How to Style a Credenza

If you’ve been watching my Pinterest boards, you might have recently noticed a few pinning sprees with one theme — credenzas. I have 2 in my home, both with TVs hung above them. Nose crinkle, I know. But in my home (and most people’s homes), TVs are a necessity, and a credenza below a TV just looks better. For the last few months I’ve been playing around, and I just can’t seem to nail the art of how to style a credenza.

I want to distract from the old tube; however, my Type-A personality husband might go clinically insane. Moving decor around the house is enough to drive him batty. You add in decorative branches or a lamp shade creeping into the frame of the television…look out. His eyes will pop out and his head will spin.


Me trying to style a credenza has become comical. I’m constantly moving this here, that there. Turning, nudging. Maybe a stack of books? Nope. Maybe a lamp? Nope. Maybe the lamp on the stack of books? Nopey, nope, nope. How about a vase? Add in a succulent? I mean everything looks better with a succulent, right? Maybe a piece of art leaned casually against the wall. OK, take a step back…yep, just what I thought. It’s a hot mess. The Boy just asks, “Are you done yet?”

So I thought Pinterest might help me figure it out. Decode the mystery. Rub the magic lamp for proper placement. Group three vases of different heights together just so. Don’t add too much, but please add enough. What I started to see were pyramids. Objects placed small to large. Whether in a grouping or as a whole, you start to see the outline. Start with one large object and fill in the open space with medium and small decorative objects.

The layered look above is gorgeous, but it’s probably the most difficult for me to master. Overlapping art, casually propped against the wall. It’s so perfect. Here the plants bring the sterility of the black and white to life. This credenza has a lot going on, but in keeping with only tones of green, the plants play nicely off each other. Giving it a cohesive look.

This credenza is quite simple. Not much to it really. Adding a medium sized plant and a few tactile objects like the terrarium, brass candle holder and basket gives both sides balance. I don’t know if it’s the door, but this entry way has that wow factor. Yet it’s so simple. Casual. I love how the textures are popping.

A cactus in a cloche might be the next best thing to sliced bread. Add in a Tom Dixon candle and a casual stack of books…well, apparently you have the most perfectly styled credenza on the planet. Yep, that’s right. I said it. It looks like someone was just recently there and dropped off some books. Maybe that is what makes this space look so inviting. It has a sort of lived in look.

So now it’s time to take my pinsperation and execute the perfect credenza style. Can it be done? Sure! With there be a second, third, fourth attempt before I master my sense of style. Yup! Sure will! Might even have some curse words and some tears. But, when it’s finally done, I can guarantee it will be a perfectly polished display that will make my space feel finished…and most of all, me happy.


  1. Jennifer @ Brave New Home March 18, 2015

    I’m pretty sure I have every one of those images pinned, too. We just got a flat screen TV to replace our big clunky one and of course my first thought was, How am I going to style the console now? My favorite designs are the ones that look casual but I’m sure it’s intentional. And you’re on to something about the pyramids!

  2. Christina March 18, 2015

    Love all of these bits of inspiration. Thanks for sharing!

    • kyla March 19, 2015

      Thank you so much for stopping by to take a look Christina!

  3. Carmen March 18, 2015

    I am really loving all of your choices! Wow and I can see it is an art of its own accessorizing credenzas! I keep my console simple though cuz the tv is almost as big as the table lol. I have a succulent & an orchide on one side and a small artwork leaning against the wall on the other side for now. I also like to change things around whenever the mood strikes. 🙂

    • kyla March 19, 2015

      That sounds so pretty. Sometimes I tend to put to much and I have to continuously remind myself to tone it down. Looking at pictures like this helps me at least visualize.

  4. kiki March 21, 2015

    Styling a credenza in real life is like styling a night stand in real life: not like in the pictures.

    Credenas, coffee tables, tables, shelves, counters–flat surfaces become places where we sensibly put things of our lives like, the stuff that comes in the mail, stuff from work, scarves, that pack of gum we bought with the box of tampons and need to put somewhere so it doesn’t end upstairs and in the bathroom. The envelope you need to take with you on your way out tomorrow. The coupon for Staples you don’t want to forget.

    Credenas lend themselves towards being a repository for these things and I say, well met. Unlike tables and counters and coffee tables, they aren’t working surfaces. It is rare of never that I see pix of a credenza styled to be a repository for stuff like this. I think a credenza should have a couple of alluring display things but also put that surface to work.

  5. […] week I shared with you some styling inspiration concerning a certain credenza or two that I’ve been playing with here at the house. And yes, I’m still shuffling […]

  6. Aniko@PlaceOfMyTaste March 24, 2015

    Thanks for these awesome inspirations! Pinned! I have a credenza to style:-)

  7. emily March 28, 2015

    love all these! i had a tv with a credenza below it and i just styled it using functional pieces…a squatty but pretty box to hold remotes and some smaller accesories (think small potted plants and a few candlesticks that didn’t go in front of the tv) for balance…and i hung a gallery wall behind it, which was busy enough that i didn’t need much on the actual credenza. i hope you show us what you decide to do!

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  9. Patty Brown August 26, 2015

    Finding the right (affordable yet stylish) credenza for my husband’s tv is the real challenge! Any suggestions?

    • kyla September 8, 2015

      Hi Patty! I would personally search Craigslist or Chairish. I love the look of a vintage dresser repurposed as a media center. Plus you get a lot of storage for remotes, DVDs and drink coasters =) There are many vintage options with doors that open. You can leave the components inside and clean up any clutter. Cut a hole in the backside for cords and this will also make sure it doesn’t get too hot.

  10. naomi October 30, 2015

    I have exactly the same problem with mine! No TV above it though. Tried books, pictures etc – it was never right. Argh. Thanks for the tips!

  11. ali December 19, 2015

    Where you did you find that gorgeous hexagon mirror in the Via Smitten Studio?


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