Bathroom Shelving

Bathroom wall shelves for space and style

Whether a tiny, tucked-away powder room or a grand room with double sinks and separate tub and shower, efficient storage is essential for the effective use of bathroom space.

The most important questions you need to ask yourself as you begin your bathroom shelving decision process are: What is your current storage situation, and what will you be using these bathroom shelves for? What works for scented candles clearly won't work for extra towels.

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Once you've identified your particular storage needs, consider how you would like your bathroom shelves to contribute to the style you want to achieve in the room -- after all, dark-wood, wall-mounted shelves at eye height create a very different look from a six-foot, free-standing, white wicker shelf unit.

Open Bathroom Shelves vs. a Bathroom Storage Cabinet

When deciding whether you want your bathroom wall shelves to be open or covered, you should take the size of the bathroom into consideration. Open, wall-mounted shelves often work well in small spaces because they don't take up floor space and don't create another, potentially formidable wall-like surface in the room.

However, if you are working with limited bathroom space and would still like to have doors on your bathroom shelving unit, doors with mirrors can create the illusion of depth, making a small bathroom seem bigger. And consider sliding doors -- they are much more space-efficient than hinged doors that open out.

Other factors to think about when weighing the pros and cons of open or closed shelving include:

  • Hygiene. Because the bathroom tends to be a breeding ground for germs, some people strongly prefer to keep items like towels and cosmetics behind closed doors.
  • Aesthetics. Unlike book shelves, bathroom shelving is often needed to store personal-care items you might prefer not to have displayed. While pretty bath beads and oils look lovely in prominent view, prescription pills and a nose-hair trimmer do not.
  • Access. A closed and even lockable cabinet is not only a smart but a safe choice if you have little children or pets that like to get into anything and everything.