There tends to be a bit of confusion surrounding hutches. While similar in many ways, they are not interchangeable. A hutch is not just any cabinet or any shelf and any cabinet or any shelf is not a hutch.
Specifically, a hutch is shelving unit or cabinet that is placed above a desk, commode, etc.
Without being placed above some form of storage unit, it is simply a cabinet or a shelf.
Hutches are most often attached to the unit it is placed above, like the one in the pictured Arts and Crafts Ebony Pedestal Desk and Hutch by Home Styles.
Hutches can be open shelving units, cabinets with doors or any combination of the two.
Worthwhile hutches are ones that maximize storage potential with the small amount of space it occupies.
The hutch in the Arts and Crafts Ebony Pedestal Desk and Hutch by Home Styles features both closed cabinets and open shelving that contributes to the symmetry of its design as well as your varying storage needs.
So remember, whenever you’re purchasing furniture with an accompanying hutch, always have a clear idea of what your storage needs are so you can get the perfect solution.