Tips AU

35+ Clever bathroom storage ideas

By Elise Hodge

Updated: May 4th, 2020

Goodbye clutter - it's time to make sure everything has a place!

When designing your bathroom, it can be easy to focus all of your attention on the fancy new fit-out, the colour scheme, patterns, tiles and all of the other style elements. But one of the most important, yet often overlooked, is the bathroom storage space. So many people simply skip over this essential element, leaving them frustrated when it comes time to find a place for everything to go.

To avoid running out of space, spend some time planning out your storage solutions. Here are a few essential items you should consider.

Vanity

The amount of space you can allow for in your vanity will totally depend on the size of your room. If you have a large bathroom, you may have the freedom to include a large vanity with plenty of drawers. However, if you have a tiny bathroom, it may not be practical to have any storage at all. In this case, you might want to think about keeping your toiletries and other essentials to a minimum or including a nifty niche in the wall.

Wall cabinets

Add extra storage with handy cabinets. I personally think a thin tall cabinet is the best use of space, especially in a smaller room. You can use a cabinet to store all of your fresh towels, so they’re in close reach when you need a new one!

Floating shelves

These are a great choice if you want to put some pretty decor or other nice items on display. While you can use floating shelves for displaying your towels, I’d make sure they’re your nicest, newest towels (not the old ones with the tears in them!). And add other little additions like candles, diffusers, soaps, and more.

With these three storage solutions in mind, let’s take a look at some beautiful designs for inspiration.

1. Clever shelving

You may be squashed for space with a small bathroom, but my bet is that there’s probably a slither of space that can be used for storage. In this design, thin vertical open shelving has been installed into the corner of this bathroom. This makes for a great place to store anything and everything – from towels to makeup to toiletries and everything in between.

Small bathroom
Source: Martha Stewart

2. Stand-alone tiered shelving

If you have a spare wall or nook, add in a three-tiered stand-alone shelving unit like this. It’s super handy because each shelf is like a drawer, so things won’t fall out! You can stack all sorts of things in here – from towels to soap to toiletries.

Bathroom storage
Source: Bed Bath and Beyond

3. Natural touches

Create a more natural-looking bathroom by including greenery, woven baskets and other rustic elements. By sticking to a consistent colour palette (green, green and more green!), you’ll create a beautiful finish.

Green bathroom
Source: Mad About the House

4. Long vertical ladder shelf

This floor-to-ceiling shelving is perfectly suited to this space! It has enough space for everything. And I really love how this design incorporates plenty of plants. We tend to think that plants should only belong in the living room… but this is proof that they can work well in the bathroom too. They not only look great but they create fresh air too!

Small bathroom
Source: Apartment Therapy

5. Handy dividers

Have you looked at the state of your vanity drawers recently? If you’re anything like me, it doesn’t take much for your drawers to get in such a mess that you can’t find anything when you’re looking for it. Hairbrush? Nope. Soap? Nope. Makeup? No!

Avoid the frustration of misplaced items by installing handy dividers in your drawers. IKEA is a great place to start – it has plenty of amazing options for a bargain.

Bathroom storage
Source: Easy Bathrooms

If you want to change up your vanity, here are plenty of other bathroom vanity ideas to consider.

6. Make it look good

When we hear the word ‘storage’ we can so easily think of boring plastic containers. But storage doesn’t just have to be a practical solution, it can be a pretty one too! Take this example. There are two beautiful baskets in different sizes and a thin timber stool for extra bench space. And I love how beautiful they look against the textured grey wall.

Bathroom storage
Source: The Dharma Door

7. Clever shelving

This is one way to make the most of every nook and cranny in your bathroom – use the corners. This smart open shelving is a practical solution to a tiny space. You can use it to stack up everything that won’t fit inside your cupboards.

Bathroom shelving
Source: Our Little Home Account

8. Makeup storage

If you’re anything like me, then your makeup is probably stashed away in your vanity drawer where you can hardly see it. (Sigh, the frustrations of small bathrooms). But if you have the privilege of owning a large bathroom, make the most of your space by creating a dedicated area for your makeup! You can do this by setting up a makeup table or simply by prioritising one half of your vanity countertop to display your pretties!

Bathroom storage
Source: Sorbus Home

9. Linen cupboard

If you have a larger bathroom, why not set up an entire linen cupboard inside? This will mean that you won’t have to walk down the hallway to find your towels, hand towels and other important items – they’ll be within arm’s reach, yipee!

Bathroom storage
Source: In Order to Succeed

10. Vanity and shelving in one

Make your bathroom design look consistent by using the exact same style of timber and colour for your vanity and vertical shelving. I love this design – it’s both glamorous and relaxed.

Bathroom
Source: Lucy Call

11. Floating shelves

Add timber floating shelves to your white bathroom to add warmth and a spot to put things. This is a really easy way to create extra storage space when your room is lacking good solutions.

Bathroom storage
Source: Overstock

12. Versatile shelving

If you’re looking for additional storage for your bathroom, then you should turn your attention to standalone pieces. Purchasing something that you can move around is a practical solution because then you’re not limited to only using it in your bathroom!

Bathroom storage
Source: Ikea

13. Little nooks

How adorable are these two little niches in this brick wall? They’re actually on one side of a shower area. I like how the top one includes a little vase and plant that pretties up the space, while the bottom nook holds shampoo, conditioner and a scrubbing brush.

Bathroom storage
Source: Style by Emily Henderson

14. Stick-on holders

Don’t have a permanent caddy in your shower? No problem. Check out your local storage store to find plenty of great solutions. These small containers actually stick on the wall with suction pieces, so you can move them about wherever you like!

Shower storage
Source: House of Bath

15. Shelving either side of your mirror

Your bathroom mirror doesn’t have to sit on the wall alone. You can create an entire practical storage solution around it by installing handy shelving. I like how this piece completely encases the mirror for a seamless finish.

Master bathroom
Source: Dering Hall

16. Mirrored wall cabinet

Are you renovating the bathroom from scratch? If your bathroom has a cavity wall, you could create a pocket within it into which you could install a storage cabinet. Better still, if the cabinet has a mirrored front, the bulk of the cabinet will be reduced and neatly disguised!

And this handy cabinet is doubly functional: not only does it contain multiple, customisable shelves, but it also has a mirrored front that just looks like a mirror! You wouldn’t know there was shelving behind it unless you lived there.

Bathroom storage
Source: Neptune

If you’re looking for a bespoke solution, it’s best to get a custom bathroom cabinet maker to get the right storage for your needs.

17. Floating shelves

This bathroom design is full of fun! I love the gorgeous floral bathroom wallpaper – it makes the room so feminine. But on to the storage… Timber floating shelves climb all the way up this grand feature wall, providing plenty of space for toiletries, plants and decor!

Bathroom storage
Source: Dering Hall

18. Ladder towel rail

This is a cheap buy that can make a big difference to your space. While your small bathroom may not have much room for a large cabinet, you can lean a timber ladder against the wall which can be used to hold towels or clothes.

Bathroom
Source: Overstock

19. Freestanding storage

If you would rather have all of your toiletries out of sight for a streamlined look, you can’t go wrong with drawer units. Units in dark wood tend to look bulky, so choose whitewashed finishes for a space-stretching effect; wicker looks light and dainty, too.

Bathroom storage solution
Source: Wayfair

20. Pay attention to the details

When you’re designing your new bathroom, it can be easy to focus so much on the big picture that you forget about the small things. Choosing a streamlined toilet scrubber, soap dispenser, soap holder and toothbrush holder is one way to make your bathroom look finished. I love this grey stone look – it stands out nicely against the textured light grey-white wall.

Bathroom storage
Source: Overstock

21. Vanity drawers

Keep your drawers nice and tidy with plenty of dividers. The good news is that there are so many types of choose from. So whether you have a super-luxe vanity (like this one) or a more casual simple vanity, there’s bound to be something for you.

Bathroom vanity
Source: Realestate.com.au

22. Woven basket with towels

I know, we’ve looked at so many woven baskets. But I love this solution! If you don’t have drawers or cupboards in your bathroom, simply use woven baskets to store fresh towels.

Bathroom vanity
https://www.realestate.com.au/lifestyle/bathroom-storage-ideas/

23. Keep the countertop clear

A clean space is a clean mind, and this is very true for your countertops. If they’re filled with bits and pieces, it can feel overwhelming. Keep everything simple and minimal by only placing the essentials on your benchtop.

Bathroom vanity
Source: elizabeth_roberts_architecture

24. Hooks in the shower

This is one of the smartest bathroom inventions ever. No-one likes going out of the shower to grab the towel, and sometimes your towel can get soaking wet if it’s just hanging over the top of the glass (or fall on the ground). Hooks in the shower keep both of these things from happening!

Shower
Source: Elle Decor

25. Add a stool

Maximise your surface space with the addition of a little stool. You can choose from a simple three-legged stool or a small timber step, like this one. Whatever you choose, make sure you select something that ties into your existing design. In this case, everything is timber and white, and it looks great!

Bathroom
Source: Ikea

26. Maximise the space over the toilet

Sure, this spot isn’t exactly front of mind when it comes to styling your bathroom space, but it can be a great place to install a handy storage solution. And these dark timber floating shelves are not only practical (they hold plants, baskets and other items), but they look great against the patterned teal and white design on the walls of this room.

Small bathroom
Source: My Homeier Home

27. Round basket

I’m all about baskets at the moment. Why? Because they’re just so easy! You can pop them in the corner of your room, you can use them to hold house plants, or you can store them underneath your open vanity for extra detailing!

Small vanity
Source: Amber Interior Design

28. Hooks for towels

Display your towels with ease using nicely crafted hooks on the wall. You can’t see them very well in this picture, but this design uses matte black hooks to match in with the black hardware and touches throughout the rest of the bathroom. This keeps things modern and fresh!

Bathroom
Source: Domino

29. Step-style vanity

If you want to make your bathroom feel like a more natural space, then take inspiration from this design. The vanity almost looks like it could be a small timber step – but it’s not! It’s a double layer of timber slats that create a beautiful open shelving space below the sink. And it’s the perfect place to store towels.

Small step
Source: The Interiorista

30. Brass holder

How’s this for a nifty storage solution? If you’re pressed for space, install a floating shelf, like this one, above your vanity and below your mirror. This is a great place for keeping your soap, toothbrushes, and other day-to-day hygiene items.

Plus, I love how the brass of the holder ties in nicely with the brass mirror, wall lights and tapware – perfect!

Bathroom vanity
Source: Tile Mountain

Also if you’re a fan of these tiles and want to see more, check out these top bathroom tile ideas – you’ll love it.

31. Smallholder

This brass plate proves that the little details can make the biggest difference. I like how something like this adds character and warmth to this bathroom. And the brass really stands out against the white marble benchtop!

Bathroom storage
Source: Studio McGee

32. Floating vanity

If you only have a small space to work with for your new bathroom, then you need to be very careful to make sure it doesn’t look squashed. Introducing overly large pieces of furniture can make your environment feel awkward.

But this little bathroom design has hit the right mark. It incorporates a cute timber floating vanity with an open shelf for storing essentials. And I love the hand towel rack that sits in front of the vanity. This allows the hand towel to cover up any mess that may be sitting on the shelf.

Small vanity
Source: BHG

33. Baskets under vanity

Natural material is all the rage right now and it’s no wonder why. People are tired of overly done-up spaces, and just want to return to a breath of fresh air. And that’s just what natural materials do – they allow your space to breathe, bringing in feelings of calm and serenity.

If you have open space beneath your bathroom vanity, like in this one, consider adding simple woven baskets.

Bathroom vanity
Source: Studio McGee

34. Behind the doors

Your bathroom can easily become a cluttered space with towels, products and clothes lying around. Keep everything in order by storing it behind closed doors! This way you’ll never have to worry about anything being out of place – everything will have somewhere to go. You can even add baskets and other dividers to keep things sorted by category inside.

Bathroom closet
Source: bhg

35. Include a shower niche

Gone are the days of the old steel or plastic toiletries holder that would hang over your shower taps. While it may be helpful for holding all of your essentials, it can also become a hotspot for mould, grime and old products.

Instead, trade it out for a smart shower niche that’s built directly into the wall. This not only looks great (it’s seamless!) but it’s also very practical when it comes to cleaning time. And we all appreciate an easy clean!

Shower storage
Source: Studio Lifestyle

There you have it – 35+ bathroom storage ideas. I hope you were able to draw on some inspiration for your own design!

But before you go, I’d love to hear from you – which style stood out to you the most? Was it the handy shower caddy, natural baskets, large vanity drawers, timber steps and stools, clever floating shelving, or something else? Comment and tell me!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Elise H

I've recently moved into a new home and I've been having so much fun decorating it with pretty wall prints and Scandinavian-inspired furniture. So as well as being a freelance writer, I'm always on the lookout for new design pieces for my home!

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