We have talked in the past about how the highly underrated ottoman just doesn’t get enough respect yet it is a highly functional and very stylish piece of furniture. Similarly, the étagère is also a highly functional very stylish piece of furniture but its place in the furniture world is only slightly ahead of the ottoman.
An étagère is a piece of furniture which was made in France during the latter part of the 18th century. It consists of a series of stages or shelves for the display of ornaments or other small knick-knacks. 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.
Made famous by Billy Baldwin when he decorated Cole Porter’s apartment at the Waldorf Towers, the étagère, for those in the know, holds a special place in history as an elegant furnishing in grand homes. But for those who think it’s just a normal bookcase we would like you to take a second look at this beauty.
Traditionally made of metal and wood the étagère comes in many materials besides metal such as wood, even glass and Lucite, and often combine multiple materials for added interest and beauty. The come in many shapes and sizes, from short and wide to tall and skinny. They also look great when used in multiples. So consider three on a wall.
Books, objet d’art, framed photos and practically anything you can think of can be displayed on an étagère. Whether you just need storage for lots of books or have a prized collection to show off this versatile, elegant and functional piece will do the job. Dare we say every home should have an étagère somewhere? I think that’s a statement we can stand behind.