Not to be confused with a simple bookcase, an etagere — pronounced e-ta-gere (ay-ta-zheer) — is a piece of furniture with open shelves stacked on top of each other. Originating in 18th century France, etageres are typically used to display small, treasured objects. Some etageres have enclosed spaces, but these days, etageres come in all different shapes, sizes, and materials.
Webster’s defines an etagere as being designed “for receiving articles of elegance or use.” And especially today, designers are personalizing clients homes in chic, elegant ways with objects of functionality, importance or sentiment. Houzz shares some ideas about how to use this classic, versatile item.
Not a Bookcase
The key to arranging a stylish etagere is in selection. It’s not a bookshelf which could be loaded down and closed with randomly placed dusty encyclopedias or college textbooks. Leave the heavy book storage to them. Etageres are more exposed and meant to exude clean design and balance. With these pieces, less equates to more.
As a Bar
And we love how fabulously versatile etageres can be. The open designs of etageres lends them well to functional uses. Why not transform yours into a sleek cocktail bar for happy hour? Keep your etagere well-stocked with napkins, ice buckets, and liquor bottles or showcase your favorite wine vintages.
For Elegant Bathroom Storage
The tapered shape of our Henderson Etagere draws the eyes upward and adds the illusion of height to a room. Its vintage, gold metal frame and champagne finished shelves make it a stunning display for cherished mementos and useful items alike. The octagonal shelves were designed to be distinctive. Even in the bathroom, this etagere is a superb furnishing for housing fresh towels, soaps, and scented bath salts.
For Fine Artwork
Imagine two Keaton Etageres flanking a set of floor-to-ceiling windows or an especially poignant piece of artwork. The textured, vintage gold finish on its diamond motif, metal frame creates a focal point in any transitional décor. We wanted to match the flexibility of this type of furnishing in our own design, so we incorporated magnetic, removable stars to add an intricate spark of interest.
For Evolving Collections
Have fun when arranging your etagere! It’s meant to change and evolve over time, especially as your collection of mementos continues to grow. You don’t have to stick to just one theme or collection — feel free to be yourself and let the design story unfold! So, now that you know how different an etagere is from a mere bookcase (and how to pronounce it), it’s time to start honing in on your favorite eras, antiquities, unique finds, sports, (or cocktail recipes) and show off your goods.
For more of Gabby’s etageres click here. These etageres are just the beginning of Gabby’s elegant offerings. To see our complete collection of transitional furnishings, lighting, and decorative accessories, we welcome you to visit the Gabby website and browse through the latest edition of our online catalog.