'Functionalism meets maximalism' in Alicia Silverstone's kitchen – and it comes down to her shelving strategy

Clueless star Alicia Silverstone employs open shelving in her kitchen to store and display curated items, brightening up her minimalist space

(Image credit: Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images for IMDb)

Alicia Silverstone may be closely associated with high-tech closets full of plaid ensembles as Cher in Clueless, but her current interior style is less retro and more refined. Case in point: the actor's kitchen.

The actor recently posted a video cooking for some company in her modern, minimal kitchen, and we couldn't help but admire the wood kitchen island, white cabinets, and brass hanging lamp. While the kitchen is quite large, she makes use of all possible storage by implementing a key feature: open shelving. Silverstone stores decorative mugs and china in the corner of the kitchen, adding a pop of color and charm to her otherwise contemporary space.

A practical storage solution, as well as an opportunity to show off items that may otherwise be behind cabinet doors – open shelving units are a no-brainer, as experts explain.

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'This trend could be described as functionalism meets maximalism,' explains Catherine Jacob, head of design at Hovia. 'Each individual item on a wall shelf serves a practical purpose, but when displayed as part of a larger assortment, open shelves and their accouterments almost become a piece of wall art in their own right.'

Location can be completely personalized based on one's existing kitchen layout; however, experts say that there are a couple of strategic spots where open shelving works particularly well.

'I like to incorporate open shelving as a focal point either at the sink wall to the left and right of a window or at the range wall to the left and right of the hood,' says Mary Dimichino, Senior Kitchen Designer at Bakes & Kropp.

Once the shelves' location has been determined, decorating can commence. However, Dimichino suggests being thoughtful about how many items would go on the shelves, so they don't appear overcrowded.

'When it comes to styling open shelves, I'd advise sticking to one color or pattern for a clean look, and grouping pieces like bowls, plates, and glassware together,' she says. 'Generally, less is more.'

Ultimately, Jacob recommends enjoying the process of curating an open shelf space. After all, it's a complete expression of one's individual taste.

'There is lots to love here, as the “always on” display approach calls for disciplined organization and careful curation of your most loved and most used kitchen items,' she says.

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Hannah Ziegler
News Editor

Hannah is Homes & Gardens’ News Editor, with a focus on celebrity style and entertainment content. She got her start in media as a digital editorial assistant at ELLE Canada, and has since written about lifestyle and culture for publications such as Nylon and i-D.

Her love of film is rivalled only by one with a great soundtrack, and she hopes to someday decorate a Nancy Meyers-worthy kitchen.