Lifestyle

The Credenza

When I moved into my Downtown Cleveland apartment, I had no furniture. With the exception of a new Casper mattress that arrived the day after I moved in, a lucite side table I kept from New York and some accents and accessories I’ve collected along way, I had nothing. Literally.

Very carefully, over time, I made decisions about the basics, like a dining table, chairs, a dresser and a sofa. One thing I particularly agonized over was the credenza. Between Design Within Reach, Wayfair, AllModern, CB2, West Elm, Modernica, eBay and several other options, the search was exhaustive. It had to be just the right one in terms of looks, size, quality and price. And I wasn’t going to move on a new television until I had the right credenza.

I’m a big fan of midcentury modern design, but I also don’t necessarily want my apartment to look like a Mad Men set or a DWR showroom. I like a mix of high and low, with a few twists and quirks I’ve acquired over the years from flea markets, vintage shops and the sidewalks of New York.

My extensive search for the right balance of aesthetics, scale, craftsmanship and cost landed me on Joybird. Years ago, when I bought my sofa in New York, I found a company called Thrive Furniture that created handsome, well-made, affordable, made-to-order furniture. They had since gone out of business, and Joybird moved into that lane with really nice offerings with everything from sofas and loveseats, chairs, desks, tables, credenzas and more. The credenza I bought was called the Williams Media Console.

Made in rich, durable hardwood with a deep walnut finish, and measuring 90 inches wide, 28 inches tall and 19 inches deep, it proved a handsome complement and elegant contrast to the bricky warehouse character of my living room. It has one wide sliding door compartment with an adjustable shelf (which is where my Blu-ray player and discs live), four drawers that house user manuals, cords and such, and another compartment with a pull-down door for my portfolios.

Once the credenza arrived and was hand-delivered into my living room, I placed it and lived with it for a few days, making minor adjustments to where it ultimately stands in the room. (I agonize over this shit.) Then, when I started shopping for a TV, I used the handy “see it in your room” visualizer tool in the Best Buy app, which really helped me decide the right size for the TV. I couldn’t be more pleased with the final setup.

Unfortunately, as of this writing, the Williams Media Console is no longer available on the Joybird website, and a phone call with the company was unable to confirm whether or not it was coming back. But having also bought a matching sofa and loveseat from Joybird, I can confirm that not only is the finished product terrific but the customer service experience is outstanding. If you’re in the market for a good credenza / buffet / sideboard / console / whatever, Joybird knocks it out of the park. I would suggest subscribing to their mailing list to get a heads-up on sales, which they have all the time.

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6 Comments

  1. George, as an interior designer in NYC, I love following your posts, your clothing advice and interiors ( the same aesthetic) , are riveting. I have only one small, and completely obsessive, comment.
    The TV should be moved ever so slightly to the left (4″ give or take, and pull the lamp and photo, the same, The square glass (?) object on the left may need to relocate, to make the tableau perfect.
    PS please feel free to tell me to stuff it, but for a guy who has one shirt sleeve widened for his watch, I thought you should know !!

  2. Nicely done George – would be helpful to see it in a wide shot setting/ how it nests within the room and other pieces. We use a tall wardrobe style cabinet for our media center here, but the house is 1812, so keeping with that Federal style era. Hope the piece serves you well for many years!

    • I love these photos, and the earlier shots of you living room where you were talking about filling up the space. I would also love to see a wider picture of how the whole room looks.
      Incidentally the credenza looks better in you photos than it does in the one of it on it’s own, which I assume is from the manufacturer. Joybird should let you handle their publicity!

  3. Kranti K Pally Reply

    One of my friends is the co-founder and CEO of Joybird. I’ll let him know you highly approve to their product!

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