What Is a Credenza Desk? Here’s What You Need To Know

Before we can understand what a credenza desk is, we should first talk about what each of those items is. You already know what a desk is, but a “credenza” sounds a bit fancier.

Let’s break it down. 

A credenza desk is a hybrid of a credenza and a desk. They have the storage space and appearance of a credenza while being at the height of a normal desk and have room for your legs and chair.

What is a Credenza, What Does it Mean, and What is It Used For? 

A credenza is simply a piece of furniture mainly consisting of cabinets. They are storage pieces originally used in dining rooms. 

Credenzas are very similar to other cabinet furniture pieces such as sideboards and buffets. They are typically long and low to the floor. 

You’ve probably seen credenzas with TVs placed on them, due to their low height. They work very well as a TV stand because the TV sits at the perfect height when sitting on a couch. 

Sauder Linden Market Credenza, for TVs up to 70", Split Oak Finish

Credenza Might Be Called These Words

You probably noticed that I just said that a credenza is like a buffet, sideboard, and now even a TV stand. Well in the world of furniture, a lot of similar-looking things are called different names due to small nuances. 

For example, a bookshelf, bookcase, and a set of shelves might be the exact same piece of furniture.

So what other names are interchangeable with credenza? This list should help you if you are looking for something specific and are unsure if it is called by a different name. 

  • Chest
  • Breakfront
  • Buffet
  • Cabinet
  • Closet
  • Console
  • Cupboard
  • Butch
  • Sideboard 
  • Dresser

It’s kind of confusing to have so many different names for items that can look pretty similar. 

Emphasis on the “can”. Hardcore furniture lovers might not agree here. This is just my opinion, and I think it’s a pretty reasonable one. 

Can A Credenza Be Used As A Desk?

A normal credenza is not a great use for a desk. Remember, we are not talking about a credenza desk yet. A credenza alone is very similar to a buffet or a sideboard. 

Sure they might have a flat top surface, but that’s pretty much all they offer. They fall short in many other places.  

First of all, a credenza alone does not have any gap underneath to fit your legs or a chair. Your torso would be awkwardly distant from the tabletop. 

Second, credenzas are made only with storage in mind. The tabletop is probably at a very random height. I guarantee it’s not an ergonomically designed height of a desk. It was not designed to be. 

What Is The Difference Between A Desk And Credenza?

A desk is made to be used with a chair and does not require any cabinets or storage to be called a desk. In its simplest form, it is a flat table top with legs. 

There is room for a chair, and the height of the table is designed to be used with a typical office chair. Imagine trying to do work on one of these: 

Walker Edison Modern 4 Drawer Sliding Door Wood Cabinet Buffet Entryway Serving Storage Cabinet Doors Dining Room Console, 59 Inch, Black and Slate Grey

A credenza on the other hand is a storage system with cabinets or sliding doors. The primary function of a credenza alone is simply storage. There is no room for chairs or other desk-related items. 

What Is A Credenza Desk?

Now that we have some vocabulary and functionality in mind, we can finally get to the main question. What is a credenza desk?

A credenza desk is essentially what it sounds like. A hybrid of a credenza with a desk. You get the storage space and general appearance of a credenza with actual desk functionality. 

Sauder Heritage Hill Computer Credenza, L: 59.25" x W: 20.47" x H: 30.24", Classic Cherry

The added desk functionality includes having room for your legs and a chair, while at a generally ergonomic desk height. 

What Is The Difference Between A Hutch And A Credenza?

First, hutches are much taller storage solutions. They also have a variety of types of storage. They can have open shelves, cabinets, or even glass display doors. 

I would recommend a hutch if you want to use more vertical space. It is also a better idea to go for a hutch if you want to display what you are storing. 

For example this wine bar application:

OKD Farmhouse Bar Cabinet with Sliding Barn Door, Kitchen Hutch Storage Cabinet with Wine and Glass Rack, Drawers, Adjustable Shelves, Sideboard Buffet Pantry for Dining Room (Dark Rustic Oak)

A credenza is not as tall of a storage solution. It also doesn’t have the same display features. It is lower to the ground and typically a closed storage solution. 

These differences still hold true when comparing desks with hutches to a credenza desk. 

What’s The Difference Between a Credenza and an Executive Desk

Credenzas and executive desks are similar in that they typically have a good amount of storage space. That is pretty much where the similarities end.

Credenzas are lower to the ground and typically built for storage only and placed against a wall. Executive desks on the other hand are desks that are larger than typical desks.

Executive desks are made from wood such as walnut or mahogany. They have built-in drawers for storage and are both functional and stylish, while being the centerpiece of an office.

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I'm a big time workspace enthusiast who is constantly experimenting with my setup. Sharing along the way to help people make their own desk setups more functional and inviting, whether it be for productivity or play!