HOW TO STYLE A CREDENZA WITH KIYONDA POWELL

Kiyonda Powell is a Washington DC designer recently featured at The Aspire McLean Showhouse 2020, where she designed a bold and beautiful recreation room. Here she breaks down how to style a credenza with inspiration and visuals from her Aspire Showhouse creation.

STEP #1: START WITH FURNITURE YOU LOVE THAT WILL SPEAK TO THE OVERALL DESIGN.

This is a no-brainer, but pick a credenza that speaks to you! Whether modern, vintage, or a family heirloom, find a credenza, sideboard or buffet that will be an exciting addition to your space. And don’t be afraid to make some changes to it. I started with a vintage credenza/buffet, had it painted with Sherwin Williams Mountain Fig in a high gloss, updated the hardware and added legs - both in a brass finish.

STEP #2: CREATE A FOCAL POINT.

Hanging artwork, a mirror or plants above the credenza can draw the eye into the space and make it part of the overall design of the room. For the Aspire House, I worked with artist Shaunte Gates who provided the oversized art with mixed media and colors that worked with the spirit of the room and added some whimsy above the foundation credenza/buffet piece.

STEP #3: FIND ACCESSORIES THAT WON’T TAKE AWAY FROM THE FOCAL POINT.

Be thoughtful when considering what to place on top of the credenza. Make sure the scale works so that a vase isn’t so large that it overpowers the design, for example. When I began to plan the styling of the surface, I focused on using items that were not too tall or oversized to not take away from the art itself.

STEP #4: START WITH A CENTERPIECE.

Once you determine scale, find a strong piece that will bring interest to the area. For this design, I chose the Amur Table Lamp. It is a statement piece, sculptural and the gunmetal finish and warm glow of the light created intimacy.

STEP #5: CHOSE FUNCTIONAL ITEMS.

A credenza or sideboard is ultimately meant to be a functional piece of furniture. It is made for serving food or drinks and storing dinnerware, so use it as an area that works for your needs. I created a welcoming beverage vignette with a vintage tray and walnut wood ice bucket to add warmth to the glassware which is also ready for entertaining.

STEP #6: STYLE YOUR ACCESSORIES.

Once you choose glassware or dishes that best suit your needs, don’t forget to style them! Just stacking up glasses or dishes will make the space look like overflow storage, but adding intentional accents will make it look thought out and inviting. I took a tall glass pitcher with gold accents and filled with limes so the glass did not “disappear” into the wall. It was a pleasure to also feature the Harlem toile glassware from Sheila Bridges with ice cubes and sliced fruit with the blue and white striped straws. This gave the glassware a presence and grounded it in the vignette.

STEP #7: ADD SOMETHING NATURAL.

Bringing something organic into the design will add life, color, and some natural movement. Consider flowers, seasonal grasses, dried arrangements, or living houseplants. I consulted with my floral designer fleursDC to craft an arrangement that was low and could stretch across the center of the credenza/buffet using willow branches and orchids to create a beautiful rustic look with a fun floating effect. Incorporating flowers created depth, interest and warmth on my recreation room credenza.

Read more about Kiyonda’s recent work at Aspire House 2020 and her tips on how to create a gallery wall.


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