Wonder-Furniture File: The Étagère

August 13, 2013

Rare is it indeed to find a piece of furniture that is suitable to both small and grand spaces, alike. Such can be said of the étagère, which operates on two main principles: an exceedingly thin profile, and an unmistakable air of elegance.

Says The Wikipedia,

“An étagère is a piece of light furniture which was extensively made in France during the latter part of the 18th century. It consists of a series of stages or shelves for the reception of ornaments or other small articles. Like the what-not it was very often cornerwise in shape, and the best Louis XVI examples in exotic woods are exceedingly graceful and elegant.
In modern usage, an étagère is often used to refer specifically to a long-legged shelf unit that fits over a bathroom toilet, also known as a space saver.”

Image credits: (clockwise from top) Rue Magazine, James Michael Howard, House and Home v. Delight by Design

As the frame of an étagère is slim, the design feels inherently space-efficient. It isn’t cumbersome, it’s light, and being that way, it seems almost to melt into the background rather than eat up a ton of space.

Image credits: BHG, Veranda, Alice Lane Home Collection, Viva Terra

It’s also a decidedly more glamorous way to increase your storage capacity than say, your standard steel utility shelves. Such things are entirely permissible in a garage, wherein appearances are lower down on the priority scale. Used in areas where remaining in la mode is essential, one generally has to try really, really hard to ensure steel, wire shelves come off looking stylish.

Image credits: The Everygirl, David Mitchell, Det Gode Liv

The étagère, on the other hand, is elegant from the get-go. You can safely situate a plethora of goods atop its surfaces– towels, cosmetics, pantry spillover, serving dishes, books, and decorative objects– and rest assured that as long as you’re not a total slob, the end result will be one of refined, space-savvy storage design.

Image credits: Darryl Carter v. Elle Decor, House Beautiful

If you have more room than you know what to do with and are merely looking for an opportunity to thoughtfully display a few precious trinkets, the étagère performs just as well at that task.

Image credits:(clockwise from top right) Phoebe HowardTiffany Richey Design, BHG, Atlanta Homes Mag

I can’t fathom a scenario where the étagère would fail. It’s like shelving that went on a diet, lost a bunch of weight, and then attended finishing school to boot. Jump on the bandwagon, why don’t ya?

1. Lisa Jarvis Glass Eye Half-Etagere // 2. Benton etagere // 3. Accents Etagere // 4. Chantel Etegere design by Safavieh // 5. Worlds Away Doris Gold Leaf Etagere // 6. Contas 4 Tier Etagere in Chrome // 7. Etagere Shelf Finish: Antique Gold // 8. Arteriors Worchester Gold Leaf Iron

P.S. I’ll save you a trip to The Google: it’s pronounced ay-tah-jeh-rr


1 Comment

  1. Stephanie A. on August 13, 2013 at 9:14 am

    Number 8 is gorgeous!! :O

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1 Comment

  1. Stephanie A. on August 13, 2013 at 9:14 am

    Number 8 is gorgeous!! :O

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