Kristin Davis uses this technique for a sleek living room shelving system, experts say

Open shelves can open up and provide vibrancy to a room, and nowhere does it quite like Davis's space

Kristin Davis
(Image credit: Photo by Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)

Kristin Davis is known for her role as the prim and proper Charlotte York in Sex and the City, and although this is a fictional character, we'd like to think Davis' home would be Charlotte-approved.

In a video posted to her TikTok account, Davis showed off her sunny California home's living room, featuring high, beamed ceilings, a large patterned rug, and most notable, built-in, white open shelves holding books and prized possesions.

Open shelving is optimal for displaying selected items, allowing for coherent curation and a burst of personality in a communal space like the living room. Though this option is an increasing favorite in the kitchen, the actress makes an indisputable case for this personal living room shelving – and experts love her look.


With inflation, I’m pretty sure that number is closer to 2 million now

♬ im worth a million by charlotte york - ✮

'Sleek wall shelving provides you with plenty of flexibility both practically and aesthetically, meaning you can achieve a completely new look whenever you like,' says Peter Erlandsson, Co-Owner of String Furniture. 'There is an age-old doctrine of using light colors on walls to make your home look bigger. This is true, and your shelves need not detract from this.'

Peter Erlandsson
Peter Erlandsson

Peter Erlandsson is the co-owner and director of String Furniture – the Scandi-cool storage company hailing from Stockholm, Sweden. In 2020, String Furniture was awarded Furniture Supplier of the Year, but the basis of String's designs has shaped storage habits since 1949. In 1952, String shelves (now String Furniture) were ordered to decorate the newly built UN headquarters in New York City. 

The key to decorating open shelves is being highly intentional in selecting items to place on them, thus avoiding traditional clutter (it's a fine line).

'Styling these objects on a simple shelf can be beautiful and decorative,' Erlandsson says. 'Treat your shelf like a canvas, and create a work of art on top of it with artfully styled ‘clutter.’ Not only is it fun to create your own organic and changing artwork from your own nick-nacks, but it is a great way to save space.'

Apart from the visually pleasing elements of open shelving, it's also strategic in opening up a room to its full capacity. 

'When you lift things off the floor and use shelving as a storage solution, you create the illusion of a larger space,' Erlandsson explains. 'The general rule when choosing furniture for a room you would like to extend is to use slim-line design silhouettes,  which provide an overall lighter aesthetic.... shelving does exactly this – not distracting from the flow of the living room, but making a subtle design statement at the same time.'

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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.