There are few things that make you feel more grown-up than purchasing something called an “étagère” for your home. And despite its fancy-sounding French name, this open bookshelf may be one of the most practical furniture pieces you’ll ever own. We’ve taken this Victorian-era design and given it a modern update that lets you organize and spruce up a room at the same time. With functional shelving and hanging storage crafted from exquisite solid wood, it’s no wonder a Zinus étagère can make you feel like a smart and practical adult.
And to show you how to think outside the box with yours, we’ve collaborated with design enthusiast, Angela Mueller.
Born and raised in Minnesota, Angela is a homeschooling mom of four with a passion for creating neutral, naturalistic spaces in her Minneapolis home. The key focus in all of her designs? “It needs to be practical. If I am going to be stressed out having my kids in that room, it’s just not realistic or worth it.”
We couldn’t agree more. Given our shared love for functionality that doesn’t sacrifice beauty, we challenged Angela to put our Wesley Etagère Bookcase to use in a variety of different spaces around her home. Yes, the Wesley is crafted with richly finished solid wood and a striking steel frame that can instantly class up any room, but this tall and handsome shelf is also vastly useful. Read on to see our favorite ways to use this versatile number.
More than just your average shelving, the Wesley is designed with hanging storage that lets you make use of both horizontal and vertical space. This key element is what makes it so handy in different settings.
In your living area or great room, it can house your personal library as well as display decorative items, like flowers, artwork, photos and hanging plants
For Angela, it nestled perfectly into a corner of her bright and airy living room. “I love it styled with plants and books. I used the hanging bar for a hanging plant. You can easily add baskets to the shelves in here too—we like to put flash cards and small games in them!”
The Wesley’s hanging storage also makes it surprisingly useful in an entryway or mudroom. Consider it a central “hub” for all the things you need to run out the door with, like coats and jackets, keys, hats and rain boots.
“I like using baskets on the shelves to keep hats and gloves, extra shoes, dog leashes, and any other accessories like sunglasses and car keys.” And most of all, we love how it suits Angela’s lifestyle as a handy spot to keep extra firewood!
In a bedroom or guestroom, this adaptable piece can be practically transformed into an extra closet. Hang your coats, dresses and button-ups on the right and arrange folded t-shirts or jeans on the left, and voilà! You’ve got an accessible, open wardrobe that can ease the burden on an overflowing closet, or serve as the perfect temporary spot for your houseguests to keep their clothes organized and wrinkle-free.
In Anglea’s bedroom, the Wesley adds both storage potential for extra odds and ends as well as decorative flair (especially when paired with our matching Wesley Canopy Bed, also pictured above).
Truthfully, you don’t have to limit yourself to one type of room to make our étagères work for you. This one-of-a-kind shelving is also just as useful in your home office, multipurpose room, kitchen or dining area. When it comes to this multifunctional piece, the sky’s the limit!
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