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How to Decorate an Etagere – 10 Decor Ideas

How to Decorate an Etagere - 10 Decor Ideas Decorating an Etagere Bookcase
How to Decorate an Etagere - 10 Decor Ideas

Meet the Author and Your Future Designer: Julio Arco is a passionate architect with years of experience in architecture, interior design, urban design, and housing. He studied at prestigious universities across North America and Europe. 


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How to Decorate an Etagere - 10 Decor Ideas

Decorating an Etagere Bookcase – Introduction Video

My grandmother was a natural decorator. She loved finding unique ways to spruce up any room, and her favorite piece of furniture was the etagere. I have fond memories of visiting her home as a child and watching her creatively arrange the items she chose to decorate it with. From knick-knacks to books, she had an eye for making the etagere look beautiful.

When decorating your etagere, it is essential to consider what items you want to display. If you plan on using it as a bookshelf, then be sure to pick out books that match the room’s overall theme. Or, if you want something a bit more eclectic, mix and match different items such as vases, figurines, and artwork.

Decorating an etagere can be a fun and creative way to add a stylish touch to any room! Etageres are versatile storage solutions that make it easy to show off your favorite items while adding much-needed storage space. With careful planning and some imagination, you can create a beautiful etagere that will become the centerpiece of your room. Read on for tips on how to create a stunning etagere in any home.

How to Decorate an Etagere - 10 Decor Ideas

1.- Make your etagere bookcase a statement piece in the room with colorful and eye-catching decor pieces.

An etagere bookcase can be an important focal point in a room, so it’s essential to make sure that you decorate it in such a way as to draw the eye. For example, choose pieces of art or decorative items that coordinate with your existing color scheme in the room but also pack a punch – for instance, try adding bursts of vivid color to your neutral space!

Or, if you prefer something more subtle yet still eye-catching, look for pieces of Glass and metalwork to display on your shelves. Likely, conversation starters are guaranteed! Whether bold or subtle, make sure that what you choose will bring importance and style to your etagere so it will stand out from the rest in your room.

How to Decorate an Etagere - 10 Decor Ideas

2.- Use different materials such as wood, Glass, or metal to add texture and interest to the etagere.

Wood adds a rustic charm that provides solidity and weight in an otherwise empty space. Glass gives off a light and airy feeling while adding visual depth with its reflective quality. Lastly, metal allows you to give a contemporary touch due to its durability and strong industrial look.

The importance of adding these different materials allows your etagere to become the ideal fusion point of texture and aesthetic appeal. So don’t limit yourself; take full advantage of everything they can offer and make your etagere truly unique.

How to Decorate an Etagere - 10 Decor Ideas

3.- For an organized yet modern display, put books in order of size or color on the shelf and avoid clutter.

An Etagere provides the perfect opportunity for a stylish and well-organized display. To ensure your decor looks modern and sleek, make sure to put books in order of size or color on the shelf.

Doing so will bring importance to each item within its own space and create an overall crisp visual with no clutter. It is also possible to have additional items such as plants or framed photographs – but remember it’s important to keep balance on the shelf by putting them at the same height too!

How to Decorate an Etagere - 10 Decor Ideas

4.- Showcase your favorite mementos like vases, figurines, and artwork on different levels of shelving.

You will want to showcase your favorite items in creative ways by displaying them on different levels of shelving or using the space to serve other purposes, such as gathering books, baskets, and frames in a home library or office.

Don’t forget that the importance of styling your etagere with pieces that display who you are goes beyond just offering a beautiful backdrop – it’s about personalizing each shelf so that your favorite knick-knacks take center stage.

How to Decorate an Etagere - 10 Decor Ideas

5.- Add texture to the shelves with fabric-wrapped boxes or baskets to create interest and depth in decorating your etagere bookcase.

One secret tip that we recommend when decorating an etagere? Add texture! Adding fabric-wrapped boxes or baskets to the shelves can create interest and depth in your display. This way, you’ll really make a statement as visitors’ eyes are easily drawn to its unique textured design.

Your space will be instantly updated with flair and style, making it a stunning focal point in any room. Start decorating your etagere today and start to enjoy its beautiful new look!

How to Decorate an Etagere - 10 Decor Ideas

6.- Cover some of the shelves with wallpaper or fabric to add color and pattern to the room’s style.

Covering some of an etagere’s shelves with wallpaper or fabric is an easy and effortless way to add visual interest, pattern, and texture to any room. For example, consider using a classic damask print as the backdrop for your favorite figurines, or try a modern geometric pattern to create a bold statement.

Covering the shelves allows you to incorporate additional color into the space while creating continuity with accent pieces. No matter what design you choose, this technique can add depth and character to any room in no time.

How to Decorate an Etagere - 10 Decor Ideas

7.- Include small furniture pieces, frames, or figurines in coordinating colors before arranging them on the shelves for a cohesive look.

To make it stand out from the rest, including small furniture pieces, frames, or figurines in coordinating colors before arranging them on the shelves for a cohesive look. Mix it up with different levels of texture to create balance.

Include some pieces that are shinier than others while creating depth with different sizes of pottery objects. Make sure to incorporate things that relate to each other such as books or similar colors, throughout the entire display. That way, you can turn a bare wall into something truly unique and memorable!

How to Decorate an Etagere - 10 Decor Ideas

8.- Select items that are slightly different sizes to create a dynamic display without having an exact match among all decor pieces on the etagere bookcase.

Try decorating it with items of slightly different sizes. This will create an eye-catching display that is dynamic and exciting. Select multiple different pieces which are similar in style or color but feature unique shapes and heights to give it a multi-dimensional feel.

Choose decorative statues, figurines, plants, candlesticks – anything you love! The mix of styles and sizes will give a subtle touch of harmony to your etagere, creating an artful presentation that draws attention from everyone who visits your home.

How to Decorate an Etagere - 10 Decor Ideas

9.- Use pet-friendly plants or flower items to spruce up a corner of any room instantly with an etagere bookcase!

Use pet-friendly plants or flower items for the ultimate home decor piece – great for any room in your house; the etagere can bring immediate beauty and vibrancy to a corner. Bring life into a neglected area or create a photo opportunity by pairing times around the bookcase shelves – it’s up to you how creative you want to be.

Plant the pet-friendly items in simple planters or combine different shades and sizes of greenery for added texture without stressing over maintenance – this is an affordably stylish way to give your space an instant transition from ordinary to extraordinary!

How to Decorate an Etagere - 10 Decor Ideas

10.- Use the rule of three when arranging the pieces on an etagere to create balance and interest.

Use the power of the rule of three when it comes to arranging pieces for the ideal look and feel. Use this decorating trick to your advantage by placing three items that are similar. Still, each has subtle differences or variations on the same etagere shelf.

Not only will this add visual interest, but it will also lend itself to balancing the display’s height, color, texture, and overall shape. An added value with three items in a group is that it does not appear cluttered or overwhelming- just perfect for an inviting combination that delights all who enter your home.

How to Decorate an Etagere - 10 Decor Ideas

Step-by-Step Guide to Decorate an Etagere

Step 1: Begin by covering some of the shelves with wallpaper or fabric in coordinating colors. Choose either a bold print or a subtle texture to add interest and depth.

Step 2: Stack books on the etagere in order of size, color, or style to create an eye-catching display. If using multiple hues, alternate between dark and light colors.

Step 3: Place vases in various sizes and shapes on the lower shelves for added dimension. Add small figurines and artwork to compliment the vases. Group each item together in threes for a coordinated look. Stick with similar colors and textures for consistency throughout the display.

Step 4: Put three pet-friendly houseplants on high shelves to bring life and color to the room. Create a mini garden by selecting assorted sizes of pet-friendly houseplants and arranging them on the etagere bookcase in clusters of three. With careful planning and some imagination, you can create a stunning etagere that will become the centerpiece of any room!

Decorate an Etagere – FAQ

What is an etagere?

An etagere is a tall, freestanding bookcase or open shelving unit made popular in the Victorian era and often used in modern homes as well.

How do I pick items to decorate an etagere?

When decorating an etagere, you want to think about what objects will look best on the shelves and complement the overall style of the room you’re putting it in. You can also add texture with fabric boxes or baskets, create a cohesive look by painting coordinating colors on pieces, and use plants for a natural touch!

What is the “rule of three” when it comes to etageres?

The rule of three states that when arranging items on your shelves, you should choose three different sizes of items that are not matching but visually interesting together for a dynamic display without being too busy or overwhelming for viewers. This creates balance and interest!

Is there any other type of furniture similar to an etagere?

Yes! An armoire is similar to an Etagere as they both provide storage space with open shelving and doors. An armoire is typically taller and heavier, and its doors can conceal items for a more private look. Additionally, an accent cabinet is another option for providing storage with visual appeal.

Do I need to use the same colors throughout my etagere display?

No – you can mix and match colors for a more interesting look, but try to keep them within the same color family, so the overall look is pleasing. Additionally, you don’t have to stick to one color palette either. You can choose several complementary colors that work well together for a more vibrant look.

How to Decorate an Etagere - 10 Decor Ideas

Hire an Online Interior Designer at Havenly

There are several online interior design websites, but Havenly is your best option to hire from a robust list of interior designers that will help you in decorating and creating the perfect dog-friendly home. 

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M.Arch. Julio Arco
M.Arch. Julio Arco

Bachelor of Architecture - ITESM University
Master of Architecture - McGill University
Architecture in Urban Context Certificate - LDM University
Interior Designer - Havenly
Architecture Professor - ITESM University

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