How to: Two Ways to Style a Modern Credenza

How to style a credenza

Everyone should have a credenza, buffet, or side table somewhere that they can style differently throughout the year. It’s great to have a space that is basically just sitting there, waiting for you to try out different styles on it. Think of it like a painter’s sketchbook; a place to explore design ideas that you might later develop more fully throughout your house.

This year, we were excited to participate in Sauder’s “Put Together” Design Challenge this spring, because few things are as fun as dressing up a piece of furniture and making it your own. Read along to find out my three steps for styling a credenza. 

We started with a staple piece from Sauder’s line called the Soft Modern Credenza. We liked the piece because it had beautiful lines and movement (the layered wood panels on the doors are wave-like and really quite beautiful). We also liked that the piece was unassuming, an easy one to add to any modern or vintage-inspired interior decor.

Sauder Soft Modern Credenza

Once we assembled the piece – this, admittedly, took us a while because the credenza comes in several pieces, and we’re fairly meticulous when it comes to assembling furniture – we began the process of making it our own.

We created two different looks for the piece, because we wanted to show how versatile it is. The first look is a fairly traditional design style with neutral colors and an organic vibe. 

Soft Modern Credenza Styled - Sauder "Put Together" Design Challenge
Photo: Bruno Bornsztein

We used creams, whites, soft blues, and plants and antlers as a little call to nature. We chose a beautiful Clare Elsaesser painting as the boldest statement on the credenza and kept everything else very quiet.

Soft Modern Credenza Styled - Sauder "Put Together" Design Challenge
Soft Modern Credenza Styled - Sauder "Put Together" Design Challenge

Our second look is full of color. We were able to give the credenza a much different feel by simply swapping out the artwork and adding a few pops of color. 

Soft Modern Credenza Styled - Sauder "Put Together" Design Challenge

We chose a modern painting (a family heirloom) as our bold statement piece, and added pretty bottles grouped together on a tray, and a simple flower arrangement for a little burst of color.  

Soft Modern Credenza Styled - Sauder "Put Together" Design Challenge
Soft Modern Credenza Styled - Sauder "Put Together" Design Challenge

Adding personality to a piece of furniture makes it yours. It transforms a basic piece, making it look and feel like you. It tells a story. The best thing about Sauder furniture is that it’s easy to make your own. To peruse their complete line, click through to view their lookbook.   

My Three Steps to Styling a Credenza

1. Start with a strong base. Go online (Sauder’s lookbook is a good start), or hit some vintage shops, and find a credenza with bold lines and character. This is your canvas.

2. Gather your favorite knick-knacks and paddy-wacks. When you style a piece you tell a story. Aim to gather books, interesting trinkets, and mementos that are significant to you. You want to have a variety sizes, shapes, and weights among your items so that your styling has some depth. 

3. Stack, group, and vignette. Use books as your base to give your vignettes some height. Using a few anchor pieces like lamps or candelabras is a great way to anchor your piece. When it comes to the special knick-knacks that make a piece your own, try grouping them in 3s, and work in a variety of materials (e.g. paper, metal, organics).

(And remember to have fun! The great thing about a credenza is that it’s easy to do over, and over, and over! Don’t take it too seriously!)

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Sauder. The opinions and text are all mine.