hutch having the normal cabinet space and drawers. However, the hutch is also big enough atop to accommodate different items. You will surely be pleased with the convenience of having your dining essentials close at your hand during a holiday feast. With their blends of closed shelves, open shelves, and drawers, buffet hutches are perfect for storing and showcasing the platters and dishware for special occasions.
Factors to Consider for Buying the Best Buffet and Hutch Blend
Usually, a buffet with hutch design involves a mix of a buffet table and hutch available as one piece. Both these parts are constructed either as two separate components demanding fastening or as a single furniture piece. A standard design features a counter top, an upper storage section with closed or open shelves and glass doors, and a lower storage area with closed shelves and drawers. A few models may also come with a wine rack as well as exclusive mounts to dangle stemmed glassware.
In this way, there are plenty of buffet and hutch styles available, each differing in size, color and hardware suiting different dining rooms as well as kitchens. So, how do you know which one is the best one? Well, for that, you need to consider a few buying factors for mapping them to your needs so that you can smoothly choose the most suitable one.
Factor 1: Size
Obviously, the buffet hutch needs to fit into the desired space you have selected for it in the kitchen or dining area. Thus, even before you select the type and brand, it is essential to know the size of the buffet hutch. For choosing the right size, you need to measure the size of the designated area in the kitchen, by finding out its height, width and length. According to this computed size, you will get an idea of the piece to be obtained from the market.
If the area available is small, a corner model can be your ideal option. Such a buffet hutch is small enough to fit in a corner comfortably, without taking much space. In case there is lot of space, you can consider buying a big one to accommodate all cutlery and tableware. As an extra note, do consider the height of the model you choose, as it should fit within the space, especially if the ceiling is low.
Logically, you must choose the size even as per quantity of present inventory you wish to keep inside the valuable furniture. It is also suggested to gauge the shelf depth and interior cabinet space, and compare the computed measurements with the space dimensions, which should be enough to store all your pitchers, plates, and platters. Then, ask yourself whether or not a two-door model shall suffice or an extra-large model shall fulfill the requirement.
Factor 2: Hutch Style
Generally, the hutch style that you select should match the style of the surrounding furniture in that space. This style is significantly distinguished by a few physical aspects such as leg design, carving and colour of construction wood.
Mission: Is a relatively modern American style of the 20th century. Usually, it features native lumber construction, which is usually native oak. Most mission style items have minimalist lines and are varnished. They are usually never painted. Bases shall possess a clean line either straight or in an arch form, while sides shall be flat or nicely adorned with inside details. Doors usually reside blush to frame. These items are admired for their longevity and strength.
Queen Anne: Is a style featuring refined and elegant lines reflecting simplicity. These furniture items usually have ball-and-claw feet, quite curved legs, lavish molding surrounding the top and distinguishing scalloping atop the apron. Further, hutch doors come with raised panels. The Queen Anne style hutches are composed of cherry wood and festooned with brass pulls.
Shaker: Is designed by keeping the function at the core, which means there is no lavish decoration found on these buffet hutches but are still elegant. Most of them are hand carved, and that many of them can have flat doors, flat but crisp line on lower edge, molding atop the hutch top, grid or glass doors and bit tapering legs. You can find most of them painted in yellow, blue, red and teal. Native lumbers such as maple and knobs usually make up these items.
Victorian: Is a part of an era reflecting elegance, splendor and gilding. Models of this style are carved from rosewood or mahogany as well as ooze out the carving of other noteworthy eras of Europe such as Gothic. Other features include dark staining, heavy proportioning and detailed and elegant carvings.
Factor 3: Construction
Buffets and hutches made using solid hardwoods such as oak, cherry, and maple are sturdier and more durable. This is essential as you will have more of heavy items to store inside or on the shelf. However, you should be ready to pay for such models. In case budget is a concern, choose a model having components made up of different materials like doors from composites. While solid sides ensure you more safety in case the items tip over by chance, glass sides allow observing them at a glance. The choice is finally yours!
If you go with a contemporary design, you will have to choose a model made from pine, metal, or even a recycled material. The latter one is appealing to all green fans!
Factor 4: Design
Buffet hutches are available in different conceivable designs such as modern, traditional and transitional. In case you have a farmhouse-style cooking area, a buffet with hutch having a solid wood construction, uncovered grain, ornamental moulding as well as curved feet is an ideal choice. If the kitchen is contemporary, a modern design with sleek finish and clean lines is ideal. In case your kitchen’s theme is transitional, a model with classic elements and designer-motivated materials and finishes is preferable.
Factor 5: Details
Apart from the standard counter top and storage models, several buffet and hutch combos offer more extras. You can have padded drawers having dividers for organizing and guarding the spoons, knives and forks. Some models have wine rack compartments for wine storage and stemware racks for safety of wine glasses.
Hutches can also come with different plain glass options. In case of hutch top with ornate details over the glass doors, the glass used here is usually plain. Another option is bevel glass seen in very simple doors for rendering a design that allows viewing items inside. This design has some shape and leans a bit toward the edges. You can even have the more modern seedy glass option for the hutch.
According to the style and quality of the model, the hardware fittings can be of metal, plastic, ceramic or wood. Similarly, a few models come with some deck options. In case the hutch cabinets widen fully to the top of buffet beneath, a closed deck is what you get. An open deck is formed when cabinets are shorter than the buffet base.
There is even a door style to look for. If the doors open toward you, it indicates the need of more space. However, if the space is not too much, consider a model with sliding doors.
Factor 6: Lights
Get a buffet and hutch model that is already wired with lighting in case you wish to exhibit the art objects, keepsakes, or other unique objects behind the transparent doors of glass. Such a lighting model can even help boost the mood for private dining by turning the main lights off or dim. You need to ensure that an electrical outlet is nearby the area you have selected for your wired model.
Factor 7: Flexibility
This is perhaps the key to a reliable storage item. The buffet hutch that you select should not only facilitate proper organization of things of different sizes and shapes but also continue to serve consistently with changing things over time. In simple words, this means that there should be adjustable shelves and removable or adjustable drawer compartments for accommodating more items in future.
Top 2 Buffet Hutch Models
This buffet and hutch aims to offer extra storage as well as work space for the dining area and kitchen. It blends a cottage oak top holding an adjustable shelf, two-door cabinet and two utility drawers hanging on metal slides. Atop is a hutch made up of Aspen Wood.
- Easy assembly
- Strong real wood construction
- Good finish
- Great height
- Adequate storage
- Adjustable shelves
- Well display
- Difficulty in initial setup, especially the top
This hutch is my personal favorite as I love its design and visual appeal. This one is ideal for contemporary setting. It is a large buffet with hutch made out of Asian hardwood with a black finish along with the top in cottage oak. The piece comes with two cabinet doors with a wooden frame, three utility drawers and adjustable shelf for giving you ample of internal storage. While this point makes this piece almost similar to the aforementioned one.
- Cool and elegant look
- Easy to follow instructions
- Secured hutch to back
- Small, misleading drawers
- Time consuming assembly due to heaviness
While most buffet hutch models may appear the same, the extra storage sections act as the key to make an informed decision. Further, even the style and type of wood in construction also help drastically. The key here is to choose as per the budget and requirements. I went with the slightly more expensive buffet hutch which required more assembly but the perks far out weighed the cons in my opinion.