Beautifully Designed Open Storage Ideas for Bathrooms
Whether to maximise a tight space or to add character, open storage in the bathroom can be a real feature
In a small bathroom, the more multi-purpose elements you can include, the better. Here, HUX London has designed a two-fold solution – a vanity unit with deep drawers and a recessed wall cabinet, the latter making excellent use of the awkward sloping wall.
It’s a cabinet of two halves: one is mirrored and closed for messy bits and pieces; the other features open shelves for prettier stuff – and cleverly also provides ambient lighting for the bathroom in the form of concealed LED strips along the shelves.
It can be practical to divide up your items into prettier bathroom bits – such as candles, storage boxes and plants – and the less attractive essentials – toothpaste, tubs of cream, medicines and so on. Figure out how much space you’d like for each and task your designer to combine half-open, half-closed sections to accommodate them.
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Closing off storage may not be practical if there’s little space for sliding or pull-out doors. Yet to maintain aesthetic elegance, open storage requires discipline and panache.
Since the bulk of this bathroom’s shelving is open for space reasons, Storylines Interior Design tackled the conundrum by colour-coordinating and neatly folding hand towels, and enlisting matching boxes tied to the room’s colour scheme to hide necessary clutter.
There’s just about room for a strip of closed storage to ensure not everything has to be out and proud – meaning loo rolls, non-matching towels and other un-photogenic items can happily hide.
In this characterful bathroom, the designers at Run for the Hills have done two clever things.
The first is to mount a pair of basins on top of a unit containing lots of drawers – meaning heaps of space for the small-scale stuff you tend to need to store in a bathroom.
This has enabled the introduction of open storage in the form of an attractive, ladder-style shelf unit. This is very useful for guest towels and plants. Since it’s essentially bonus space, thanks to those many drawers, it would also be a good spot for framed photos, a vintage radio, jewellery boxes and other ‘luxury’ items.
Again, combining closed and open storage has been executed stylishly here by Forgeworks Architects. If you’re using plywood, as here, or untreated timber, and don’t want to change the look of the finish, ask your designer about the best varnish or oil that will protect it but make minimum impact.
As with some of the previous designs, it’s the space above a concealed cistern – covered with a false wall – that allows storage to be flush here (pardon the pun).
Another opportunity for adding open storage is around a bath. Here, Ripples Bathrooms has created a ledge along the edge of this tub for pipework and to accommodate a chimney breast. Shelving and a low-level niche provide surfaces for plants, candles and good-looking essentials.
A great touch here is that the niche contains two downlights, making for a spa-like experience for after-dark bathing.
This is a deceptively simple solution for adding more storage to a bathroom. There’s often wasted space at the end of a bath, which could instead provide shelving, as seen in this room by Katie Monkhouse Interior Design.
Having bath-facing open storage may seem a more practical idea at first, but, in this set-up, everything would get wet. So instead, Katie added a tiled niche for bathing essentials, and an attractive strip of bare wood shelving, on which storage baskets can hide what’s inside.
Closed storage could have been an option but might have made the room feel smaller. The instant access appeal of just reaching into a basket is also handy when other storage space is in short supply.
What kind of storage do you have in your bathroom? Do any of these ideas appeal? Share your thoughts and photos in the Comments section.