Michelle Pfeiffer's open living room storage is an incentive to declutter – professional organizers say

In some cases, the most practical storage is also the most beautiful – and it's refreshingly simple to recreate

Michelle Pfeiffer
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Open shelving – arguably the most debated storage solution of all – has a habit of diving experts' opinions. While these shelves allow us to exhibit our most personal possessions, they have a reputation for, sometimes, appearing cluttered. However, it would seem that Michelle Pfeiffer has chosen her side, and she's firmly in the open shelving-advocate camp. 

The Scarface actress's living room storage makes a strong case for the open-shelving argument – complete with books, photo frames, and (what appears to be) bottles of perfume, because why not? 

Michelle has mastered the art of open-shelving, ensuring vertical cabinets simultaneously store and showcase some of her favorite items while ensuring her space doesn't feel cluttered. It's often a fine line – but in this case, Michelle has got the balance right, and it's something that, experts say, is a lesson in decluttering

'For most of us, the living room is the beating heart of the home, which can also mean it’s a dumping ground for all our everyday items,' comments storage expert Vlatka Lake. 'To prevent your room from being overrun with clutter, incorporate a mix of open and closed storage solutions such as bookshelves and cabinets to neatly accommodate your belongings.'

Storage Expert
Vlatka Lake
Storage Expert
Vlatka Lake

Vlatka is a storage and organization expert at Space Station – a self-storage company based in the Greater London area. They pride themselves on offering excellent storage solutions around the UK.

Considering everything is on show, open shelving offers no room for error, so it forces us to keep our possessions curated and organized. Michelle's set-up is the perfect inspiration point, showing it's possible to keep some possessions on show without sacrificing the rest of our living room's aesthetic. Copenhagen-based Interior Decorator Signe Kok Nielsen agrees. 

According to Signe, the smallest details and accessories can create a new atmosphere in your home, so taking the time to decide what deserves a place on our open shelves is vital. 

'Be critical and select only the items and books that mean something to you or that have an aesthetic appeal and complement your interior,' she says. 

white living room with open shelving

(Image credit: Future PLC)
Signe Kok Nielsen
Signe Kok Nielsen

Signe Kok Nielsen is a Danish interior architect and artist, and currently works at luxury furniture brand BoConcept, a Danish retail furniture chain with 337 stores in 65 countries around the world. 

'Remember that getting rid of “stuff” creates space for new items. Declutter and create a different layout than before,' Signe explains. 'Leave some empty spaces in your bookshelves to put focus on the selected items you have picked.'

To further ensure our space feels organized, Vlatka recommends investing in decorative baskets or bins that won't look out of place on our shelves. 'They're particularly great for stowing away items such as blankets or remotes,' she notes. 

We can shop the look (including some of our favorite decorative bins below).

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.