The word “credenza” sounds luxurious, alluring, and Italian – and it’s all of these things – and more. The credenza has come a long way in terms of functionality. In the 14th century, the middle ages brought more sophisticated but purposeful furniture design.
Originally, the credenza was used for food prep and acted as a food serving station in formal dining room areas. In fact, the word credenza is Italian and translates to “belief.” Interestingly, its original purpose was to test food before serving it to royalty to be sure it wasn’t poisoned. So, while the furniture has endured, the original purpose has not.
This history-rich piece of furniture has evolved over time. During the Middle Ages, the credenza became more luxurious, housing fancy dishes and showing a sign of wealth and opulence.
Today, the credenza has become a versatile piece of home decor. It serves a wide variety of uses in many rooms, including dining rooms, family rooms, and has earned a special place as home office furniture. The credenza has become the unsung hero that functions in any room in the house, including the home office.
We’ll discuss the following:
Difference between a credenza, sideboard, and buffet
• Uses for credenzas
• Styles of credenzas
• Tips when shopping for a credenza
Difference Between Credenza, Sideboard, and Buffet
Credenzas and sideboards are often used interchangeably when referring to a long side table. To make matters more confusing, the buffet gets included when describing this trio of functional furnishings. All three are similar, but each has its own slightly different characteristics.
Here’s a quick description of each of these furnishings below.
Credenza: The credenza is typically somewhat of a stout piece of furniture. Typically, these pieces have short legs and occasionally are without legs, and their shape is long and on the shorter side for height.
Sideboard: Sideboards have an English origin and were often found in affluent homes in the 18th and 19th centuries. These handy catch-all pieces commonly store everything from books to glassware to collectibles. They sit directly on the floor and typically have cabinet doors. These pieces can be simple or quite elaborate and decorative with carvings or painted wood.
Buffet: Many dining rooms are adorned with buffets. As the name suggests, these are wonderful pieces for setting out food on the flat top, and their style sports a longer leg and is often a combination of drawers and cabinets. They’ve long been a staple piece for dining room furniture.
Now that we’ve covered the differences between a credenza, a sideboard, and a buffet, let’s dive into all the great uses for credenzas.