A credenza can be a beautiful addition to any home, but styling it can sometimes be a challenge. With the right tips and tricks, you can transform that credenza into a stylish focal point that completes the look of your space. Whether your credenza is in the living room, dining room, or office, check out these 9 ways to style that credenza with flair.

Choose a Complementary Color Scheme

One of the easiest ways to elevate your credenza styling is to choose a color palette that complements your existing decor. Look at the other furniture and accent pieces in the room and select credenza accessories in analogous or complementary hues.

For a traditional living room with warm neutrals like tans and browns, go for rich credenza items in the same color family like chocolate boxes, brass candlesticks, or neutral striped table linens. In a contemporary space with cool grays and icy blues, opt for credenza objects in contrasting shades like bright white vases, silver trays, and navy blue books.

Get creative and color coordinate credenza items like boxes, baskets and trays to instantly pull your styling together.

Use Bookends and Book Stacks

Stacks of coffee table books, novels, or children’s stories make for easy credenza decor. Anchor your book stacks with substantial decorative bookends on each end to keep them neatly in place.

Choose bookends that align with your decor style, like bold metal ones for an industrial loft or dainty crystal ones for a traditional home. For a coordinated credenza book stack, opt for books in the same color family or subject matter. Stack the largest books on the bottom with smaller ones on top.

Display Collections

Turn your credenza into an artful display for your collections, like seashells, vintage cameras, or decorative boxes. Curate and edit each collection you want to feature and arrange attractively on your credenza surface. Use risers like small boxes, trays or pedestals to visually stagger items of different heights.

For living rooms, collectible items like framed family photos, souvenir spoons or snow globes make great personalized credenza decor. In home offices, display neat arrangements of desk supplies like staplers and tape dispensers.

Style with Sculptural Objects

For bold credenza styling, incorporate sculptural objects like statues, vases, or metallic lanterns. Look for accent pieces with unique shapes and outlines to create striking credenza vignettes.

Large geometrical vases in earth tone glazes give an organic look, while a gilded box statue or metallic lantern lamps lend elegant sophistication. Mix in some greenery like mini succulents or air plants to soften sculptural credenza decor.

Use Baskets for Concealed Storage

While decorating your credenza, don’t forget storage! Baskets in natural fibers like rattan, seagrass or wicker are attractive and functional credenza additions. Use lidded baskets to store items you want hidden like remotes, cords and clutter.

For office credenzas, use open baskets to stash office supplies or printers paper inside. Choose baskets in woven styles or leather materials that match your existing decor. Style them neatly on your credenza alone or filled with decor.

Layer Table Linens

An effortless way to decorate a credenza is by layering table linens like tablecloths, runners and doilies. Choose linens in natural fabrics like cotton, linen or burlap for a casual style. For formal dining rooms, look for luxe tablecloths with sheen, like satin or velvet.

Mix and match solid linens with patterns and textures, like pairing a chunky jute table runner with linen lace doilies. Drape linens to hang over credenza edges for a soft, billowy effect.

Incorporate Candles and Greenery

Candles and plants are classic credenza styling choices that add life and a touch of nature. Place pillar candles of varying heights on candle plates down the length of your credenza. Arrange different shapes for visual interest—globe candles next to tall tapers—and use decorative holders like mercury glass and lanterns.

Leafy potted plants like ferns or ivy trailers also liven up credenza decor. Set greenery in your choice of planters—metallic, ceramic or rattan—and place in empty areas to fill space.

Use the Back as a Gallery

Don’t forget to decorate the back shelf or “gallery” of your credenza! This space is perfect for displaying art, like a row of matching framed prints or canvas pieces leaning against the wall. For a relaxed gallery wall effect, opt for black and white photos in mismatched frames.

The credenza back also provides the ideal ledge for propping decorative objects. Style it with ceramic vases, crystal prisms, or metallic candlesticks for dazzling effects.

Try a Focal Point Object

When styling a credenza, it helps to have one standout focal point object as the stylistic star. This should be an impressive, substantial piece like a large vintage mirror, intricate wire sculpture, or gleaming tray.

Place your credenza focal point in a central area to draw the eye. Allow room to breathe around it—don’t overcrowd credenza decor. The focal point makes a bolder statement when solo.

With a little creativity and styling strategy, it’s simple to convert your credenza into a stunning centerpiece display. Use accent pieces you already own or shop for new decorative items in harmonizing styles and colors. Incorporate personalized touches that express your taste. Revisit and refresh your credenza decor with each changing season for an effortlessly elegant space all year long.

Frequently Asked Questions About Styling a Credenza

Still have some questions about credenza styling and decorating? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions.

Should I style a credenza symmetrically or asymmetrically?

This depends on personal preference! Symmetrical styling with similar objects on each end has a more formal, balanced look. For richer visual interest, credenza pros often recommend asymmetrical styling with decor placed at varying heights and intervals. Feel free to mix both symmetrical and asymmetrical elements.

How do I decorate a credenza without looking cluttered?

Aim to style your credenza decor in a clean, edited way without overloading the surface. Follow the “less is more” approach and stick with a cohesive color story. Style in neat vignettes or focal points instead of scattershot objects. Make sure to leave some open surface area to prevent a cluttered look.

Should I decorate both the top and bottom credenza shelving?

You don’t have to! Styling just the top surface can look more streamlined. If your credenza has a bottom shelf, use it to display a few select accent pieces or collections at eye level. Avoid cramming the bottom tightly—let items breathe. You can also decorate the credenza back in lieu of the lower shelf.

What types of items should I avoid placing on my credenza?

Since credenzas are display pieces, avoid turning them into basic storage spaces. Skip the mail piles, loose papers, tech gadgets and other clutter. Also resist overloading surfaces with too many framed photos—limit these to your favorites for a curated look.

How often should I change up my credenza decor?

You don’t need to overhaul your credenza every month! Style it based on your decorative items, which may be seasonal. Swap out some decor and color accents with each change of season for fresh appeal. Add new accent pieces or reorient existing ones about 2-3 times per year for variety.


With limitless styling possibilities, the credenza can easily become the decorative focal point of your living room, dining space or office. Make the most of yours by following fundamental design tips like choosing a cohesive color story, styling in neat vignettes, and using your favorite decorative accent pieces. The right credenza decor transforms any room.

So try out some of these key styling strategies—from pretty tablescapes to personalized collections—and get creative with your credenza decorating. Curate the look that expresses your personal tastes. With the proper furnishings and finishes, you can style your credenza into a conversational piece that wows.