Turn bathroom storage into a useful design element with these gorgeous bathroom shelf ideas.

By Lauren Phillips
January 17, 2019
Hero Images/Getty Images

Bathroom storage isn’t the most glamorous topic, but it’s an important issue to address in every bathroom, whether it’s a new space or an older one in need of some changes. Some solid bathroom design ideas can help move things along, but so can clever solutions that combine storage and design, clever solutions like towel ladders and bathroom shelf ideas. It’s no secret that kitchen trends often help inform bathroom trends, and in this case, it’s happening again—with open shelving.

Kitchen backsplashes started the backsplash craze, and now on-trend bathrooms are putting stunning backsplash ideas into practice. Now open shelving is doing the same thing. The minimalist, stylized look gained popularity in some circles as a great way to put pretty dishware, glassware, and more on display and to help kitchens feel lighter and less crowded. Others, though, pointed out that the sparse look can be difficult to maintain—especially for anyone already struggling with a shortage of kitchen storage space.

The same restrictions—namely, that closed storage is preferable to cluttered open shelving—apply to open shelving in bathrooms, but that’s not stopping anyone determined to make the look work. This open bathroom shelf idea can go anywhere in the bathroom: below a floating sink, above a mirror, next to a vanity, over a toilet, and more. These bathroom floating shelves make the most of wall space in the bathroom, and because they can be any size or material, they can work in bathrooms of every size and style.

Bathroom storage ideas don’t often do much to increase the visual appeal of the space, but open shelving turns that on its head by doubling as a design choice. Carefully folded towels, styled storage baskets, curated prints and frames, and more decorative details can help personalize the look, too. Scroll on for some bathroom shelf inspiration and ideas for how to style floating shelves, and start dreaming of what your bathroom open shelving could look like.

Rustic Balance

In this rustic bathroom, wood floating shelves both fit neatly into the room’s style and offer a spot for towel storage and knick-knack displays.

Over-the-Toilet Storage

Making use of extra space above the toilet is easy with a set of bathroom shelves. Towels, extra toilet paper, and decorative objects can all fit there nicely.

Mirror Shelving

A raised wood ledge both protects the mirror from water stains and offers a storage space for cosmetics, jars of cotton balls, perfumes, and more.

Under-the-Sink Space

With floating sinks, that useful storage space below the vanity disappears—unless some open shelves are there to hold towels, washcloths, and other bathroom essentials.