Credenzas, Sideboards, and Consoles - Everything You Need to Know

Additions and Remodels
By Mateos Glen Hayes October 13, 2021

A sideboard or credenza is a common sight in many dining rooms regardless of size. Console tables are also pretty widespread and are featured in different homes with different aesthetic styles. These may seem to be rather innocuous pieces of furniture, but they can actually be very useful. Far from being antiquated, credenzas and sideboards are quite versatile and can be used in many different ways.

While they are traditionally used in dining rooms, there is no reason to limit them; they can also be used in many other parts of the home. If you’ve ever wondered “what is a credenza, and what is it used for?” or “what is a sideboard used for?”, wonder no more. Despite the subtle differences which separate credenzas from sideboards, both are quite similar and pretty useful. 

What Is The Difference Between a Sideboard And a Credenza? 

Sideboards and Credenzas Are Often Hard to Distinguish

Sideboards and Credenzas Are Often Hard to Distinguish

At the end of the day, the main difference between a credenza and a sideboard is the style of legs – they’re otherwise almost identical. A credenza has very low legs, although it sometimes will have no legs at all. By contrast, sideboards tend to have short, stubby legs which make them taller than credenzas. However, both sport long rectangular shapes with low profiles, with cabinets that extend to the floor.

Credenzas typically also have sliding doors. A sideboard – also known as a buffet – can include additional compartments on top for displaying chinaware, also known as a hutch or sideboard cabinet. Because of the similarities between the two, it is common for the terms “sideboard” and “credenza” to be used interchangeably. 

What Is a Console Table? 

Console Tables Have Grown in Popularity

Console Tables Have Grown in Popularity

A console table is a small table that is usually set against a wall. They’re usually rectangular or square-shaped and are designed to fit in small spaces such as narrow hallways. Unlike a buffet, a console table has no drawers or cabinets and therefore has limited storage capacity. Console tables today are popular additions in living rooms and entryways.

How Are They Used? 

Credenzas And Sideboards

Credenzas and Sideboards Are Extremely Versatile

Credenzas and Sideboards Are Extremely Versatile

Nowadays both credenzas and sideboards are typically used in dining rooms as a place where meals can be served. They are also used for displaying pretty serving dishes, as well as storing dishware. In other words, if you have fancy porcelain ware but need a place to store and display it in between banquets, a buffet or credenza will do the job. Credenzas have a practical edge over sideboards because they use sliding doors, whereas sideboards generally do not. This allows credenzas to be used in areas where space is at a premium and sideboard doors might get in the way.

Console Table 

Console Tables Are Popular Additions to Foyers and Entrances

Console Tables Are Popular Additions to Foyers and Entrances

This type of table first came out in 17th century France and was a popular item in the homes of the French nobility. As you might expect, it was often used by the French as a place to put dishes before they were served to the main table by a butler. However, console tables today have a variety of uses that diverge from their traditional purpose.

They have become a common sight in living rooms, hallways, and entryways where they are used to hold lamps and ornaments. Console tables are also used as small desks and or even as markers to delineate different spaces in an open concept layout

Alternative Uses 

There’s no reason to rigidly stick to tradition, especially when credenzas, sideboards, and console tables can have all sorts of interesting uses. You might not know it, but one of these options just might be the answer to your needs. All of these pieces of furniture can be used in unconventional ways that make them more useful in the modern home. 

TV Sideboard Stand

Sideboards Are Great for TV Support in Your Living Room

Sideboards Are Great for TV Support in Your Living Room

If you lack a good TV stand, this is the next best thing. An oak sideboard offers a stylish place to keep your TV and other entertainment gizmos. It’s affordable as you can find one of these sideboards in good condition for $50 or less. Since so many different examples exist, you can find modern sideboards in all sorts of different colors and sizes. Whichever one you end up choosing, it’s sure to have a rustic charm that most cookie-cutter TV stands don’t have.

However, because most vintage sideboards weren’t built for TV stand duty you may find that you don’t have a good place to keep all your devices and cords. If you’d prefer a cleaner look you can fix that problem with some minor modifications. Simply remove the shelves of the oak sideboard to make more room for devices, and drill some holes in the back for the cables to come out of it. You can even use a drawer as a place to store your remote controls. 

Dog Crate Credenza

This one’s a bit unusual but definitely worth considering. Sometimes, Fido needs to stay in a crate so that he’s out of harm’s way. We’ve all seen the big ugly dog crates that look like miniature prisons for your pooch, but this dog crate bucks that trend. Styled after a credenza, this dog crate brings relaxing neutral colors and a more refined look to what is often a very utilitarian device.

This credenza fits perfectly with any home that has a farmhouse aesthetic thanks to its wooden construction and cast iron hardware. Most of the time, it’s best to let our doggos run free, but in those rare cases where that isn’t possible, the credenza crate is a far better option than the traditional steel bars affair. 

Wine Credenza

Wine Credenzas Have Become a Staple Piece for the Homes of Wine Aficionados

Wine Credenzas Have Become a Staple Piece for the Homes of Wine Aficionados

Wine isn’t for everyone, but there are certainly some devoted aficionados out there, and as any aficionado knows, one of the trademarks of loving fermented grape drinks is having a cool place to store them. That’s exactly what the wine credenza hopes to achieve. It’s a sleek, compact, yet spacious solution with plenty of storage for all your wine.

Some higher-end models may even integrate special features such as a small refrigerator and built-in lighting so everyone can see the fancy artwork on all your wine bottles. The credenza was originally for displaying your stuff, after all, so it stands to reason to carry over that feature.  

Floating Credenza

Scandinavian Minimalist Credenzas Are Among the Trendiest Pieces of Indoor Furniture

Scandinavian Minimalist Credenzas Are Among the Trendiest Pieces of Indoor Furniture

Scandi style is a burning hot interior style in our modern world and it only seems to get more popular as time goes on. Likewise, retro styling where the old is interspersed with the new has also become popular. Fans of this trend will love the beautiful interplay between old and new that is the floating credenza. This piece integrates many different design aesthetics.

It is suspended off the ground like a floating vanity and uses neutral colors and natural materials in accordance with Scandi style. Plus, it’s modeled after a classic piece of furniture with vintage roots, but don’t let that make you think that this credenza isn’t equipped to handle our modern world, because it’s more than prepared. Floating credenzas are designed with the digital age in mind, and have plenty of room to neatly store all your gadgets while keeping your cables neatly tucked away.    

Office Console

Office Consoles Have Gotten Popular Through the Pandemic

Office Consoles Have Gotten Popular Through the Pandemic

As more of us have gotten used to the idea of working from home, the need for good home office desks is greater than ever. Unfortunately, many of the office desks you’ll find are either giant mahogany affairs or flimsy plywood compromises. Neither one is good enough for most people, who need something durable yet compact for their office desk.

The office console is the answer to all your office desk woes. It’s small enough to fit in even the smallest home office, but it’s built using sturdy materials such as wood and steel. It may be small, but an office console is built to last, and some even have a little bit of storage space for your most important documents.  

Console Vanity 

Vanity Consoles Can Add Some Old-World Charm to Your Home

Vanity Consoles Can Add Some Old-World Charm to Your Home

In the days of the old, vanity was a far more exclusive and luxurious concept than it is today. Before the advent of the modern powder room, it was a standalone piece of furniture with a fancy mirror, a place for a lady’s jewelry, and a neat little brass bowl for washing your hands and face. You don’t have to go full 18th century with your console vanity, but it’s still a nice way to add a hint of old-world charm to your home.

A standalone console vanity complete with a fancy mirror adds an air of elegance to your bedroom that’s hard to replicate. Some consoles come with small drawers which are perfect for storing all your cosmetics and beauty products, making this the perfect fit for the person that likes to get fancy.

Written by
Mateos Glen Hayes

Written by Mateos Glen Hayes