The original purpose of a Buffet was to aid the serving of meals or snacks in a dining area, especially in a restaurant or other public eating area or establishement. Today they are useful for holding books or other items we all use today. They are usually mobile pieces of furniture as they would be moved from room to room and are not unlike a trolley.
A Secretaire, Secretary or Escritoire is a closed writing desk, first introduced in the late Georgian era and usually formed of a wide base with length of drawers and topped by a desk with a hinged surface that can be opened to reveal an area to store writing implements, paper, enveloped etc. Larger pieces will be topped by a bookcase and so would be a static piece of furniture. Very useful piece of furniture and whilst many of us don't write letters these days, they are the perfect station for working at with your laptop and keeping all your pharaphenalia in. Especially as they often have a lock on, so when you are away, you can keep them safe.
A bureau is similar to a Secretaire in that it provides a writing desk area, but usually forms part of a chest of drawers, as opposed to a standalone writing desk that may have book storage above it. Again a useful and very relevant piece of furniture today.
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