Now I know my ABC’s of decorating: E is for etagere

letter e Etagere is just a very pretty word, borrowed from the french where most pretty words come from, for a bookcase or display shelf.  It comes from the french word for scaffolding.  The main difference between an etagere and an everyday bookcase is that the etagere has an open back and sides.  This design adds versatility to a bookcase, allowing it to be used as a room divider or in a space where an open feeling is desired.  They can be constructed of wood or metal and often feature glass or mirrored shelves for a contemporary look and feel.

Traditional styling and solid wood construction make this etagere from  Cody Road Workshops a natural fit in a traditonal setting.  Available from Painted Furniture Barn.

Traditional styling and solid wood construction make this etagere from Cody Road Workshops a natural fit in a traditional setting. Available from Painted Furniture Barn.

An etagere will enhance any design style and can be used in many areas of your home.  A sleek glass and brass design will fit comfortably in a contemporary space while a fun painted etagere will add just the right touch of casual comfort to a country or cottage interior.  And for those stately traditional rooms, choose one with design embellishments like crown molding and carved details.

  • Create an inviting entry and display some of your favorite collectibles where they can be safely enjoyed.
  • While these shelving units are attractive, they are also very functional.  Use them as an open pantry to store canned goods or add a couple of baskets and store produce, kitchen linens etc.  This works particularly well in an industrial chic space with a metal and wood combination.
  • The open sides will keep children’s toys and books readily accessible in the nursery or playroom.  Be sure to connect the shelf to the wall to prevent any tip-over accidents.
  • The shelves will provide plenty of storage for linens and necessities in the master bath.
  • In a large walk-in closet, the open shelves make it possible to spot the perfect handbag or create a space to stack sweaters, jeans or extra blankets.
  • The home office will not be left out.  Store office supplies, electronics, printers and other items within easy reach to make a busy work day go smoother.

Is there a place in your home for this very special item of furniture?

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