What is a Credenza?

A credenza is a type of sideboard or buffet typically used in dining rooms for serving food, displaying serving dishes, or as an additional storage space.


A credenza is an elegant piece of furniture that finds its roots in mid-20th century design, though its history stretches back much further. Traditionally, credenzas feature a flat top, supported by a low cabinet, making them perfect for serving food or displaying decorative items. They often include a mix of exposed shelving and hidden storage, with doors or drawers to keep dining essentials organized and out of sight.

In contemporary interior design, the use of a credenza has expanded beyond the dining room. Today, you'll find credenzas being used as stylish and functional pieces in offices for storage, living rooms as media centers, or in hallways as an attractive space-saving solution. The versatility of a credenza, combined with its sleek lines and often decorative detailing, makes it a favored choice for both storage and display purposes.

Credenzas come in a variety of styles, materials, and finishes, allowing them to blend seamlessly with virtually any design styles|design style. Whether you're looking for a piece to complement your mid century modern living room, a rustic dining space, or a contemporary office, there's likely a credenza that fits your aesthetic and functional needs.


In a dining room, a vintage teak credenza might be used to store dinnerware and linen, with its flat top serving as a space for a buffet spread during gatherings. In a modern office, a sleek, minimalist credenza could serve as both a stylish statement piece and practical storage for files and office supplies. For a living room, a mid century modern credenza might be employed as a media center, housing the TV on top and concealing cables and electronic devices within.


  • Can a credenza be used in rooms other than the dining room?

    Absolutely! While traditionally used in dining rooms, modern interior design allows credenzas to be perfectly at home in offices, living rooms, hallways, and even bedrooms as stylish and functional furniture pieces.

  • What makes a credenza different from a sideboard?

    The terms 'credenza' and 'sideboard' are often used interchangeably, but traditionally, a credenza features more low-profile, slender dimensions and may include both exposed shelving and concealed storage. In contrast, sideboards typically have more substantial, taller construction with ample interior storage space.

  • How should I style a credenza?

    Styling a credenza involves a balance of functionality and aesthetics. Consider using the top surface for decorative items such as vases, books, or artwork. For functional purposes, the interior can be organized with dining essentials, media devices, or office supplies, depending on its location and use.

Practical Application

Choosing the right credenza involves considering both your storage needs and your personal design aesthetic. Measure your available space and consider what items you need to store to help narrow down your options. Look for a credenza that complements your existing furniture styles|furniture and decorative objects|decorative objects, and don't be afraid to choose a piece that makes a statement. For added functionality, consider pieces with adjustable shelves or built in cable management if using it as a media center.