A credenza is a sort of low cabinet that was popular in the 1950s. I am not entirely sure what it’s main purpose was, but I remember my grandparents had one in which they stored records. They must have used it for something else too, but I was very little and I just recall the LPs.
My grandparents would have been amused by is the fact that “Mid-century Modern” furniture is quite popular now and very expensive. I have seen ads online for a company that specializes in ’50s style furniture and a new credenza (not an antique) sells for upwards of $7000.
I love the look of furniture from this period. It was experimental, yet practical. It seemed to look forward to the space-age, yet was grounded in simple, Shaker lines.
When I was researching my design, I was struck by the heavy squareness of these pieces and the unadorned, spindly legs that almost look too delicate to hold the weight of the cabinet.
A credenza for 2013: Early 21st Century Retro-Modern
I think one of the reasons these cabinets are popular today is that they are the perfect height for televisions, which should be viewed at eye-level from where you are sitting. Not to mention credenzas come equipped with storage perfect for stereo and home-theater components. Plus, there is just something cool about setting a large LCD TV on such a retro-looking piece of furniture.
I made mine with two doors and an open section. The doors can slide to any position, always leaving one third of the case visible. On the back I’ve included large cut-outs for electrical cords and such. I used two sheets of 3/4″ cherry plywood and a half sheet of 1/4″ plywood. The trim and legs are made with solid cherry. If you wanted to save money, you could use pine plywood and you can buy 6″ legs very inexpensively if you haven’t a lathe.