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Credenza Styling 101:
How to Decorate a Credenza

One of the beautiful things about credenzas is that you can style them any way you want. You can also restyle them any time you want, to reflect a new mood or vibe, or to change with the seasons.

Granted, you don’t want to just throw anything atop a credenza. You want it to look cool and styled, not cluttered and out of place. If you’re feeling a bit anxious on how to go about doing that, fear not… we’ve got you covered. 

Things You’ll Need to Style a Credenza 

Although home decor is more about your personal tastes than about rules, there are still some commonly used features that make for a good credenza space.

A Stylish Credenza

The first thing you need is a credenza that complements your interior decor and color palette. A credenza is basically a long table, with storage cabinets or storage space, and a top surface for displaying all the pretties.

It often features storage options like drawers, cabinets, a hutch, or shelving, and stands on a pedestal or legs for support. Once upon a time credenzas were used almost exclusively in a dining room. However, these days they are used in any part of the house, whether it be for a TV stand in the living room or a dresser in the bedroom, and very often in the entryway. In fact, if you're looking to create a functional entryway we share all of our tips.


Before buying a credenza, you should determine your purpose behind buying it. What are your needs and how does a credenza fulfill them? Which part of the house is it going to sit in? Once you know this, you can find the best design that fits the bill. 

Credenza Design 

Speaking of designs… credenzas come in a variety of them. Some offer lots of extra space with high-storage capacity, others offer minimal storage. Some are made to be low-lying, others are built to be tall. The options are kind of endless, including options for material and color, too. Choose one that complements the rest of your home’s decorative style. 


The best place for most credenzas is against a blank wall. This is a safe option that you can never go wrong with. However, you will likely need home decor and accessories to frame the credenza in that area to make it look homey. Also keep in mind the dimensions of your wall and space to make sure you buy the right sized credenza. 


Many people love to use plants when styling a credenza. Whether it’s artificial or alive, plants bring freshness and color to a room, which is especially appealing to those who love being in nature. You can go with a green plant or a flowering one, and use the plant pot to play with colors and designs. 

Wall Art 

Using wall art is an easy and visually pleasing way to help frame and define a space. For example, you could add a large painting behind the credenza that spans the full length of it. Or you can add a medium sized one, or multiple pieces to bring variety into the look. Small pieces of wall art look infinitely better and more organized with a large piece of furniture underneath. You can also place a painting on the credenza and have it lean against the wall. Other artwork might include sculptures and figurines that you can place on top of the credenza. 

Containers and Trays

Depending on where the credenza is in the house, you can carve out a space to put small ornaments or decor items, as well as catch things like keys, mail, and other things. The best way to do it is to put a fancy tray on top, like a marble tray. You can even add unique shaped containers for smaller items and use them to create a statement at the same time. 

Small Decor Items 

Small decor items add a little touch of personality to any space. They can be anything, from scented candles, to souvenirs from that trip of a lifetime you took last year, to miniature figurines. Add items with different dimensions, as varying lengths and sizes help create visual contrast.

Floating Shelves

Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily have to place all of these items on the credenza itself. What you can do instead, is add floating shelves above the credenza. These make a style statement all on their own, while also creating an extra display area for your favorite baubles. This also allows for more functional uses of the credenza’s surface, such as using it for a buffet spread.

Lamps and Lights 

Styling any part of your house can’t be complete without incorporating lights in some form. For a credenza, you can add a single lamp, or even multiple lamps on the top, depending on its size. They not only light the room, but also offer design, color, and visual balance to your whole setup. If you don’t like smaller lamps, why not try a floor lamp placed next to the credenza? Other options include things like sconces or rail lights mounted above the credenza, and pendant lights. 

Framed Pictures and Portraits 

Place photo frames on a credenza to show off all of your favorite memories. You can add multiple-sized frames and arrange them in different patterns to create a visual balance. You can also create a gallery wall by hanging pictures on the wall behind the credenza. 


Mirrors are great at making a space seem more spacious than it really is. Adding a mirror behind a credenza makes for a stunning visual, while also being a functional accessory, depending on the placement of your credenza.

For instance, if your credenza is in your bedroom or in a hallway near the entryway, mirrors offer a final chance to check your appearance before you go outside. You can choose any sized mirror, or even go with shapes like round or rectangular. 

How to Decorate a Credenza: Our Top Tips

Framing and Pyramids 

A very common and visually pleasing credenza styling idea is to use a pair of matching items. Place these matched items on either corner, and fill the middle space with a plant, a flower vase, or other decor item.

This gives the whole setup a symmetrical and stylish look and works well for those of you that can’t stand arranging things asymmetrically. A pair of tall lamps can also be an excellent choice for this, as well as glassware, vases, or even small art sculptures. You can then hang artwork above the middle space so that it’s neatly framed and looks amazing.

Visual Weight 

Home decor is all about balance. Whether it’s paint, furniture, or other aspects. You need to find that perfect balance between colors, between the dimensions of objects, and between the visual weight of items. Ergo, when styling a credenza, these same principles apply.

You want to try to balance out the visual weight of whatever you decorate your credenza with. Depending on the placement of your credenza, place visually heavy items on the closed-off side, with lighter items on the open end, as a way to make it seem more inviting. 

Perfectly Imperfect

Sometimes when decorating a part of the house, we can become way too focused on making it perfect. A house should look lived in, not like an art gallery or museum. There is real perfection in all our imperfections.

When styling your credenza, try adding items that you use frequently. Maybe it’s a stack of books with a half-closed book, a record player with a recently placed record over it, or even a bar tray with an empty glass next to it to make it seem like you were just using it. All are tiny ways that you can decorate without seeming to really “decorate” and make your house feel like a real home.

Contrast and Complement

The color of your credenza, as well as the decor and accessories that surround it should either complement or contrast with the rest of the room’s color scheme. Creating visual contrasts can bring the focus to that one area, while complementing colors can create a soothing and relaxing ambiance.

Contrasts and complements should also be taken into consideration when choosing decor objects for your credenza, to help balance out the visual weight. 


Let’s be real… layering can go wrong very fast! But if done right, layering can look quite artistic and tastefully designed. The trick is to use framed artwork of different sizes. You can lean a piece against the wall, hang another piece behind it so that there is a slight overlapping, or prop a smaller one just in front of it. Experiment and see what looks fab!

Credenza styling is more of an art than a science and there’s plenty of room for experimentation. If something’s not working, don’t be afraid to shake things up and make a change! You’re the one that has to stare at it all day, so it should be something you really love to stare at.

At Inside Weather, our credenzas are customizable to achieve your desired look and feel. Shop now!