Credenzas flanked by symmetrical glass or wood display cabinets are very fashionable storage units used in both office and home. Also referred to as buffet or sideboard, credenzas feature a long, horizontal cabinet decorated with burnished and polished wood. The top is usually flat and is decorated with marble or any attractive stone or inlaid wood.
Having credenzas at home or office creates almost unlimited storage potential. The market today has a plethora of credenzas from traditional wood to sleek or contemporary metal, customized to match your needs and existing decor at home or office.
The story of credenza is interesting especially because of its history. Though this long piece of storage unit became fashionable only by 19th century, evidences from world history indicate that the first credenza was made during the 15th century. These credenzas were long tables used in dining room settings.
The word credenza is derived from the English word 'credence' meaning credibility or belief. It is said that during those days, before serving food to nobility like Kings or Clergy, a servant or taster would verify the authenticity of the food by ensuring that it is not poisoned. Generally, this food was placed on top of long tables from where the taster checked for the authenticity. This activity led to the name credenza being accorded to long side tables.
Contemporary Credenza and its uses
Though credenza is a piece of historical furniture, it is no more a long table these days. People have started using credenzas very effectively without changing its base structure. Literally, there are more than hundreds of styles of credenzas today from Asian designs to classic American to contemporary Scandinavian.
Contemporary credenzas are used in a variety of ways, the most common still being the dining room and kitchen. Today's credenzas are more often a type of sideboard used in domestic or restaurant situations. The oak or wood finished credenzas decorate dining rooms to serve buffet meal. In restaurant kitchens, credenzas made of stainless steel are used as side surface and storage units.
Few people use glass cabinet credenzas to store and display fine china and silverware items. There are storage credenzas with wooden cabinets that can be used to store things that need to be out of sight. By placing some display pieces on top, these storage credenzas can be used as a visual design element. While few use the top of credenzas as serving tables during large gathering, the lower areas are used as small liquor cabinets. In fact, today's market also has credenzas especially to store wine.
The modern day or contemporary credenzas are also used as a desk within an office. Office credenzas are similar to normal desks in terms of a kneehole or a leg space that allows one to sit and work. The difference lies in the cabinets or drawers and the top surface of a credenza, which is generally shallower than the normal desk. In addition, office credenzas are more ornate in nature thus being the focal point of the room.
Credenzas are a good choice for storing books. You can choose from elegant oak credenzas that come with open shelving to display books. However, you can also display your favorite books on the top area. Depending on your creativity and availability of space, credenzas can also be used as media consoles. The market has entertainment credenzas designed especially for this. Entertainment credenzas can hold the television, stereo and various other media equipment. The cabinets and drawers can be used to store CDs and DVDs.
There are wide varieties of credenzas ranging from intricate Japanese credenzas to the simple American shaker styles pieces to French designs inlaid with gold leafing and sleek Scandinavian contemporary models. The range varies from heavy oak and executive credenzas to metal and pressboard reminding you of a high school teacher's desk.
With variety of options like sliding trays, shelves & drawers, pocket doors and TV extensions, one can be very choosy and creative in buying a credenza. Following is the list of few credenza styles available in the market.
Metal Credenza Base: These credenzas have metal panels and wooden drawers thus adding a sophisticated look to the room. The body can be customized to have a variety of textures like Cross-hatch Brushed Steel, Light Cross-hatch Brushed Steel, Horizontal or Vertical Brushed Steel and Buffed Steel surface
Wooden Credenza Base: Wooden credenzas include a variety of storage units made of oak, cherry, maple, walnut and natural or black ash wood. You can also choose your own stain options from the catalogues of the shopper. The top is generally decorated with either glass or stone top.
Glass Credenza Top: There are also credenzas whose top are decorated with plain or scratched glass or patterned scratched glass.
Stone Credenza Top: Stones of varying textures including granite and marble are used as an alternative to glass tops.