Welcome back to our ongoing A-Z of definitions series. We’re guiding you through a bunch of design words you may hear in the world of interiors, but not quite understand. We’re not throwing out dictionary definitions here – this ain’t no lecture. We’re keeping it chill and light-hearted, and we’re moving on to the letter E.


A slightly above average song by U2, and also a very useful tool for architects and interior designers.

Consider an elevation drawing a plan – something that showcases a space in a 2D format. Used for commercial projects, as well as home designs, it’s suitable for envisioning both indoor and outdoor concepts.

Elevations will often illustrate placement of all sorts, including appliances, built-ins, furniture, and accessories, to help give an holistic and overarching view of a space.

Similar to a floor plan, an elevation takes you right down into the guts of a space, and creates an eye-level view of a room, creating an idea of how it will look when completed.

Image Credit: Technē Architecture + Interior Design


Don’t let the accents over the e’s intimidate you, the étagère is a fairly common piece of furniture, likely to already be in your home.

Made popular in the 18th century by French furniture makers, an étagère is best defined as a series of shelves dedicated to displaying just about anything, from books, to stylish decorative pieces, and framed photos or art.

You could say it’s a bookshelf with flair, and is usually quite ornate or as eye catching as the pieces it displays.

Backless, and made from all kinds of materials, including glass, metal, timber, and even lucite, we love seeing étagère in multiples against a blank wall, or on either side of a fireplace.

Image Credit: Ferm Living
Image Credit: AYTM
Image Credit: Normann Copenhagen

En Suite

Highly desirable, and incredibly convenient, an en suite (bathroom) is the name given to a private bathroom connected to a bedroom.

Though its direct French translation is “afterwards” or “following”, the English language has adapted it to mean “in the room” or “connected”.

Usually attached to the home’s master bedroom, an en suite contains all the essentials: a sink and mirror, a toilet, and a shower/bath tub.

This makes for a super convenient space, especially when you need to duck to the loo in the middle of the night, and aren’t feeling particularly keen on navigating a set of stairs, or a dark hallway.

Image Credit: Norm Architects
Image Credit: Ferm Living
Image Credit: Agnieszka Owsiany Studio