Rita Ora has taken a side in the ongoing open shelving vs wall cabinet debate – and it's easy to recreate

Designers say it's the 'perfect blend of functionality and aesthetics'

Rita Ora
(Image credit: Getty Images)

We've been seeing Rita Ora everywhere recently, but it's become abundantly clear that her expertise doesn't just lie in her singing and songwriting abilities but, rather unexpectedly, in shelving and storage design, too!

When considering kitchen shelving ideas, there are so many different options and styles you can opt for. However, open shelving and cabinetry are slinking their way into people's homes more than ever. Not to mention, a consistently hot topic in the great open shelves vs wall cabinets debate. 

Thanks to a recent Instagram post it appears that Rita is pro the former – and we suspect it's because she's happy to keep her impressive collection of glassware and crockery in clear sight. Here's whether the experts think she's making the right choice, and if you should follow suit...

'Open cabinetry is something that people either love or hate and isn't a trend that's going to 'come and go' necessarily,' says Sahar Saffari, senior designer at Hi-Spec Design. 'It's more about what works for people's personal styles and their homes.'

As Sahar says, open shelving isn't necessarily a fleeting kitchen trend per se, but rather a design choice that has long been at the core of designing a kitchen.

Sahar Saffari
Sahar Saffari

Senior designer, Sahar Saffari has worked at Hi-Spec Design for over 17 years. She studied Fine Art and Architecture in Tehran. She was also a lecturer of History and Drawing at two universities before moving to the UK in 2004. She spends a lot of time in Spain, which helps with her creative work.

Jonathon Clark, creative director at Shelved explains that this is because open shelving is a 'trend driven by a desire for accessible storage solutions and a shift towards a more open and airier feeling in living spaces'.

As a result, open shelving and cabinetry will likely remain a prominent feature within kitchens and dining rooms alike, offering what Jonathon says is a 'perfect blend of functionality and aesthetics'.

White fitted kitchen with open shelves and extractor hood and wooden table in contemporary retro kitchen

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Giles)

Furthermore, Sahar adds that 'the appeal lies in the ability to showcase curated collections,' such as Rita Ora's grand arsenal for tablescaping (on that note, we also spy that she's also taken on the coloured glassware trend).

However, Sahar does note that many people may steer clear of this shelving idea as they can look messy and aren't practical if they're too small as you don't have the same luxury of being able to hide clutter as you would kitchen cabinets.

So, how exactly can you make open shelving and cabinetry work in your home? The key is unification, says the senior designer.

Mix and match tableware on shelving

(Image credit: Future PLC/Kasia Fiszer)

How to make open shelving and cabinetry work

'The easiest way to make it work is to choose a theme or colour palette for a unified look,' begins Sahar.

Although the likes of clustering on open shelving makes for a 'lived-in' look, you must consider organising your items intentionally by balancing shapes and sizes and grouping similar items for a neat display. This is similar to a tip architect and presenter Dara Huang has shared with us before for updating a tired-looking home, too.

Sahar also recommends incorporating decorative solutions like baskets or bins that align with the overall aesthetic you're trying to achieve. While you're at it, consider adding finishing touches to your open shelving through accessories such as vases, books, and flowers to break up the space and further add to your design.

Fitted kitchen with a wall of storage shelves and dark grey units

(Image credit: Future PLC)

'The key is to make the space look like it's been designed, and not just that it's open storage,' Sahar reiterates.

Jonathon echoes this thought, explaining that open shelving not only adds a characterful touch to your home but also 'prompts homeowners to curate their kitchenware and display only the most aesthetically pleasing and frequently used items'. This goes hand in hand with practicality, ensuring 'frequently used items are easily accessible while embracing the beauty of everyday items,' adds Sahar.

And just like that, you've got yourself a Rita Ora-approved display.

Jullia Joson
Junior Writer

Jullia Joson is a Junior Writer at Ideal Home. She's always loved all things homes and interiors, graduating with a bachelor's degree in Architectural Studies from the University of Nottingham where her love for journalism blossomed following her internship at ArchDaily. Now focused on home tech, Jullia works on writing features and explainers to help people make the most of their home appliance investments. When she isn't writing, she loves exploring the city, coffee shop hopping, and losing hours to a cosy game.