Bathroom Shelving Ideas: 22 Stylish Solutions

It's possible to achieve a harmonious equilibrium between form and function with the help of some creative bathroom shelf ideas.  

A well-organized and uncluttered bathroom is conducive to rest and rejuvenation, so consider implementing some of these bathroom shelf ideas.

Shelving is an indispensable component of any bathroom storage plan. A more welcoming, well-planned atmosphere can be achieved by storing essential, daily items on shelves where they can be quickly accessed first thing in the morning and before bed.  

Of course, bathroom shelves can also serve as lovely decorative elements, perfect for injecting your unique style into your bathroom design ideas. There are a variety of bathroom shelving options available, including both aesthetically pleasing and more simple designs.

The top 22 bathroom shelving concepts

These bathroom shelf ideas will help you maintain a well-organized and attractive bathroom, whether you're looking to splurge on a heated towel rail, bath rack, shower caddy, or simply make better use of the storage space you already have.

Bathroom with bold, green botanical wallpaper, black metal shelving unit with towels and decorative items, oval style mirror above industrial, dark grey sink, wall light with two rounded opal glass diffusers

(Photography by Nicole Gerulat; image by Alice Lane Interior Design)

When you need to create a zoned storage area in your small bathroom, a central shelving unit is a great choice.

This stunning washroom was designed by Alice Lane Interiors. To view the video, click here (opens in a new tab) The striking Lee Jofa wallpaper by Kelly Wearstler serves as a focal point in the otherwise minimalist bathroom, making the black metal unit a natural complement. (link opens in a new window/tab)  

This central shelving unit makes for an eye-catching storage and display space, and it can be used for both functional items like towels and containers holding toiletries, and ornamental items like books and vases.  

Large shelving units such as these are more commonly found in living rooms and bedrooms; however, as demonstrated in this design, they can be put to excellent use in the bathroom.

Optimize every square foot of your home

Pink and marble bathroom with marble wall and floor tiles, bath, sink area and custom built shelving with recessed shelves, unique pink hexagon sink

(Ripples image by CC)

No matter the shape of your bathroom—an odd nook or a blank wall beside the sink—shelving that is custom-fit to the space available is essential. bathroom layout and design  

Ripples has created a bright and cheery pink bathroom that is sure to put a smile (link opens in new window/tab) The three built-in niches make for an eye-catching display area and design element, while also giving the space more dimension and a more airy ambience. The custom shelf design is a beautiful addition to the area beside the sink, and it is finished in the same marble style tiles as the walls and flooring.

Reduce the height of your shelves and cabinets.

Relaxed, minimalist style bathroom with dark wood shelving unit, open and closed storage, low open shelves storing white towels, two decorative vases with leaf stems, arch window, white painted walls.

Featured image by Kimberly Harrison Interiors.

By placing items on low shelving designs, your bathroom will feel more open and spacious, and you'll have an easier time finding what you need when you need it.

Drummonds' Director of Creativity, James Lentaigne To view the video, click here (opens in a new tab) saying, "In the restroom, it's critical that necessities be within reach." Storage options should be included in the sink, tub, and shower areas of the bathroom. ’

As seen in this Kimberley Harrison Interiors-designed washroom, (link opens in new window/tab) Towels kept on an open shelf make them easy to grab when needed and lend a plush quality to the otherwise hard wood of the shelving unit; making it a great choice among bathroom cabinet ideas. As can be seen in this bathroom, the low shelving design frees up valuable wall space, allowing the decorative vases to take center stage against the clean, white backdrop.

Make use of a modular shelving system

Green bathroom with green tiles, showing modular string shelving unit in white, shelf, cabinet, mirror and hook sections, shelf positioned above small white sink

(Photo by: String Futons)

Bathroom shelf ideas that incorporate modular shelving are a great choice for the modern home because of their adaptability to new spaces, new needs, and new bathroom layouts.  

String Furniture was developed by specialists in modular shelving. (Link opens in new window) This shelf offers a fresh and contemporary take on the traditional bathroom vanity. Designed to wrap neatly around the modern sink area, this shelf's many storage options -- including a cabinet, mirror, open shelves, and hooks -- make it a flexible addition to bathrooms of any size.

Choose a creative layout for your shelves, number five.

Traditional, country style bathroom with tiled flooring, blue painted paneling and matching, wooden sink unit, rounded mirror with cream frame, two metallic wall lights either side, wooden ladder acting as shelving unit, towels stored on each section

This lovely picture was taken by Polly Eltes.

What could be more out-there than installing a ladder in your bathroom as an unconventional shelf solution?  

The use of ladder shelves as decorative and functional furniture is on the rise. A ladder shelf not only serves a practical purpose, but also serves as an interesting decorative element and focal point in the bathroom.

In this classic bathroom, perfect for country bathroom ideas, a ladder creates a one-of-a-kind, tiered shelving design that is perfect for storing towels.

Six, illuminate your shelves

Modern, minimalist bathroom with sleek shelving and modern vanity unit, shelves and mirrors lit up with LED lighting, large shower space, textured gray wall tiles, dark gray floor tiles

Photo by John Cullen Lighting.

Incorporating shelves with innovative, built-in LED lighting, as shown in the aforementioned bathroom by John Cullen Lighting, is another option. (link opens in new window) Adding lighting to your bathroom shelf ideas can turn them into a showpiece.  

Executive Director of Design at BC Designs, Barrie Cutchie (link opens in new window) says, "If you've installed alcove shelves in your lavatory to store decorative toiletries or potted plants, one way to make the most of the space is to install wall lights that shine downward." It's common to see bright ceiling lights or lights around vanity mirrors in bathrooms, but lighting up your storage shelves is a great way to soften the lighting in your space.

7 Space can be optimized with the help of built-in shelves

A bathroom with pink built-in shelving in an alcove above a white sink

(Photo by the good folks at Victorian Plumbing)

Built-in storage solutions are ideal if you have a small bathroom and need to make use of every available square inch.  

Says Lentaigne, "Built-in storage makes the most of every square inch of space and reduces bathroom clutter, allowing decorative elements to take center stage."  

Of course, the easiest time to incorporate built-in shelving into a bathroom remodel is during the planning phase.  

After that point, try to find places where you can build in shelves that will maximize the amount of storage space available.  

In order to maximize the potential of the available space, full-width, full-depth shelving was installed in the tall alcove surrounding the sink.

8. Take out your cosmetics case

An example of bathroom shelf ideas showing a bathroom with an open vanity unit with a metal shelf under the sink

(Photo by: Victoria Albert)

To have frequently used items within easy reach and to make the most of wasted space, consider installing a pull-out drawer or cabinet under the sink.  

Aside from making everything in a small bathroom easier to access, an open vanity is a great way to make the space feel more expansive.

Lentaigne explains that "many of Drummonds' classic vanity units feature a shelf below the basins which is perfect for storing towels or holding baskets to store toiletries, etc." When compared to closed cabinets, open shelving gives the impression of more room. ’

9. Reduce your focus to the local level

A shower with a small gold shower caddy and a gray wall

Photo courtesy of Victorian Plumbing.

To a greater extent than in most other rooms, bathroom shelves come in a wide variety of styles and sizes, and even the smallest ones can make a significant visual impact.  

In the words of George Holland, Bathroom Specialist at Victorian Plumbing, "simply adding a clever accessory, such as a shower caddy, can eliminate the look of additional'mess' around your shower." This link opens in a new window/tab.

Furthermore, this can make your bathroom appear larger. The beauty of shower caddies is that, depending on the size you get, each member of your household can have their own shelf. ’

Tenth, install a rack over the toilet.

A bathroom with pale pink wall paint and tiles, and a green freestanding basin with a black shelf above it

Photo by Future courtesy of Sally Denning and Jon Day.

If you already have a vanity unit or some extra counter space around your sink, you might not see the need for an additional shelf above the sink. Contrary to what you may have heard, argues Lentaigne  

Shelves or cupboards installed above the sink are helpful for storing toiletries and keeping the vanity counter clear. ’ 

In a contemporary bathroom like this one, it is important to have easily accessible items like soap, hand lotion, and toothbrushes, so they have been given a dedicated shelf.  

There's no requirement that the shelf go above the mirror; it can go below it as well.

11 Use heated towel racks to soften your towels.

An example of bathroom shelf ideas showing a pink-tiled bathroom with walk-in shower clad with tropical patterned wallpaper, and an open gold vanity unit

Photo by Rutland London.

Towels look and feel more inviting when displayed prominently, so an open vanity unit is ideal for keeping them. Invest in a heated towel rack, such as those sold by Rutland London, to up the ante even further. (Link opens in new window)  

Gorden Riddoch, MD of Rutland London, says, "For those looking for the ultimate under-sink storage, it combines the benefits of a heated towel rail with the functionality of a basin stand to create a heated vanity suite with an integrated heated laundry rack."  

It's great for keeping towels and robes toasty during the winter. ’

12 Use glass shelves to create a minimal appearance.

An example of bathroom shelf ideas showing a white tiled bathroom with two wall-mounted glass shelves next to a white sink

The photo was taken by Drummonds.

Shelving installed on the wall of a compact restroom must be discreet. This necessitates a design that is an extension of its context and shallow depths so that units don't protrude unnecessarily.  

Glass shelves are an excellent addition to any small bathroom, as they provide ample storage without overwhelming the space. As an added bonus, it gives your unit a sleek, unobtrusive appearance and is simple to clean.  

Most importantly, it's a substance that can handle the extreme conditions of a bathroom. Holland advises, "You must ensure that everything you choose to place in your bathroom is moisture resistant and capable of enduring the damp environment."

Use your toilet as a bookcase in the spare room

A bathroom with a WC and a built-in cistern cover that features a mantel shelf with pink flowers on it

Credit for the picture goes to Future/James Merrell.

Holland claims that "toilet shelves allow you to maximize the storage space in any bathroom." ‘If your bathroom does not have enough natural storage space or cabinets to hold all your toiletries then you need to try toilet storage ’

One of the best bathroom storage tips is to install shelves above the toilet, which is not the most enticing of places for shelves but can be used to facilitate storage due to its awkward shape.  

Select a standalone unit that wraps around the cistern and forms a little shelf above it. Or, as shown in the aforementioned cloakroom concept, you can hide the cistern in a larger unit built into the wall, thereby transforming the mantel into an extended shelf with room for extra cabinets.  

Additionally, small wall-mounted shelves can be installed above the commode.

14 Use what you have to your advantage

A white bathroom with a standalone tub, towel stand and ornamental fireplace

(Photo by Davide Lovatti/Future)

Lacking adequate shelving space in the restroom It's possible that your bathroom already has a shelf that you're just unaware of.  

Rather than just being a decorative feature, the fireplace in this room also functions as a built-in shelving unit.  

Even if you don't have a fireplace, you probably still have windows, so why not put that sill to good use?

fifteen. combine closed and open storage

An example of bathroom shelf ideas showing a bathroom with wall-to-wall vanity unit, featuring both open shelves and large drawers

Illustration by Future/2018.

Storage for medicines and adult products in a family bathroom, according to Lentaigne, "needs to be at eye height away from kids or, better still, in a built-in or lockable cabinet."  

"The kid's stuff needs to be out in the open on shelves and simple to find, but it's also nice to have a cupboard space to stow these things away if necessary." ’

A well-designed bathroom will have a combination of closed cabinets and open shelves.  

In the above pictured bathroom, a floor-to-ceiling vanity unit provides both open shelving within easy reach for those in a standing position, and storage drawers that extend to the floor.

16 - Go for purely aesthetic shelving

A bathroom with a large sink on a marble counter, and black shelves holding decorative objects

(Photo by Jonathan Gooch/Future)

It's crucial to make the most of available storage space, but it's also nice to have some fun with the bathroom's design every once in a while.  

If you don't need to store anything, you can use an entire shelf to show off your unique sense of style. Adding purely ornamental shelving to an otherwise practical bathroom can help create a soothing space.  

Make it your own by decorating it with items that hold sentimental value.

Make use of your imagination by utilizing floating shelves

An example of bathroom shelf ideas showing a bathroom with a freestanding wooden shelving unit featuring drawers and towel pegs

(Photo courtesy of the Year 2038)

Freestanding shelving units provide more design freedom and mobility than fixed ones, making them a good choice if you frequently rearrange the fixtures in your bathroom.  

This small, leaning shelf unit against the wall is a minimalist storage solution that also serves as a decorative accent.  

According to Holland, "they are ideal for adding personality to your bathroom and having your own unique interior spin while not damaging any walls because not all shelves need a drill to fit."

Installing a bath rack will enhance your shower experience significantly.

A bathroom with a freestanding metal tub, accessory stand and a bath rack

(Photo by: Drummonds)

There's nothing worse than filling the tub up to your neck with bubbles only to remember that the shampoo is in a cupboard across the room.  

A bath rack, an accessory stand, or both, as shown here, can help bathers keep their belongings organized and within easy reach.  

This small shelf unit can be used as a tabletop display or for additional storage, and it is very portable.

As a result of having two sink vanities, there will be twice as much space for

A bathroom with a double open vanity with a marble shelf, and a dark blue wallpaper printed with a fish pattern

You can view the original image here (photo by Drummonds)

Riddoch says, "for those constrained by smaller bathrooms, compact vanity suites will help to create extra storage space."  

"In large bathrooms, vanities can be a focal point, and the extra storage space they provide can be put to good use." ’ 

Having two sinks isn't the only perk of a double vanity. It also means you can fit twice as much storage capacity into a single piece of bathroom furniture.

Twenty. Install a recessed space for a shower.

A walk in shower with zig zag marble tiling and an alcove used as a shelf

(Photo by Darren Chung/Future)

As seen in the walk-in shower design idea up top, having shelves that protrude from the wall isn't always the best option in a small shower space.  

As Lentaigne puts it, "if the depth of the wall allows, it is good to have a built-in alcove to house shampoo, body wash, etc."  

"If that doesn't work, our bottle racks, of which there are two sizes to accommodate any shower space, are the next best thing." ’

21. To decorate with plants, place them on shelves.

An example of bathroom shelf ideas showing a bathroom with white walls, a shelving unit filled with plants, and a white chair with a leaf-patterned cushion

(Photo by: The Future)

Bathrooms have become increasingly green in recent years, possibly as a result of people's desire to connect with nature despite being confined.  

If you're thinking about painting your bathroom walls but want a more natural look, consider installing some shelves instead. In this powder room, an indoor plant nursery has been created out of a shelving unit.  

Adding scent to your bathroom through plants is another way to make it more of a sensory experience.

Create a recessed area to conceal plumbing and add extra storage space in

A cream bathroom with a rolltop bath and bathroom shelf in a niche

(Photo by Richard Powers/Future)

When installing new plumbing or other fixtures, one of the most common bathroom wall ideas is to build a false wall.  

However, a niche shelf installed at a height that is just right for storing bath essentials can be a unique architectural feature that can be made possible by this false wall.

Conventional wisdom In order to prevent water from collecting on the shelf, make sure the front of it slopes gently downward.

The answer to the question "Can you put shelves in a bathroom?" is "Yes."  

Undeniably, a bathroom is a suitable place for shelves.  

When working from home, it's easy to "suddenly notice how messy and disorganized your bathroom has become," as Holland puts it. That's why having shelves in the loo is so useful. Excellent additions to bathrooms, they help declutter the area and make the room feel more spacious and inviting. ’ 

Including shelving in your bathroom layout is crucial for keeping things neat and tidy and for providing a blank canvas for your personal style in terms of decor and arrangement.

Typical Items Kept on a Toilet Shelf  

Shelves in the bathroom should serve a dual purpose.  

According to Holland, "because they don't conceal items like toiletries or makeup, they can be used to show off brightly colored linens and towels for an added dash of flair." Allow yourself to be imaginative. Your shelf's contents are not mandated by any external standards but rather by your own unique set of requirements and preferences. ’ 

However, shelves are the most convenient way to grab what you need when you're in a bind and can't move around, such as when you're standing in the shower or the bathroom while you're in a rush to get to work.  

Holland explains that "shower shelves are ideal for your everyday shower and bath items, including shampoos, conditioners, body washes, and even snazzy loofahs."

On the other hand, towel racks can be used to stylishly store toiletries and other necessities in the bathroom. ’

In what ways can I maximize the space in my tiny bathroom for storage?  

According to Holland, "every inch counts" when it comes to making the most of available space in a bathroom. Whenever you're designing a bathroom, it's important to think about storage solutions that maximize the available area.  

Holland maintains that "a well-designed vanity unit can provide you with ample amounts of storage." Their spacious closets and drawers will accommodate all of your belongings. They have convenient built-in shelves that can be used to store and display bathroom essentials, reducing the visual clutter that can be caused by these items. ’ 

Small in footprint, tall cabinets provide a wealth of extra space for storing toiletries. Towels and cleaning supplies can be safely hidden away from curious little hands. ’ 

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