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By Helvetica
Simple question here, just wondering if there is a standard / traditional height for a sideboard, or a hallway storage unit. the way a table might be 800mm high. Thanks

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By doctor Bob
I tend to work to the following

Tables 750
Sideboards 800
Kitchens 900

but how long is a bit of string?
By Sgian Dubh
The numbers Bob has provided are fairly standard for typical furniture configurations. I'll add that desk tops can be as low as about 680 mm and a typical dining chair has a seat height in the region of ~410 - 460 mm.

But in response to your specific question, another approach to the height of a sideboard should be determined by the storage needs and the intended use of the upper surface. By this I mean the piece is intended to solve a particular storage requirement or requirements, so you design from the inside out, so to speak. Solving all the storage requirements, including a little extra space for contingencies, will result in a minimum internal volume around which the rest of the cabinet has to fit incorporating such things as shelves (adjustable or not) drawers, and ways of enclosing the storage, e.g., doors (hinged, sliding, concertina, bi-fold, etc) fall flaps, flippers, tambours, and so on.

In other words, if there's a known internal volume requirement, it's then your challenge to determine how this will be made up in terms of length, width and height incorporating means to arrange the storage using those shelves, drawers, bins, or whatever.

Then all that has to incorporate a top surface that may, or may not, have a specific use, and there might even be a gallery of some sort incorporating drawers or shelving required at the back of that. For example, maybe the top surface has to work as somewhere from which food is served, or it's required as some other form of work surface. Work surfaces, such as kitchen worktops, are typically 900 mm high.

Anyway, I suppose all the above are the sort of things that immediately go through my mind if someone happens to ask me how I go about designing a piece of furniture … and I haven't even got to thinking about aesthetics, appearance and materials, nor even a price.

Still, if none of the practical considerations briefly described above apply, and you simply want to make a cabinet that you can call a sideboard because it's longer than it's tall, but not so short that you have to bend down to get at the top surface, then I suggest you aim for the top surface to be anywhere between about 750 mm and 900 mm, with Doctor Bob's 800 mm fitting quite neatly between, ha, ha. Slainte.
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By Helvetica
Sgian Dubh wrote:The numbers Bob has provided are fairly standard for typical furniture configurations. I'll add that desk tops can be as low as about 680...

Great info thanks all

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By MikeG.
Sgian Dubh wrote:....... I'll add that desk tops can be as low as about 680 mm.......

Mine is 630. I wanted the mouse mat to be as low as possible. Obviously this means there is no drawer below the desk-top.
By Sgian Dubh
#1299661 wrote:Isn't there also a golden ratio when designing furniture, for heights of bottom and top sections?

There are quite a few proportioning systems out there that can inform design development across a range of disciplines, e.g., architecture, interior design, furniture, product design, art, photography, even typefaces and graphic design, etc.

To list a few, there are:
    the Classical Orders,
    Golden Mean,
    Le Corbusier's 'Le Modulor',
    and so on.
Whether or not a designer uses one or more of the systems, or none at all to create a designed item, depends on quite a range of factors, e.g., client requirements, personal motivation and/or principles of the designer, the design discipline, the project's final location, etc.

'Design' is a bit of a nebulous word used in isolation, generally requiring context to logically inform its application in the development of a 'product', which can range almost endlessly through architecture, toasters, boats, furniture, painting, sculpture, etc.

Certainly, if you want to incorporate a particular design discipline or proportioning system into a piece of furniture (in this case) you can do so, but it generally helps if you have developed a firm grasp of both the theory and the practical application … a prolonged period of study generally helps, ha, ha. Slainte.
By Sgian Dubh
MikeG. wrote: Mine is 630. I wanted the mouse mat to be as low as possible. Obviously this means there is no drawer below the desk-top.

That's frequently a very practical height, Mike. It puts the top surface at about the right height for 'other' typical desk activities such as writing and drawing. I usually find desks incorporating a sliding keyboard tray for use with either a desktop or laptop computer too high really for those 'other' uses; the top surface often ends up at about 750 mm or so off the ground, so trying to write or draw means uncomfortably hitching up a shoulder. Slainte.
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By MikeG.
The Golden Mean (or Ratio) is mathmatically indistinguishable from the Fibonacci sequence. I'd add the eastern traditions to the list that Sgian Dubh has given. As an aside, I won't work for clients who start talking about Feng Shui, which seems to mean whatever some self-proclaimed expert decides it means, wrapped up in gobbledegook about "energy flows". In general terms, all "rules" for design are man-made, not intrinsic, and are a reflection of our tastes, an attempt to codify what the majority like into a set of rules.
By Just4Fun
I have tried using the Golden Mean (or Ratio) in designs, without success. Maybe my projects are just odd but I typically find at least one dimension is limited by outside factors. For a desk there is a minimum and maximum height, for example. Depending on its planned location there may be restrictions on its length or depth. For other projects the available material or project purpose might fix a dimension. A fixed ratio between dimensions then means that the constrained dimension effectively dictates all dimensions, which is generally an unacceptable design limitation for me. So after an initial bout of enthusiasm for the ratio I now ignore it and just do something which I think will be OK.