Best Etagere

Updated

Etagere are furnishings that include open shelving where items might be displayed. They can be simple bookshelf style units, ladder shelving, or even small shelves that are incorporated into the side of a mirror or larger cabinet. While they can be used for book shelving, they are frequently more suited to showing off various small objects d’art. The shelving is usually decorative in nature, but can sometimes be utilitarian. An important feature is that it is sturdy, capable of holding up variously sized items. The exception to this is small shelving for knickknacks or spices.

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Our Picks

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Swindell Etagere Bookcase

Swindell Etagere Bookcase

Easy to assemble and sturdy, this bookshelf offers five exposed wooden shelves with a textured grain on a powder-coated metal frame. Perfect for decorating a spacious hallway or accenting your study, the bookcase stands at 68” tall with shelves that are 12” wide and 36” long. You’ll have plenty of space to store your favorite books, display pictures, or even house a few succulents.

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Macon Etagere Bookcase

Macon Etagere Bookcase

Contemporary and minimalistic, this shelf boasts an open etagere shelf design with ladder sides and an x-shaped backing for added modern flair. Laminate-veneer, scratch-resistant shelves provide sturdy storage and display for your favorite books, artwork, and photographs. The shelf is available in five different finishes to coordinate with your current furniture. While the case cannot be bolted to the wall, a tip-over safety restraint is included to protect your shelves from toppling.

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Adair Etagere Bookcase

Adair Etagere Bookcase

This metal and barn wood, three-tier bookcase is sturdy and multi-functional. The powder-coated metal frame and open shelves can accommodate baskets of linens, potted plants, or books, while its low profile makes it an excellent option for smaller spaces. Use it as a console table behind your sofa or add your collection of glassware and favorite beverages to transform it into a stylish home bar.

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Epineux Etagere Bookcase

Epineux Etagere Bookcase

Ideal for the modern country home, this combination metal, and wood bookcase provides ample space for organizing and displaying your prized possessions. The wood laminate shelves are stained in a deep nutmeg shade that blends perfectly with the matte black of the frame. Each tube-shaped post ends in a wide foot for added stability, and the entire structure is easy to assemble. Add to your kitchen to organize pots, pans, and bakeware or place two units, either side of your entertainment area, to keep your multimedia items organized.

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Dodd Etagere Bookcase

Dodd Etagere Bookcase

Two-shelf etagere bookcase made from tubular metal ladder frame, with brown wood-tone laminated particleboard shelves. While neither showy or expensive, it is ideal for those small items that never seem to have a home, yet are desirable for one reason or another. Ideal for small ornamentals, books or even stacks of magazines, it will go well with more kinds of décor. Some assembly will be required upon arrival.

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Schreiner Etagere Bookcase

Schreiner Etagere Bookcase

Modest etagere bookcase in brown wash wood tone, with X bracing on the back, could be the handiest piece of furniture you will buy. The unit is constructed from manufactured wood and brown washed metal. The flat X brace helps to prevent wracking or sagging. The wood tone is less intrusive than similar units that obviously are constructed with metal as part of the design. With its modest brown coloring, it will not detract from your fine collectibles.

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Augustus Etagere Bookcase

Augustus Etagere Bookcase

Characterized by brown, laminated manufactured wood shelving that is almost as deep as it is wide, this striking etagere bookcase will make an excellent home for large books, rattan baskets or large pieces of artwork. The black frame makes a striking contrast with the brown shelving creating a statement that you will not be ashamed to have anywhere. One small caveat: It does not meet California’s 65 ruling for potentially carcinogenic substances.

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Damon Etagere Bookcase

Damon Etagere Bookcase

Undeniably elegant, this bookshelf is ideal for lovers of traditional, bohemian, or shabby chic aesthetics. The bookcase features five safety-tempered glass shelves, a crown arched top, and a striking metal frame with a satin dark-gold finish. It’s an excellent choice for displaying your prized wedding china in the dining room, but also makes a glamorous storage space for the bathroom. Style with greenery and coordinate with plush furniture to create a retro-style living room.

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Ermont Etagere Bookcase

Ermont Etagere Bookcase

A spare black metal frame paired with manufactured wood with a natural, blond wood veneer sure to go equally well with a modern minimalist, boho, shabby chic or country décor. Can be used as a utility shelf for items such as towels or it can be used as a bookshelf or to display ornamental pieces. It comes with a tip restraint and is intended to be installed against a wall.

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Axbridge Etagere Bookcase

Axbridge Etagere Bookcase

An almost ethereally fragile unit in appearance, it is, in fact, quite robust and is capable of holding up all kinds of utility items. Four slender posts hold up the corners of four shelves, while inverted V braces help ensure that books or magazines do not fall off the ends of the shelves. Wood shelving helps hold the unit together while creating a sturdy support for the things you store there.

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Best Etagere

Buying Guide

Etagere bookcases are a great way to organize and display a lot more than just books. They are also perfect for displaying trinkets, photo frames, plants and ornaments. Nevertheless, people often struggle when buying a new etagere due to the sheer number of different types and styles available.

Here's how to choose the perfect etagere bookcase for your home.

Here are some of the main types of etagere you'll come across when choosing your new model:

Classic Etagere

Classic etageres have a thin frame and open backs. They come in a variety of sizes, however, they are all characterized by their clean lines and elegant silhouette. While wood or metal or a combination of both are popular choices, you'll also find classic etagere bookcase shelves in a wide variety of different materials, including glass, plastic, and laminate. 

Geometric Etagere

Geometric etageres are popular in modern homes where they make good focal points. They are also useful for displaying items that would otherwise look a little "lost" on an average shelf. Geometric etageres use both vertical and horizontal lines within the external frame to break up your shelves into partitions of various shapes and sizes. They can vary in style from fun, creative looks to serious and severe.

Corner Etagere

If you're really tight on space or need to place an etagere in a high traffic area such as a hall or landing, then a corner model could be just what you need. Corner etageres are triangular and are designed to maximize your storage space. While they are less practical for storing large books, they make excellent display units.

Ladder Etagere

Contemporary ladder etageres give your room an air of originality without detracting from the rest of your decor.

They consist of a very simple frame that uses two sloping uprights that lean against your wall. The shelves start off deeper at the bottom, where the frame is further from your wall and progressively become shallower as the frame slopes backward to meet the wall. 

Some models feature walled lower shelves, which can be useful for storing larger items or even a storage box full of smaller things that could otherwise become cluttered.

Room Divider Etagere

Room divider etageres are typically wide and tall. They can be used along a large free wall; however, they are popular for portioning up open plan spaces into different usage areas. You could use one to section off your dining area from your sitting area, without losing the appeal of one large room.

Fill room divider etageres for a more divisive effect or leave them mainly open to keep a spacious feel. Etagere room dividers with geometric shapes are also popular, as they provide an eye-catching division. In contrast, standard straight shelves will need some imaginative filling to prevent you from simply gazing straight through.

It's important to find the right etagere to match your decor, here's what styles to look out for.

Traditional

If your home is traditional in style, then you should look for an etagere with a clean-lined silhouette.

Opt for a wooden or metal frame in muted tones that allow your display items to command attention. White or natural wood are good matches for a traditional home, or you could also consider matching your etagere's finish to other items in your room for a harmonious feel.

Modern

For a modern look, opt for etagere bookcases that use glossy surfaces, such as laminate or plastics.

You could also team modern style wooden etageres with a more contemporary setting. Geometric shapes work well also, as do room divider etageres, breaking up loft-style apartments into their respective areas, without restricting light and movement. Look for feature pieces in bright accent colors or play it safe with neutral tones

Minimalist

Thanks to their understated frames and open backs, etageres look great in minimalist homes. Opt for a metal frame and neutral or natural shadedshelves for a classic minimalist look that places the emphasis on the raw beauty of the materials.

Industrial

For a streamlined industrial style, opt for a sturdy iron-framed etagere bookcase. Ladder styles make an excellent choice thanks to their utilitarian looks. The juxtaposition of rustic pine shelves and distressed black painted metal will give an authentic industrial feel to any living area. Extra details such as X-braces and metal bolts or cutouts add decorative touches without detracting from that factory feel.

Farmhouse

If you have a farmhouse-style home, then an industrial style etagere can also look good in your kitchen or living room. Etageres with wooden shelves and metal frames replicate farm machinery and classic styling where function rules over form.

However, if your farmhouse style is more cozy cottage, you may want to look for a wooden etagere that is more substantial than the typical fine framed versions. Wooden trellis panels can add extra decoration without detracting too much from the basic design.

Shabby Chic

Go for a romantic shabby chic look and choose an etagere with a brass frame and marble shelves, for a classic chic French look. Otherwise, a gilded metal version would look great. Depending on your vision for your room, you may also like to consider a wooden etagere with white distressed paintwork and trellis details, for a more romantic look.

Eclectic

Geometric etageres work well in some eclectic homes, especially more modern ones. You could also consider a rectangular etagere with eastern-inspired trellis sides for extra individuality. Wood, plastic or metal, whatever mis-matches best with your current collection. Opt for a striking color or play it down with a neutral frame and arch details, to let your collection of ornaments or unusual literature really shine.

Once you have your ideal style etagere in mind, you'll then need to ensure you find the right size for your home. Here's how.

Room Size

No matter how beautiful your favorite model is, make sure it's a good fit for the room you're planning to place it in. Obviously, small rooms will benefit from narrower but taller etageres to avoid looking cramped and cluttered. Use wider etageres in larger rooms without worrying about a reduction in floorspace.

As etageres tend to feature open backs and thin frames, they are actually an ideal choice for smaller homes. If you dream of a spacious living room and feel cramped and stuffy with your current furniture, try replacing a bulky, solid dresser with a large open etagere or two. This will give the impression of a much more spacious living area while still providing plenty of storage.

Display Contents

Are you going to be using your etagere for tall books or ornaments and trinkets?

Consider what you will be displaying when choosing your etagere. For small items, you may prefer a smaller, geometric etagere so your shelves don't look too bare. Tall books can often be problematic, although if you only wish to display a handful of interesting hardbacks, you may find they look better flat rather than upright.

Choosing an etagere with adjustable shelves can help you to house all the items you wish to. For items you are keen to display and not just store, consider lower etageres. You can use the top level for most prominent objects. On taller models place your favorite pieces you want to show off at eye-level.

Other Decorative Items

Make sure that your etagere will fit in with other items in your room. For example, if you have a distinctive wall mirror, you could place a short etagere beneath it for an elegant look, reminiscent of a console table but with extra storage.

If your room has a lot of furniture, you may wish to opt for a tall etagere that will offer a maximum of storage for a minimal footprint. Tall corner models tuck away unobtrusively, whereas wide chunky frame etageres make more of a bolder statement and are best teamed with a bare wall.

Choosing an Etagere - Short or Tall?

Go for a short etagere for:

  • Storing/displaying small items.
  • Placing under a prominent wall mirror or painting.
  • Tight, low spaces.

A tall one for:

  • Storing/displaying items you don't need to access frequently.
  • If you're short on floor space.

A wide etagere can be good when:

  • You have an empty wall.
  • You have a lot of similar items to store next to one another.
  • You want to replace a bulky dresser or large cabinets to make your room appear more spacious.