Bathroom shelving ideas – 22 stylish wall and floor storage options for your space

Maximize your style and storage space with clever bathroom shelving ideas that mount to the wall or sit on the floor

Bathroom shelving ideas
(Image credit: Nest)

The best bathroom shelving ideas add both style and function to your space. Floating or fixed, shelving is a great way to add storage, corral beauty products, and display décor - all while saving on valuable floor space.

Sure, a plain old shelf above the toilet is a great start, but we're loving these ultra-stylish, yet still oh-so-handy ways to organize your space.

Whether you're looking for small bathroom ideas or an expansive master bath, we've got bathroom shelving decor ideas that are suitable for all spaces and can be personalized to your specific needs.

On offering tips on how to make the most of your wall space, Peter Erlandsson, Co-Owner and Director of String says: 'shelves of various depths and colors can be quickly re-positioned so you can build your own personal system to fit any space.'

Bathroom shelving ideas

Before drilling, hammering or putting a screw into a wall, be sure you’ve checked what could be behind it to ensure you don't create an interior disaster!

To do this, you'll need a with a pipe, cable and stud detector which can be found at most hardware and DIY stores, or on Amazon.

These smart devices will alert you as to whether there are any pipes, cables or studs where you’re planning to fit your shelving idea.

While it's also common sense, it's worth not overloading shelves with items – particularly those that are heavy.

1. Beautify your bathroom with a brass shelf

Brass shelf display unit against pink concrete wall with printed wall art, plant and ceramic cactus

(Image credit: Vincent and Barn)

Metallic finishes like brass, steel and copper have a clever way of adding an expensive touch to your bathroom. And if you’ve done your research in-store and online, you’ll realize that this is one way for renters and buyers to add a cost-efficient, elegant addition to their space.

So whether you choose to prop up a print, show off a succulent or elevate a vase up to higher places - this cheap bathroom idea will unite your accessories and provide a stylish space to collate your collections.

Note that trinkets and other small, delicate items should be stored elsewhere as the brass bars do not secure these safely. 

2. Use your window sills

Triflora black hanging basket by Wayfair

(Image credit: Wayfair)

A window sill is one bathroom shelf that probably already exists in your space. But are you using it to its full potential? It can be a place to store books to read during a long soak, diffusers and candles, and cosmetics.

Use the full height of the window with this highly durable trio of hanging plant pots from Wayfair is made from melamine. Its versatile design means that you can alter the length of its ropes, as well as slide them across the rod in order to change the placement of the plant pots for a customized look. Great for stylish succulents, and vine plants, it mounts from your wall or ceiling.

What's more, melamine is also a material that can handle high-temperature exposure so don't be scared to pop this shelving idea next to a window so your plants can be some much-needed sunshine.

 3. Line up your bathroom luxuries on a storage ladder 

Pastel green freestanding bath tub with wooden storage ladder and beams by Victoria + Albert Baths

(Image credit: Victoria + Albert)

While we've mainly focused on horizontal shelving options, it's time to think onwards and upwards towards a vertical storage idea that will revamp your space. One of interior design's best display solutions, the humble ladder has evolved to be much more than a stable climbing apparatus. 

What's more, it's possible to create a cohesive scheme by choosing a ladder that suits your interior space. Whether that's a chunky wooden fixture for a country farmhouse feel, or a skinny metal ladder that suits a minimalist bathroom design - the only way is up!

Once you've purchased your ladder - don't just plonk or perch items on it. Arrange your items to experiment with height, color and shape to create a decorative display that will dazzle guests.

And as a style idea, why not paint half of your ladder to create for an on-trend, dip-dye design that retains part of its original style while showing off your upcycling skills?

4. Keep things slender for a sophisticated look

Burnished Brass Shelves by Cox and Cox

(Image credit: Cox and Cox)

If you're looking for a quick way to add value to your bathroom, then an expensive-looking statement shelf can create a fabulous focal point to the room. But rather than go big and bulky, a skinny shelving idea with clean lines can add class and functionality.

Combining classic Fir wood and brass colored iron, this geometric shaped design by Cox and Cox has two shelves to house your favorite trinkets, plants, bath products and books. It also comes with two keyhole fixings on the reverse for discreet stability.

5. Go natural with a woven rattan design

Rattan shelf with potted succulent by Cox and Cox

(Image credit: Cox and Cox)

Sometimes less is much more when it comes to bathroom shelving ideas so show your authentic self and live vicariously through your choice of interiors.

Crafted from rattan, this simple, stripped back design from Cox and Cox is a breath of fresh air in a bohemian bathroom design. Accent a wall and decorate with a characterful display of dried flowers, houseplants and family photographs for a heartwarming and emotive arrangement.

6. Add a curvy cage design for an industrial luxe look

Industrial wood and metal shelf unit

(Image credit: Cox and Cox)

If you jumped onto the beige-loving bandwagon and have kept your bathroom looking minimalist chic - we salute you. Asides from the efforts it takes to keep maintain this light and bright scheme, there's a temptation not to add anything that might take away from this polished aesthetic. So how do you go about selecting a suitable bathroom shelving design you ask.

The answer? By combining pale Paulownia wood and a clean but curvy black metal frame, this shelving unit manages to make the grade for even the most picky of purchasers. And it appears the experts agree. Sofia Charalambous, Founder of Bathroom Origins says: 

'The minimalism mantra is over – at least for bathroom storage ideas.

'No longer must you hide everything away, hiding all traces of personality and pizzazz. In the past, luxury bathrooms have been synonymous with the bare and unembellished.'

'So there has been no place (literally or figuratively) for beautiful display items. However, times are changing, and the opportunity to display stylish possessions in the bathroom is exciting for bathroom interiors.'

7. Go simple with your bathroom shelving 

Bathroom shelving ideas

(Image credit: Nest)

More often than not, you don’t need to spend loads to get the result you’re after. This pared back style shelving could be made from some cut down wood from your local DIY store and some shelf supports. We love the simplicity of this design – it’s easy on the eye and has a Shaker style, it would suit any style bathroom scheme, be it plain walls like here, painted or wallpapered. 

8. Utilize vertical space

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A photo posted by on on Jun 23, 2020 at 12:21am PDT

For even the tiniest bathrooms, hang high shelving for a smart storage solution. Since it may be out of everyday reach, we love how this design uses the extra wall space to display décor (how cool is the antique train sign?), plants, and extra toiletries. Even a few rolled up towels add to the spa-atmosphere.

Meanwhile, Little Savage Life's Vikki puts more accessible items on floating shelves around eye level, and hanging from hooks attached to the wall and overhead shelving. Of course, there's some extra greenery for good measure. When in doubt, Command Wall Hooks are a great way to add storage without commitment. A renter's dream. 

9. Look out for more unique pieces 

Bathroom shelving ideas

(Image credit: Dunelm)

This unusual cane basket shelf caught our eye as it’s got a Seventies style feel, yet it looks great against these contemporary textured grey walls. Made from easy-to-clean rattan, the towel rail loop is genius and will easily hold a bath sheet plus a hand towel or flannel on top. Keep your essentials in it like shampoo, conditioner and bath lotion for easy access. 

10. Add rustic style with your bathroom shelving ideas

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A photo posted by on on Sep 28, 2020 at 11:49am PDT

A reclaimed wood floating shelf is the perfect complement to your farmhouse bathroom's shiplap wall. They can also help create a rustic mood on a plain white wall or anyplace else!

If you're feeling handy, you can DIY floating shelves for about $20. All you need are stock boards found at your home improvement store, a drill, screws, and wood glue. You will need to cut your pieces of board to length, so if you don't have a saw at home, be sure to ask an associate at your hardware store to do it for you. 

You'll build both spacers to attach to the wall and hollow box shelf to slide into the spacers.

11. Considered recessed shelving 

Bathroom shelving ideas

(Image credit: Crown)

If you’re having your bathroom remodelled and you love a streamlined look with bare walls then consider having recessed shelving put in. It’s stylish and suits modern schemes. You can paint them in the same color as the rest of your bathroom or make them a standout feature and paint the interior in a different shade. 

12. Display your treasures on a wire wall shelf

Wired wall Rack with hook by Garden Trading

(Image credit: Garden Trading)

We love a bit of wire for an industrial chic finish that is just as durable as it is stylish.

But for a storage idea that works for a nautical themed bathroom, display your cosmetics in clear glass vessels and pair with natural cork accessories. Add seashells, souvenirs and pebbles to finish.

For a personalized look that suits your space, why not spray the wire to match your bathroom scheme? While pastel shades may suit a traditional bathroom design, spray painting this shelving black, brass or copper will create a luxury bathroom design that'll take little time or money to create.

13. Go modular for a sleek style 

Bathroom shelving ideas

(Image credit: Scavolini)

This uber sleek system will have your bathroom paraphernalia organised in no time. The thin metallic shelves can be wall-mounted and there are panels that run horizontally for you to attach containers and extra shelves too - it’s a great way to design your own system that works best for you, and it allows you to change it up when necessary. We love it because it keeps everything contained and in one area of the bathroom - it zones the space perfectly. 

14. Create a luxury vibe with a bath tray

Kate and Mike’s schoolhouse renovation took more than their share of blood, sweat and tears – but the unique open-plan home they’ve created is worth he effort

(Image credit: Future© Fiona Murray)

A stylish bathtub tray is a must-have for those who love a soak. (And those who don't, it might just convert you.) Instead of balancing your kindle on the edge of the tub risking disaster, these smart designs have a place for everything.

Lay your shelf across your tub and add in your wine glass, book, washcloth, and some candles for ambiance. And if you're really creating a mood, some flowers. It's a simple, effortless gesture that creates a truly sumptuous experience. 

15. Go for glass to create an airy feel

Bathroom shelving ideas

(Image credit: Vasco)

There are two options here, the first being the clear glass shelving which allows light to travel through them – this is a great idea for those who want to create a light and airy feel and to give the illusion of space. It looks fab in a streamlined modern bathroom too. Secondly, look out for clever ideas that have a double use - the unit on the left is a radiator that also gives you hanging space and shelving - win win! 

16. Pick narrow shelving for a small space

Bathroom shelving ideas

(Image credit: Ikea)

Tall yet narrow shelving units are best suited for small bathrooms as they’re a marvel at storing oodles of bathroom essentials and of course they take up less space than a wider style - you'll need to keep your knick knacks neat and tidy though as they’ll be on show! 

Look out for designs made from bamboo as it’s a sturdy material that can withstand the humidity of a bathroom and won’t warp. 

17. Include a freestanding unit

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If you have a little more space to work with, a freestanding shelving unit is a lovely way to organize your bathroom accessories while adding a touch of style. To avoid lots of cluttered toiletries, stylish storage baskets are the way to go. Pick a coordinating theme like this design's black and white aesthetic. 

To keep the bathroom shelving looking put together, stash smaller loose items (like extra shampoo) in the baskets, and fold clean linens in a uniform manner. Use the very top of the shelving to display décor and items you won't use as often. 

18. Pick artsy bathroom shelving

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A photo posted by on on May 12, 2020 at 12:01am PDT

For bathroom shelving ideas that double as décor, pick a style that has a sculptural silhouette. For a more contemporary aesthetic, an open round shelf offers both function and visual interest. Use it to display both necessities and décor — like this design's mix of towels, candles, and greenery. It's a two-in-one solution!

19. Create a display with your shelving

Bathroom shelving ideas

(Image credit: Graham and Greene)

As well as being practical, we also like to be stylish right? If you buy a few smaller sized shelving pieces that offer a range of solutions like these – towel rail, open shelf and mirrored designs in various sizes, you can mount them on the wall in the same way you’d put together a gallery wall. Vary the heights to add interest and put all of your favourite buys on show - it will create a design statement on an otherwise plain wall. 

20. Utilize over-the-tub space

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If you have a freestanding tub, don't forget about the space on the surrounding walls! While this may not be easily accessible for frequently used toiletries, this space is perfect to adding a touch of décor in the form of candles, diffusers, small baskets, and even artwork. 

If you're hanging bathroom shelving on a tile wall, it will take a little bit more foresight. Carefully measure and level where you'd like to your shelf to hang. Like drywall, you'll want to enlist plastic anchors to stabilize your screws. 

Drill a hole straight through your tile (be careful not to apply too much pressure and break your tile). Gently hammer your anchor into the hole, then mount your shelving hardware with screws.

21. Use an over-the-toilet shelf

Over-the-toilet shelving units are the unsung heroes of small bathroom owners. We know they might not be the most glamorous option, but it's a great bathroom shelving idea and add upward space without drilling any holes into the wall. Renters rejoice.

Be careful not to leave too many small, loose items on the shelving that may fall off into regions we'd rather not discuss. Instead, enable small baskets to hold things like cosmetics, and use the rest of the shelf to house extra washcloths, a candle, and perhaps a small plant. 

22. Look for designs that have more than one use

Bathroom shelving ideas

(Image credit: Big Bathroom Shop)

This clever design is a shelf, a light (ideal for putting make-up on during dark mornings) and has a rail underneath for towels - woohoo! We love multipurpose products and this one ticks all of our boxes – oh and it’s stylish to boot! 

Options like this are invaluable when you’re tight on space too, they provide so many solutions in one go so they’re worth spending the money on. 

Sophie Warren-Smith

Sophie has been an interior stylist and journalist for over 22 years and has worked for many of the main interior magazines during that time both in-house and as a freelancer. On the side, as well as being the News Editor of indie magazine, 91, Sophie trained to be a florist in 2019 and launched The Prettiest Posy where she curates beautiful flowers for the modern bride.