Credenzas are commonly found in homes and offices across the country. But what are they and why are they used? Read on to find out answers to these questions and more with our complete shopping guide.
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What Is a Credenza?
You’ve heard about credenzas and their usefulness in both storage and interior design but might not know how to define what makes a piece of furniture a credenza.
What makes it different from a hutch, buffet, console, or sideboard? In simplest terms, a credenza is a type of console furniture that is used for storage.
Console pieces are meant to be placed against a wall with only the front and sides showing, so the back is usually undecorated. Credenzas are generally found in offices and living areas.
Credenzas are low to the ground, rectangular in shape, and feature a flat top with some type of storage space underneath.
That storage may be covered by doors, sliding doors, or partially open. The legs of are shorter to keep the unit low to the ground.
- Rectangular console shape
- Low to the ground
- Flat surface on top
- Storage space underneath
- Cabinets, shelves, sliding doors, or open space
Credenza vs. Buffet
With so many similarities, credenza and buffet are often mistakenly used as interchangeable terms. Buffets, another type of sideboard similar to credenzas, are typically placed in dining rooms and kitchens.
They are used to display an array of food and to store lesser-used dining supplies and items, like fine plates, placemats, silverware, trays, and cloth napkins. A credenza can be used as a buffet, but it won’t be at the correct height.
- Overall Height: Buffets are taller than credenzas for easy diner reach
- Total Depth: Buffets may be deeper than credenzas to accommodate more items
- Intended Area: Buffets are meant for dining rooms, credenzas are for living rooms
- Intended Use: Buffets are meant for food and dining items [/su_note]
Throughout history, credenzas have been used in different ways, but they’re always used for display or storage. They are commonly found in large offices, living rooms, hallways, and home offices.
Credenzas are popular to use for home storage and decor display in living rooms and shared family spaces because they can hide or organize clutter.
They also provide a surface to display knick-knacks and decor, and become the focal point of a room. They can function as a replacement for a bulky entertainment center, side tables, desks, or bookshelves.
Being low to the ground and rectangular makes credenzas popular desks. These desks may feature stacked drawer storage under either side of the desk surface.
Desks with hutches on top create more space for storage above the desk and drawers to keep the flat desk area clear. Computer desks are often credenza-style desks with or without hutches.
Because their design and construction is usually simple, the possibilities for ways to use a credenza are nearly limitless.
- Storage and organization
- Sideboard or buffet
- Desks and hutches
- Replacement for other furniture, like TV stands
- Decor display
- Focal point in a room
Our Favorite Credenzas
If you’re considering bringing a credenza into your home for decor or storage, you’ll want to be sure you know what to look for.
Are you looking for a statement piece that acts as a focal point in the room? Perhaps you’re after a sleek, functional style that won’t overwhelm the other furniture in the room.
We found a few examples of the most popular styles for every budget. We’ve organized our favorite finds by style and design.
Let’s look at the different types and styles of credenzas so you can determine which kind will be the best fit for your space.
Typically in white or muted shades of color, many of today’s most popular credenzas are built in the minimalist style. They don’t feature a lot of fancy detail.
This design features 2 drawers and a spacious 2-door cabinet containing 4 shelves. The shelves are not adjustable, but they are roomy.
Minimalist at its best, this credenza has clean lines and zero ornamentation. It features 2 drawers that conceal 2 shelves inside for storage.
Designed for those with a penchant for the ornate and elegant, these credenzas are the polar opposite of minimalist models. Heavy wood, detailed carvings, and a more formal feel mark these credenzas.
Detailed carvings and onlayed swirls make this faux-aged credenza look distinguished. It features 2-door cabinets along with 2 drawers.
Heavily detailed with the traditional scroll design, this credenza is hand-painted and features a textured antique bronze finish. This one has 4 doors, 2 drawers, and 3 shelves inside for plenty of storage.
Replicating the ever-popular mid-century modern style, these pieces are focused on form and function. Plus, who doesn’t love the look of geometric designs and tapered legs?
Containing 2 cabinets and 3 open shelves, this model is not as deep as credenzas commonly are, but has plenty of space for odds and ends. We love the mid-century style of this one.
This piece features sleek lines and an interesting geometric wine rack that make it perfect for entertaining. Three drawers and a 2-door cabinet give you plenty of storage space.
This minimalist piece has adjustable shelves to fit whatever you need inside the cabinet area and 3 drawers along the side to help you keep things organized.
Sure to attract attention and become the focal point of any room, these artistic credenzas show that form and function can meet in the middle.
This design is reminiscent of origami, with a soft geometric pattern that appears almost 3D. The top is natural, finished wood. It features 3 doors and 1 shelf inside.
This piece features a unique pattern of overlapping wood tiles on the front for an artistic touch that doesn’t look like it’s from a big box store. It has 3 drawers and 2 doors for storage.
For a classic home that doesn’t need a complete overhaul every time home decor trends shift, traditional credenzas are the sweet spot.
These pieces feature timeless design with a great balance between decorative and functional.
With lots of open space for displaying your favorite knick-knacks, this credenza balances storage space with design. There are two glass-door cabinets and a total of 6 shelves.
With a timeless design that can fit into any decor style, this credenza has 4 drawers and two 2-door cabinets that conceal 2 shelves inside.
Choosing the Right Credenza
Not all credenzas are created equally. Different manufacturers can make similar pieces that vary wildly in quality and overall value.
When you’re shopping for the perfect piece to complement your home, keep the following points in mind.
Does It Fit Your Budget?
Every budget is different, and yours should be top of mind as you begin your search for the right credenza. Before you start looking in earnest, figure out how much you can realistically afford to spend.
Whether you’re shopping online or in-store, this simple step will help you keep your attention on pieces within your budget.
Will It Last?
There’s a reason your grandparent’s furniture is likely still around today: It was built to last with quality materials. It can be tough to balance a budget with quality.
Still, with enough research, you can find a piece that is built with the right materials and likely to last a lifetime.
Look for credenzas that feature:
- Solid hardwood
- Metal or dovetail joints
- Tempered glass
- Heavy weight
- No flexing or leaning
Does It Fit or Overwhelm Your Space?
Finally, it’s essential to think about the way your piece will look in your home. Will it fit right in or overwhelm the space? Even a beautiful piece can end up being too much of a good thing if it’s not placed in the right area.
Take careful measurements to be sure you have plenty of room and clearance between the credenza and other furniture in the room.
Which Credenza Is Right for You?
Whether your style is more sleek and minimal or elegantly detailed, there’s a console that will be a perfect fit in your space.
Keeping the true purpose of credenzas in mind – storage and display – along with your own style and decor preferences will help you decide which style is right for you.