Our ever-popular Villa bookcases are currently enjoying a bit more than fifteen minutes of fame, thanks to the role they played in a recent Harper’s Bazaar makeover video (check it out at Here’s why they deserve the attention!

The library bookcase was an innovation of George Hepplewhite, one of three extraordinary cabinetmakers (along with Thomas Sheraton and Thomas Chippendale) who changed the face of furniture in eighteenth-century England and beyond. Well-known for his shield-shaped chairs with carved backs, Hepplewhite has been accused by some of sacrificing comfort for style. His extraordinary glass-front cabinets, however, had a very practical purpose so they were in great demand: They were designed to house the collections of fine books acquired by his wealthy patrons. These cases often consisted of several units that could span the length of a room; it’s an idea that still works! Check out Alia’s “Behind the Scenes” blog post here.

Our Villa bookcase design is an homage to Hepplewhite’s classic styling, updated for today. It has full crown molding and lower-than-usual base cabinets (maximizing display space), and it’s modular, offering dozens of possible configurations. Because it’s timeless, beautiful, and functional, Villa is, not surprisingly, one of our best sellers. Take a look at everyone’s favorite through the years (and the styles) and see for yourself just how versatile it can be.

For trivia lovers, here are a few fun facts:

  • Made from maple with a tight, uniform grain, and maple veneers, every piece in the Villa series is made in America.
  • The series is modular to the nth degree. Choose stand-alone units with complete crown molding or right- or left-facing units with molding that turns the corner on only one side; or units with nocorner molding at all, so you can line up any number of units, any way you like.
  • A single Villa bookcase consists of one upper shelf component and one lower base cabinet or file cabinet. You can also choose a standalone Villa bookcase with adjustable wood shelves.
  • Base cabinets have two raised panel doors, with an adjustable shelf behind each door.
  • File cabinet bases have drawers instead: one upper for general storage and one lower for file storage, both with soft-close glides.
  • Uppers have three adjustable glass shelves in wood frames with plate grooves.
  • Uppers can be ordered with open shelves or with glass doors and dimmable recessed lighting.
  • Villa is available in single, double, and triple widths.
  • There’s a media center, too! It includes left and right bookcase cabinets, a ventilated center media base, a bridge, and a video panel with a wire management cut-out.
  • Villa comes in a wide array of finishes. Many of them are available online; you can see them all at our Design Centers. The most popular by far is Cirrus White, a lightly distressed, crisp white paint with a medium sheen.

For more ways with Villa and other EA favorites, subscribe to The Art of Making Home and check us out on Instagram @ethanallen.



CATEGORY: Behind The Design, Products

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