4 Expert Tips To Choose A Credenza Desk

Perfect to blend with the rest of your furniture in a home office but a real treat in other work environments too, a credenza desk combines traditional designs and modern commodities.

Confused about its quirky name? Derived from the Italian for 'belief' or 'trust', credenza tables were used by servants in the 16th century to taste the food and drink reserved for important people, just in case they were poisoned.

With a crazy origin story like that, it's no wonder that credenzas have preserved their intriguing aura, despite the different use (thank God for that!).

Let's make sure you choose a credenza desk that fulfills its modern practical function, offering you some extra storage while still looking fab.

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What is the difference between a desk and a credenza?

While a traditional desk focuses on the functionality of its work surface, a credenza draws inspiration from more traditional pieces of furniture and usually offers more storage space. Still not a hundred percent sure about which one would be better for you?

You should definitely go for a credenza desk if:

  • You're after a more stylish and decorative piece that complements the rest of your furniture, especially in your home office;

  • You need to keep lots of paperwork and stationery at hand during your workday, and you could do with more extra drawers, cupboards and more storage room in general;

  • You'd like to show off a unique desk that doesn't give a mass-produced feel.

In love with the idea of owning a credenza desk? Thought so.

Dark Oak Credenza Desk with Hutch
Large Credenza Desk with Hutch
Modern Stylish Credenza Desk
Traditional Elegant Wood Credenza Desk
Grey L-Shape Credenza Desk with Hutch
L Shape Credenza Desk with Hutch in Cream

What type of credenza desk is right for me?

Much like traditional models, credenza desks are available in lots of different shapes and designs. Think of their designated space and the layout of that room in order to find the right one for you:

  • A classic rectangular shape is a versatile option that will easily fit in the smallest rooms by keeping the desk against the wall and squeezing it in a handy nook or in-between other items; it will also make it effortless for your new credenza desk to blend in with the rest of the furniture;

  • L-shaped desks are a functional solution that provides a wider top surface and can work particularly well in two main scenarios: either as space-optimizing corner models to make the most of the smallest studios, or as bigger designs that extend towards the center of the room to define a specific work area in a larger setting;

  • U-shaped credenza desks are a bulky but functional solution for the largest rooms where space isn't a problem and having a wide work surface virtually surrounding you is your main priority.

Rectangular Brown Credenza Desk
Light Wood Rectangular Credenza Desk
Cherry Wood L-Shaped Credenza Desk
Bookcase L-Shape Credenza Desk
Rectangular Credenza Desk with Hutch
Rectangular Credenza Desk with Bookcase

What is the best material for a credenza desk?

That's an easy one, as credenza desks are mostly made of wood! What you can ponder over is what finish you should pick.

As well as considering the rest of your existing furniture to strive for a cohesive look, keep in mind that:

  • Lighter wood like oak is a wise choice for smaller rooms because it makes them look bigger;

  • Walnut and other darker wooden finishes work particularly well in large rooms or traditional settings, conveying a more old-style and intimate feel;

  • Painted wood will make it easier to match the room's palette, even if you're going for unusual colors.

If you'd like to add a more modern element or create an airier illusion of space, you can consider a wooden model with a glass top. However, you must be prepared to dust it and wipe it more often. Keep in mind that a glass surface isn't as solid and durable as its wooden counterpart, especially if you're planning on placing very heavy items onto it.

Light Wood Credenza Desk
Dark Aged Oak Credenza Desk
White Wood L-Shape Credenza Desk
Grey L-Shape Credenza Desk
Elegant Dark Wood Credenza Desk
Medium Wood Credenza Desk with Hutch

How do I choose a credenza desk that matches my décor?

Thanks to their many drawers and decorative design, credenza desks are more similar to other traditional pieces of furniture. Basically, they're a fantastic opportunity to complement the rest of the room and reinforce the décor style that you're going for. To avoid being stuck with one that looks out of place, consider these points:

  • To convey a modern feel, choose a model with sleek lines, thinner legs, a glass top, or, if your room's layout allows it, that follows a functional L-shape design;

  • If you love the vintage feel inspired by mid-Century modern décors, look for a darker wooden finish, thinner but longer drawers, and models that rely on outward-pointing legs;

  • Rectangular monochrome desks with simple, thin lines and fewer drawers are ideal for minimalist rooms; however, don't feel like you're obliged to skimp on the drawers to keep this style consistent. If more storage is essential to fit all your work-related material and avoid clutter, go for it!

  • Minimalist desks are perfect for a Scandinavian spin as well, but try and focus on designs consisting of lighter wood and white elements;

  • Simple designs featuring a combination of metal and wood are perfect to enhance the unfinished rawness of industrial décors: for example, you could look for credenza desks featuring a dark metal frame and wooden drawers;

  • Given the functionality of credenza desks, it can be a bit harder to match detail-based and highly decorative styles like French country and shabby chic; however, some elements can really make the difference, such as more harmonious legs, ornate drawer handles and, for the latter, white colors or a discolored feel;

  • Because they have a unique look compared to more common designs, choosing a credenza desk is a great idea if you have a bohemian room! Try and look for eclectic models that feature colorful details or unusual shapes.

Jessica started out as an interior photographer, but her love of pretty settings took her to the field of interior design, where she can combine two of her greatest passions, creating and then capturing the beauty of homes.