Bathroom storage ideas are essential to making the bathroom work for you. A bathroom has many demands put upon it, not only to be a practical, user-friendly room but also as a tranquil place to relax.
Limited or awkward-shaped space can create a challenge when it comes to making the best of any bathroom. However, the items that need storage, like bulky towels and numerous toiletries, can also add to the decorative look of the bathroom, so it's worth thinking about how you can show them off to their best advantage.
Have a good look at your bathroom and see if there are any unused corners or, more likely, wall space that could be incorporated into a storage idea.
It might be that you can clear out an old cupboard or replace it with one larger console or a one-off vintage piece. The trick is to add to what is already there without cluttering the main room.
Bathroom storage ideas – 19 essential ways to keep your space neat and tidy
With these smart bathroom ideas, you can keep your space looking stylish and store the essential items, too.
1. Reflect light and boost space with a mirrored cabinet
Not only is it useful for those smaller everyday items, good cabinets are full of loads of extras to help you stay organized, such as internal drawers and compartments and even magnetic strips to hold your tweezers and scissors.
2. Fit storage that doesn't overpower the room
Keep the furniture wall hung to create a sense of space and give a sleek, ‘floating’ look. Although hidden storage is practical, don’t be tempted to shut everything away.
Instead use a combination of slim projection cabinets and bathroom shelf ideas to provide plenty of storage but without enclosing the space.
3. Opt for drawers with depth
At face value, a large under-basin cupboard may look like it offers heaps of storage space. But often a lot of space is wasted if the shelves are too far apart because most cosmetics and toiletries are quite small.
A smart bathroom storage tip is to install narrow depth drawers or more shelves closer together, as this will give maximum storage potential and make it easier to see everything at a glance rather than rooting around in the back of the cupboard.
4. Make the most of a vanity unit
If you invest well, furniture can easily become the main focal point. A key piece in every bathroom is a basin, therefore incorporating under-counter furniture is essential.
Good bathroom storage ideas is essential for any bathroom, no matter the size or layout. Clutter is not conducive to a well-ordered environment, which is one of the key reasons why bathroom vanity ideas have become such an important design feature.
‘When designing a bathroom vanity consider a large vanity unit underneath the basin with an additional internal drawer always helps to hide the daily clutter,’ advises Lisa Persse, director of Porter.
5. Go for bespoke bathroom storage
It’s ideal in any room, but particularly in a bathroom where space is at a premium. In short, you will maximize storage by being able to manufacture furniture that makes the most of every niche, nook and cranny.
This is particularly useful in a home where there is a ‘quirky’ corner or slanted ceilings, which make off-the-peg furniture an impractical option. You can also choose the finishes, internal features such as partitioned leather-lined drawers, handles and even the hinge design.
Generally bespoke storage can be more expensive, and can involve lead times up to 12 weeks depending on the manufacturer’s order book. But you can save by selecting less expensive materials and keeping the design simple.
6. Master storage with a well-designed vanity
When there are so many beautiful and creatively-designed bathroom vanity ideas available today, opting for a standalone basin is nothing short of madness.
'It's now possible to source a vanity unit to suit bathrooms of all shapes and sizes, all tastes and budgets. There's really no excuse not to enjoy the beauty and convenience that a vanity unit affords,' says Mark Walker of Bagno Design.
A cabinet-style vanity consisting of cupboards, open-shelves, or drawers, or a combination of all three, will help maintain order in your bathroom.
'As well as providing essential storage, exactly where it is needed most, it will also hide any unsightly pipework for a neat, professional finish,' adds Mark.
7. Create space for a central island
If space allows, take inspiration from the kitchen by including an island-style unit in your bathroom. Albeit unusual, this bathroom provides ample space for toiletries, towels and other paraphernalia, negating the need for bulky wall cabinets.
8. Go for a freestanding trolley
A trolley or table on wheels with a shelf underneath is a simple but effective way to gain extra storage.
Find a basket or box to fit underneath to keep hand towels or body brushes in order and use the top of the table to keep more immediate toiletries to hand. The best thing is that it can be moved to wherever it is needed or pushed against a wall out of the way.
9. Invest in a bathroom cabinet or cupboard
Customize your own furniture to suit the coloring and furnishing of your bathroom with a decorative cupboard, excellent for storing toiletries.
Its timeless look will fit in with most bathroom schemes and is equally good for storing smaller towels and products.
10. Make the most of dead space
Making use of otherwise wasted space is all about being inventive.
While freestanding furniture has its uses for both storage and display, there is nothing more efficient than well-designed, fitted furniture. It allows you to squeeze every inch of use out of even the most unpromising corner, and in a most streamlined way.
‘Furniture designed specifically for a room will look as if it has always been there,’ says furniture designer and maker Claire Darwent.
11. Use bathroom storage to enhance a spacious feel
Wall-hung furniture frees up floor space and creates more of a roomy feel, while its floating appearance also introduces a visual lightness. Here, a simple Inbani Strato drawer unit and shelf and Origin mirror cabinet provide storage in this Scandinavian-inspired design by L-Design Interior Architecture.
12. Have bathroom storage made to fit
Custom-made furniture can be made to perfectly suit your space, whatever its size. This bespoke floor-standing vanity was designed by VSP Interiors to offer balanced proportions in a classic powder room setting. A combination of drawers and cupboards offer ample storage for extra towels, soap and spare toilet rolls.
13. Double your options
In a larger bathroom, a double vanity set-up is useful so that partners don’t have to fight for space in the morning rush and so that individual toiletries are kept close to hand. In this room by Paloma Contreras Interior Design, twin vanities flank a focal point bath, creating a symmetrical design that is as elegant as it is practical.
14. Soften the look of bathroom storage
‘All the hard surfaces of a bathroom can create quite a clinical feel, so we like to bring in fabric and color where we can to add softness and warmth,’ says interior designer Sarah Vanrenen of Vanrenen GW Designs. ‘Here, a pretty chintz curtain hangs from a scalloped frame, concealing plenty of bathroom storage.’
15. Make the details count
Pick accessories that work hard in keeping your bathroom organised. The WallStoris range by Hansgrohe is a bar and modular accessory system including shelves, hooks, baskets, racks and plant pots designed to help keep your space tidy, while the Ieri towel warmer from Vogue UK allows you to stack, roll or hang your towels, so they are always warm, dry and handy.
16. Re-purpose a chest
To add warm character to a bathroom, consider upcycling a vintage chest. In this room by Pappas Miron Design, a mid-century piece found at an antique shop in Brooklyn is finished with a bespoke grey travertine top, creating an individual and imaginative look which also offers plenty of practical drawer storage.
17. Hang mirrored cabinetry
'A mirror cabinet above the basin provides the perfect hidden storage for toiletries and toothbrushes that can otherwise clutter your bathroom vanity ideas,' says Roy Persse, founder of Porter Bathroom.
Surface mounted designs work well if cutting into the wall behind isn’t practical, but a recessed cabinet offers deeper storage and a neater flush-to-wall fit above the basin.
18. Design bathroom storage with color
Every luxury bathroom deserves a striking focal point and this wall-hung vanity by Humbert & Poyet demonstrates the statement-making potential of beautifully designed storage. The full-width drawer is satisfyingly deep but it’s the slatted design and smooth curves that most impress.
'Painted wood is not a very noble material, but the notched detail and brass makes the whole arrangement feel more precious,' says architect Emil Humbert of Humbert & Poyet.
19. Embrace vintage cupboards
Not often associated with modern bathroom ideas, antique and vintage storage is worth considering for its uniqueness and capacity to ground a stark space.
Choosing time-worn furniture can serve to soften the crisp 'newness' of cold sanitaryware and hard surfaces. Antique furniture is often solidly made, too, with many years of varnish or wax ensuring your investment will happily survive several more decades in a well-ventilated bathroom.
For a modern edge, team it with contemporary monochrome tiled flooring laid in a zig zag design, such as these Black Alalpardo tiles from Bert & May.
How do I add storage to a bathroom?
‘When it comes to adding storage in small bathrooms think high-level rather than bulky floor-standing vanity units,' Irene Gunter, founder and creative director, Gunter & Co.
'I always go the extra mile to keep the floor as clean and empty as possible, with wall-mounted loos, vanities and low-level accessories such as toilet brushes or bins. This means thinking cleverly about storage and making the most of any niches, mirror storage units and shelves.’
How do I store items in a small bathroom?
Give the design careful thought and allocate space for all the items you intend to store. If you have children, provide space for cleaning products out of reach.
Integrating smart bathroom lighting ideas will help you view contents more easily and can also be used for design effect.
If you're looking at small bathroom ideas, choose mirror-fronted furniture to create a spacious feel and don’t waste the area around the sink – concealed built-in drawers are perfect for washing essentials.
Also decide early on if you will use the bathroom to store spare bedding, extra towels or a laundry bin.
Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.
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