Claudia Schiffer's 'cohesive yet simple' living room storage invites us to show off our most quirky pieces

Minimalist decor can add visual interest to these personal shelving units, according to experts

Claudia Schiffer
(Image credit: Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage via Getty Images)

There's only one aspect to actor Claudia Schiffer's internet presence that we are as fond of as her celebrity, cat, Chip, and that's the Argylle star's home decor.

Recently, Schiffer posted a photo of her living area, complete with a wood grand piano and minimalist rug. However, our eyes were immediately drawn to her living room storage, specifically her open shelving, which she uses to display small animal statues.

Open shelving is the ultimate way to display special items in a common space while also providing the storage we don't see in a closed cabinet, and designers agree. 

'I’m always very persistent with my clients on aesthetics but also functionality,' says Devin Shaffer, Lead Interior Designer at Decorilla Online Interior Design. 'And open shelves are not an exception. In a space like a living room, many people think that decor would be the priority, but it’s becoming increasingly common to see the size of these rooms shrink, so that’s where functionality comes in.'

Devin Shaffer
Devin Shaffer

San-Francisco based interior designer Devin Shaffer has a Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design and is a lead designer at Decorilla Interior Design.

One of the key appeals of open shelving is that it is a space to highlight individual interests, allowing spaces to transform into home libraries (bookshelf wealth, anyone?) or greenhouses.

'If you’re a reader, add some of your faves for decorative but also practical purposes,' suggests Shaffer. 'There are special editions that are beautiful and can add a touch of sophistication and mystery (or you could even delve into bookbinding to make your own covers!).'

'If you’re a plant lover, play around with small pots like succulents. There’s a wide variety to choose from, and they’ll immediately add life and vibrancy to the room. If you’re more into Art Deco, adding colorful objects like vases, clocks, and perhaps pieces with different shapes and geometry will do wonders.'

A living room with two patterned pink chairs, symmetrical white bookcases and a large mirror

Open shelving used to display treasured possessions.

(Image credit: Future)

While it can be tempting to display lots of knick-knacks and fill the shelves to capacity, Shaffer recommends being selective with display items and letting them breathe to avoid overcrowding.

'The overall effect should be cohesive yet simple,' says Shaffer. 'Embrace minimalism by leaving some areas sparsely adorned, allowing both decorated and empty spaces to stand out. And make sure that you’re authentic to your style. Open shelves are an amazing option to show a glimpse into the life and personality of your home.'

Shop the edit

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.