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Stylish Storage Ideas 
For Small Bathrooms

practical-and-stylish-design-ideasfor-small-bathrooms

© Melovy. All rights reserved.

I have always liked the thought of having a spacious bathroom, one big enough to have a wicker armchair, lots of plants and a big antique chest of drawers to store towels, toiletries and anything else I might decide to keep in the bathroom. I’ve always liked the thought of it, but I’ve never had it.

Oh how often I’ve read on magazine covers, titles such as: “Fantastic ideas to de-clutter your small bathroom!” Or: “Brilliant design solutions for small bathrooms!” But when I open the magazine it turns out I could fit our entire living room into the bathroom on display, and our entire bathroom into the bath!

And readers in the States – if you think your bathroom is tiny you haven’t been to the UK! With 60,000,000 of us crammed into an area of a little over 94,000 square miles, there simply wouldn’t be enough space for everyone to have the bathroom of my dreams.

Another reason why UK bathrooms tend to be small is because in most houses built prior to the 20th century the bathroom is an afterthought. Although a flushing toilet was originally designed in the 16th century, it wasn’t until 1852 that the world’s first modern public conveniences, complete with flushing toilets, opened in London. Even as recently as the 1980s many small apartments in some UK cities had no bathrooms or toilets inside. Instead toilets were either on a stairwell landing or outside in the back yard!

Compared to those conditions, a small bathroom is a luxury, so I’ve learned to make the best of what we’ve got. Besides, why would I need a wicker armchair in the bathroom anyway?

Stylish storage ideas for bathrooms that really are small

Unlike those magazine articles mentioned above, this article is full of storage ideas that will work in bathrooms that really are small. All the photos in this article are from our own bathroom, so the ideas are tried and tested.

Here are my suggestions for storage solutions in a small bathroom:

Think tall and thin.

Think imaginatively.

Make use of every available space.


practical-and-stylish-design-ideasfor-small-bathrooms

Imaginative storage items for a small bathroom

The photograph at the top of this article shows a long thin cabinet we use for storing face-cloths, toiletries and other sundries. It fits into a tiny space between our bath and window, and it cost very little. It is a CD cabinet, made of unvarnished wood, which we painted. We bought it several years ago in Ikea, and it has travelled with us through 2 house moves and survived repainting. The photograph above shows the interior of the cabinet. It had plenty of shelves, which means smaller items don't get buried beneath each other and are easy to locate. To fit in taller bottles we simply removed a shelf.

Keep Small Fingers Away From Danger

Because our children were little when we bought this cabinet we fitted a hook fastening at the top. Although this cabinet is very stable, if you bought a similar one that was less stable, for children's safety you could use a bracket to fasten it to a wall.

practical-and-stylish-design-ideasfor-small-bathrooms
practical-and-stylish-design-ideasfor-small-bathrooms

Use walls to store bathroom toys

While you want to keep children out of some places, it’s good to have their toys easily accessible. However parents need to be able to relax in the bath without being poked in the ribs by a rubber duck. The perfect solution is a net bag fastened to the wall by suction cups. You could make your own, but most are inexpensive and last well.

Store toys or toiletries in a bath caddy

A bath caddy sits across the bath. While plastic caddies soon tend to look worn, bamboo has recently become a popular alternative and looks smart and clean. A bath caddy is handy for the soap and your face cloth. Some are large enough to store toys. Often caddies are extendable so you can vary the size to fit your bath.


practical-and-stylish-design-ideasfor-small-bathrooms

Choose multi-functional furniture

Some manufacturers of bathroom accessories have done the thinking for us, so make the most of that. This photograph is of a laundry hamper beneath a set of shelves that stores our towels. It even has enough space for my husband’s bath-time reading material, and a rail to hold his towel.

Another alternative is a storage unit that fits over the toilet. Be sure to keep the lid down if you go for this option, or you may soon not need any storage at all!

Even Small Bathrooms Can Be Beautiful.

practical-and-stylish-design-ideasfor-small-bathrooms

Place a pot plant at the end of your bath. A peace lily, such as this one, is idea because it loves moist conditions and and removes toxins from the atmosphere.

© Melovy

Comments

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on August 03, 2015:

Love all of these small bathroom tips with those creative designs. Voted up for useful!

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on August 08, 2012:

Thanks quickline.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on April 26, 2012:

Hi boundarybathrooms,

That Hong Kong bathroom is amazing else isn’t it? Glad you found this useful and thanks for your comment.

Thomas Mulrooney from Burnley, Lancashire, UK on April 25, 2012:

Thanks for the tips! I thought my bathroom was small, but then I saw these pictures!

We have a tall cabinet in our bathroom, giving us some space to put the towels and a drawer to throw pretty much everything else in lol.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on April 13, 2012:

Hi reagu,

Glad you were able to get some ideas, and I wish you well implementing them in your new bathroom. Thanks for your comment.

reagu from Los Angeles on April 12, 2012:

I just had a new bathroom built for my bedroom. It's small compared to home bathroom. This hub with the tip using the net bag as storage just gave me some ideas that I could use. Thanks.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on April 02, 2012:

Hi Mary Stuart,

I am glad you found this useful and thanks for your comment.

Mary from Washington on April 01, 2012:

I feel so spoiled. Your ideas for making the most of a small space are practical and cute! Thank you for the inspiration.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on March 20, 2012:

Hi LifeStylePets,

Glad you enjoyed this. And yes, dancing is best kept for the living room! Thanks for your comment.

LifeStylePets from Florida on March 20, 2012:

Loved the story. I thought I was the only one with teeny bathrooms. (we have them in America too) But then, I guess that's okay. If I need to dance, I can always do it in the living room.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on March 11, 2012:

HI Snakeslane,

Glad you found this useful.

In answer to your question at the end of our bathtub there is a very small tiled ledge, and between it and the bath edge it’s big enough for the peace lily. You could probably fit a smaller plant on a bath edge without any additional tiles.

Thanks for your comment.

Verlie Burroughs from Canada on March 10, 2012:

I really like your small bathroom suggestions Melovy. I am currently (as we speak) making a concerted effort to de-clutter every room, including the bathroom, and it is a challenge in a small place. I agree the house and home designer magazines (I have a big stack of those taking up some prime real estate) are nice to look at, but so often don't translate into small spaces. I am wondering how you fit that peace lily on the edge of the tub, it looks so nice. I also like the CD cabinet storage idea, and your photos are excellent. Regards, snakeslane

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on February 29, 2012:

Hi winbo,

Thanks very much for your comment and for sharing. I am glad you found the hub interesting.

winbo on February 29, 2012:

Interesting Hub!! Fantastic idea. I'm going to share it...... :)

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on February 13, 2012:

Hi Sharyn,

My variety of topics is partly due to my current commitment to do at least one hub per week for the WTI, and this is an example of that. I would never in a million years have thought of writing about storage ideas for small bathrooms without the challenge of the home improvement topic.

You’re right about the wicker chair - in our house it definitely would be covered in clothes, and books and empty shampoo bottles someone meant to take downstairs… Thanks for your kind words about my hubs, and the feeling is mutual as I enjoy your hubs too. (And you write great comments!)

Sharon Smith from Northeast Ohio USA on February 12, 2012:

Hi Yvonne,

You have some wonderful ideas here. I love the variety of hubs topics you write. Always informative and fun. And I agree, you don't really need a wicker chair in the bathroom, right? It would just be a place to leave clothes laying around. Great tips!

Sharyn

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on February 11, 2012:

You’re welcome Poohgranma

Poohgranma from On the edge on February 11, 2012:

What a fantastic idea! I don't know how I missed the information in my first reading! Thanks so much!

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on February 11, 2012:

Hi Poohgranma

I got our cabinet in Ikea. I don’t know how prevalent their stores are in the States, but if you don’t have one near you then try any store that has CD or DVD cabinets - particularly ones that sell them cheaply as you are more likely to get one in unfinished wood that you can paint, which is what we did with the cabinet in the photo.

Glad you found the hub interesting, and thanks for your comment and vote up.

Poohgranma from On the edge on February 11, 2012:

I could so use that tall cabinet in our tiny bathroom. Do you have any idea where to purchase one?

This article was very informative and I enjoyed the photos. Voted up and interesting!

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on January 31, 2012:

mfriedstor, thank you for your kind comment.

mfriedstore from 176 Flushing Avenue Brooklyn , New York on January 30, 2012:

wow, this is a great bathroom. Shelving could be a big help in order to save space and make an organised arrangements of your things. Thank you so much for sharing this hub.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on January 30, 2012:

Hi aslaught,

So glad the hub was useful to you. Thanks for letting me know and for the vote up.

aslaught from Alabama on January 30, 2012:

One of my bathrooms is tiny, so I can definitely use some help on utilizing the space I have. Thanks for sharing. Voted up!

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on January 28, 2012:

Hi RedElf,

Thank you. And here I was thinking it was only British bathrooms that were that small.

RedElf from Canada on January 28, 2012:

Marvelous, practical ideas - I absolutely agree that most articles show bathrooms most of us could fit our bedroom and bathroom into!

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on January 24, 2012:

Hi Gloshei,

That definitely sounds like a UK bathroom! Thanks for your comment and vote up.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on January 24, 2012:

Ah, yes Tammy, we Brits know how to do small. But they do say the best things come in small packages! Thanks for your comment and vote up, glad you enjoyed it.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on January 24, 2012:

You’re welcome Alocsin! And thank you for the vote up etc, and for the smile.

Gloria from France on January 24, 2012:

Great hub with some good ideas. I can remember our first bathroom (uk) you had to straddle the loo to open the door.

Have voted up well thought out and thanks for sharing.

Tammy from North Carolina on January 24, 2012:

I thought my bathrooms were small, but these are really small. Wonderful suggestions for storage and décor. Voted up!

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on January 24, 2012:

I've seen those teeny-tiny UK bathrooms. Thanks for offering some storage ideas for us Yanks. Voting this Up and Useful.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on January 24, 2012:

That’s a pity, but thanks for letting me know. (That you don’t have a photo I mean.) I can relate to what you say about needing to get better at photograph - I’ve learned a huge lot about digital photography in particular since I started on HP. This hub improved my knowledge 1000%!

Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on January 24, 2012:

No, my dear, I was 'photo-awful' at the time... am now realizing I need to get better!

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on January 24, 2012:

Thank you so much Maria!

I am glad this brought back fond memories for you, and would love to have seen that black lab wallpaper - do you have photos?

Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on January 24, 2012:

Dear Yvonne,

You are amazing in stretching your writing creativity, sharing such a range of subjects with us. I am greatly enjoying seeing what you will write about next!

This subject brings back such fond memories of our first home where we had that 'small bathroom challenge'. Loved IKEA store for reasonable, funky storage 'thangs', like your CD racks (so creative...) I perfectly agree that small can be beautiful and charming... I had selected the coolest black lab wallpaper (you really had to see it/ only worked in a very small area...) I also love green (plant/ life) in every bathroom and candles! Cool stuff, girlfriend!

Voted UP & UABI -- have a lovely day, mar.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on January 23, 2012:

Ha, ha Veronica, I love that you think tall and thin all the time! Glad you enjoyed this and thanks for your kind comment.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on January 23, 2012:

HI Simone,

It’s a while since we decorated this bathroom, but I still love the colours. The CD cabinet was a great find, and just what we needed. Thanks for your kind comment.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on January 23, 2012:

Hi Uninvited Writer,

Your grandmother must have had the only decent sized bathroom in Scotland! (Just kidding, really as I do know a few people with spacious bathrooms, including one of my sisters. I’m guessing your grandmother lived in Glasgow? The tenements in Edinburgh generally have the tiniest bathrooms of all - we had one flat where the washbasin overhung the bath. But even then, there are exceptions…

Thanks for your comment.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on January 23, 2012:

HI sholland, thanks very much for your kind comment, and glad you like the ideas.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on January 23, 2012:

Hi Brian,

Sounds like your wife knows the ways of men. My husband’s habit used to be forgetting which was his towel and using any one he came across. We’ve got that fixed now with his own special rail!

Thanks for your comment and the vote up!

Thanks

Veronica Roberts from Ohio, USA on January 23, 2012:

Great ideas and suggestions!

I try to think "tall and thin" all of the time! ;)

Beautiful pictures as well.

Voted up, useful, & interesting!

Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on January 23, 2012:

You've done such smart things with your bathroom, Melovy! Forget all those magazines and huge, spacious bathrooms! Your solutions are fabulous. I especially like the idea of re-purposing a CD cabinet.

Susan Keeping from Kitchener, Ontario on January 23, 2012:

My grandmother's bathroom in Scotland in the 60s was very spacious. She lived in a top-floor tenement flat that was huge...of course, now it's all cut up...probably into 4 flats.

Excellent ideas.

Susan Holland from Southwest Missouri on January 23, 2012:

I love your ideas. I wish I had your creativity!!

Thanks for SHARING! :-)

Voted up and others, and shared!

brian slater on January 23, 2012:

hi Melovy, voted up-awesome some nice ideas here. Keeping a bathroom tidy for a man is a difficult task at the best of times, that is according to my wife :)

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on January 23, 2012:

Hi Steph,

Ah, my tidy bathroom - I confess this hub it was a perfect reason to start de-cluttering, especially inside that cabinet. We also got rid of a few outgrown kids’s toys - the boat in the bath caddy is now off to a charity (Goodwill) shop! So writing for Hubpages has unexpected benefits. :-)

Thanks for your comment.

Stephanie Marshall from Bend, Oregon on January 23, 2012:

Hi Melovy,

Great job on a definitely tough topic - but I'm sure there are many people looking for storage ideas for small bathrooms. You covered all the big questions - towels, toys, toiletries. I must say, your bathroom looks neat and organized. :) Best, Steph

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on January 23, 2012:

Hi Stephanie,

Thanks very much for your comment. It was quite a challenge for me coming up with this hub for this week’s WTI, so I’m really glad it’s useful for you! Thanks for your comment.

Stephanie Henkel from USA on January 23, 2012:

Great ideas to make practical and stylish use of limited space in a small bathroom. I've been looking for ideas for a small bath, and like the bamboo caddy that fits over the tub as well as the over-the-toilet towel shelves.