What is Credenza and How is it Used Today

Are you planning to design the interior of your newly bought home? Don’t forget to purchase a credenza for your living room or dining room.

Now, there is a wide range of options to choose from, so finding a unit that best meets your style requirements won’t be much of a hassle. But many people often confuse a credenza with other pieces of furniture as they lack the required information about the product.

If you’re one of those people, don’t worry; we’ve got your back.

Today, we’ll be tackling all your queries and concerns related to the topic, once and for all. And for this, we’ve carefully curated this in-depth guide explaining the basic definition of the term, followed by its origin and purpose of use.

Without wasting any more time, let’s answer the primary question, which forms the basis of this guide: what is credenza?

So, let’s get going!

What Is Credenza?

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Before you get intimidated by the term itself, we’ll take this opportunity to introduce you to the basic definition of a credenza. Well, it’s just another name for what we commonly refer to as a dining room sideboard. It’s mainly the one where glass display cabinets flank a central cupboard.

Earlier, a credenza used to be a rough table with a cloth draped over it. With time, it started being made using burnished wood, decorated with marquetry, while its top would be made of marble or decorative liquid and heat-resistant stone.

Today, the piece of furniture is a type of sideboard most commonly used in restaurants and homes. It’s made using wood to serve buffet meals in dining rooms. On the other hand, a credenza made of stainless steel provides a side surface and storage cupboards in the kitchen of a restaurant.

The Origin Of Credenza

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Now that you understand the meaning of the term credenza, we’re sure you’ll be interested in knowing more about its origin and purpose of use since it was first invented.

The sideboard, buffet, server, or console, whatever you may call it, has come a long way since it was first used as a rough table covered with a cloth. It took on the architectural form and decorations in the early 14th century of Italy.

Interestingly, the name “credenza” (connected to the English word “credence”) meant belief or trust in Italian. This was derived from the act of credenza in the 16th century. During the period, the piece of furniture would be used by servants to taste the food and drinks served to lords, aristocrats, and people of importance to test for poison.

Back then, the sideboard had no legs, but over time there have been gradual design transformations. In fact, its purpose of use has also significantly changed since its origin, which brings us to our next crucial section…

How Is a Credenza Used Today?

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In modern times, we have several names for a credenza, such as a sideboard, a buffet, server, or a console. Each of these pieces of furniture is similar in more than one way but are different in design and purpose. On that note, let’s now know more about how each type is used today.

  1. Sideboards

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Sideboards usually have short legs, while in some cases, they go all the way down to the floor. Traditional units featured a hutch at the top to display china and other items. However, modern sideboards have very little in common with the original designs. They are only used to keep the spirit and charm of this piece of furniture alive.

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In fact, we now have several stylish pieces that sit on elegant legs and offer generous storage compartments while displaying the typical characteristics of a credenza.

These units are used in living rooms and dining rooms to display things and store essential items; like the Aponi Collection, for example. It features chic leather handles and displays a distinctive wood grain pattern, symbolizing the symmetry of butterfly wings.

  1. Buffets & Servers

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You’ll definitely find some of the modern designs impressive after seeing their multifunctionality. For instance, the Giencoe collection includes servers or buffets that can be more accurately defined as drink bars.

Buffets are similar to sideboards placed in dining rooms but sit on higher legs, providing ample storage for keeping dishes and other items. On the other hand, servers were originally smaller and more formally designed than sideboards. That’s not all; they included drawers and open storage spaces along with taller legs.

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But today, servers are quite similar to the Uluru unit, inspired by the Uluru Mountain in Australia, which keeps changing its beautiful color throughout the day. And the unique standout point of this lightweight credenza is its sculptural design and rust color.

  1. Console

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The Symphony unit is one of the most popular consoles built using polished brass tubes with reference to church organ tubes. The handcrafted credenza, with its exotic appearance, serves as a great storage piece that blends well in a variety of decors and settings.


Final Words

Since its origin in Italy’s early 14th century, credenza has come a long way in terms of use and design. Designers are leaving behind the traditional concept of what a sideboard should be; instead, they’re more focused on aesthetics.

That said, no matter what you call it, a modern credenza is an eye-catching accent piece that enhances the aesthetic appeal of your living room, dining room, or even your bedroom decor. Depending on its design and construction, it also offers sufficient storage space for keeping all your dishes, books, and other essential items.

On that note, we now come to the end of our informative and comprehensive guide. Here’s hoping we were able to help you gain valuable insight on the topic.

With this, we’ll take your leave. Till next time!

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