This open shelving trend is dividing designers – will it stay in fashion in 2022?

Experts discuss open shelving – and whether this storage system will stay in vogue for the season ahead

Small kitchen with open shelving and marble backsplash
(Image credit: Future / Anna Stathaki)

When it comes to stylish storage, few systems rival open shelving. These minimalist units have dominated the kitchens of Instagram and some of our favorite designers in recent months – but what does the future hold? 

Despite their aesthetic appeal, some experts warn that days of the open shelving trend could be numbered. Interior experts are divided in their opinions over this stylish storage idea Will this kitchen staple maintain its allure, or will we shift towards a new storage solution? 

Is open shelving falling out of fashion in 2022? 

Open shelving by String in the kitchen

(Image credit: String Furniture)

Whether it is open shelving in the kitchen styled with glass storage jars or a color-coded recipe bookshelf, open shelving seems to be everywhere at the moment. However, while it might look great, interior designer Dan Wiener (opens in new tab), who is an expert in storage, warns that the units don’t always work in reality. 

‘Your dishes are exposed, letting them get greasy and dusty. You’ll constantly be cleaning everything on the shelves,’ he explains. 

He also warns that while this modern kitchen idea is good-looking, you may lose storage capacity after making the change. ‘[This will take away] from the overall aesthetic of your kitchen,’ he says. 

Open shelving by String in the kitchen

(Image credit: String Furniture)

Open shelving is here to stay 

Despite Dan’s reservations against the popular storage system, Bo Hellberg, the CMO at String Furniture (opens in new tab), argues that open shelving isn't going anywhere. According to Bo, the interior design trend goes hand-in-hand with the feature wall trend – which has brought the trend firmly into 2022. 

‘At the moment, we are noticing a trend for large-scale statement feature walls,’ Bo says. He suggests that open shelves allow you to recreate this trend with a functional twist. 

‘When designing our homes, we often forget the effectiveness of simply merging storage with the interior design scheme, and the flexibility of String’s design allows us to merge function with decoration,’ he says. 

Rustic wooden kitchen with white exposed brick wall and open shelving

(Image credit: James Merrell)

Peter Erlandsson, the Co-Owner, and Director of String, adds that an open shelves ability to showcase your personality will allow the trend to endure. 

‘We celebrate individual journeys and believe we should all take pride in the objects we have collected throughout our lives,’ he explains. ‘Whether it’s a collection of specific objects like crockery or crystal ware, or just sentimental bits and pieces, give your clutter a new lease of life,’ Peter adds. 

While the trend might not be the easiest to keep tidy, this Scandinavian kitchen design is one of the best ways to personalize your home. It might not alway be practical, but we have a feeling we’ve not seen the end of beautifully curated kitchen shelves.

Megan is a News Writer across Future Plc’s homes titles, including Livingetc and Homes & Gardens. As a News Writer, she often focuses on micro-trends, wellbeing, celebrity-focused pieces, and everything IKEA. 


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 expansive collection of houseplants.