Shower storage ideas – 12 easy ways to keep showers neat and tidy

Keep shampoos and shower gels within arm’s reach with organised shower storage that will leave your bathroom looking shipshape
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  • The enjoyment of a relaxing shower can be ruined if you can’t find your favourite shampoo or you end up tripping over bottles every time you step in the shower. When space is at a premium, organised shower storage ideas are a must.

    Broadly speaking, there are two basic types of shower storage for any shower idea. First, comes built-in storage, which includes tiled alcoves, niches and shower shelf ideas, all of which need to be factored-in at the planning stage. Secondly, there is freestanding storage, which can range from shower caddies and hanging organisers to hook-on racks or suction storage. Of the two, freestanding storage is a super-easy option, with off-the-peg storage buys freely available.

    Shower storage ideas

    ‘Shower baskets and shower caddies are the ideal way to organise all of those essential toiletries and keep them at arm’s reach,’ says Brenna Ryan, Bathroom Design Expert at Victorian Plumbing. ‘Thankfully, they’re no longer just practical features, but stylish ones too, available in a host of on-trend finishes such as matt black and rose gold.’

    ‘Aside from these, shower caddies can also be wall mounted, portable, extendable and rust-proof and are a great way to complete your bathroom’s look while adding practical storage too.’

    1. Build in a smart recess to store supplies

    white marble shower enclosure with built in storage shelf and gold fittings

    Image credit: Cosentino

    Building a recessed shelf or niche into your shower or wet room is a clever way of sneaking in extra storage in spaces where it might otherwise be lost.

    Recesses can be created in the space between a stud wall and framework or in an area where unsightly pipework has been boxed in. But they are something that will need to be decided on at the planning stage, so consider the options before the shower area is tiled.

    Create impact in a simple white shower scheme by edging a tiled shelf recess with gold-coloured edging. A contrast accent trim will draw attention to the area and adds a stylish touch in a metallic finish that complements shower and bathroom fittings.

    2. Double-up with twin storage

    Shower with blue starburst tiles and black shower

    Image credit: Ripples

    A panel of statement shower tile ideas in a bold pattern and striking colourway will add wow to a plain white bathroom. If space allows, consider building-in side-by-side storage alcoves so you’ve plenty of space to stash showering essentials. Position alcoves either side of the shower fitting to create symmetry.

    Double alcoves or a single longline recess are worth considering in a larger walk-in shower or wet room to provide additional storage. To make fitting easier, consider buying pre-formed recess units, available to buy from tile merchants and DIY stores. Designed for pre-wall installation, the units come in a variety of sizes and provide a fully waterproof base for tiles.

    3. Corner supplies with neat shelving

    Shower storage ideas with glass corner shelves

    Image credit: Future PLC/Bridget Peirson

    Corner-shaped shelves or baskets are a great way of working extra storage into a small shower cubicle. Angled so that they fit neatly into a corner, without protruding too much into the showering area, stack them two or three high to give plenty of storage for soaps and toiletries.

    Consider floating corner shelves (like these) with discreet, invisible fixings. Some designs will need to be installed at the tiling stage with the fittings hidden under tiling, while others can be affixed using silicone.

    Alternatively, if installing shelves into an existing tiled shower, some drilling might be required to secure shelf fixings in place.

    4. Opt for an easy-access shower caddy

    Over door shower storage black caddy hanging on glass shower screen

    Image credit: Wayfair

    If built-in storage isn’t an option, there are plenty of off-the-peg buys and freestanding pieces that will solve any bathroom storage issues without needing permanent fixtures.

    This neat shower tidy can clip onto a glass shower door or be hooked over the shower head, with suction pads that will hold it securely in place. With two tall shelves to accommodate longer bottles and drainage holes so it doesn’t get waterlogged, the shelves also have handy cut-outs so you can store bottles spout down for easy dispensing.

    Buy now: Cubiko shower caddy, £34.99, Wayfair

    5. Pick an easy-fit shower stand

    White shower room with black shower fitting

    Image credit: La Redoute

    Ensure plenty of shower storage without worrying about drilling any holes for fixtures and fittings. This clever extendable storage rail will work whatever the size of shower enclosure, using a spring-loaded support rail that slots into place so it stays firmly put. Corner-shaped baskets give stacks of storage for shower gel, sponges and other essentials.

    ‘Try not to have too many products at one time,’ says Professional organiser Vicky Silverthorn at youneedavicky.com. ‘The trick is always to have the minimum amount possible, so there are less belongings to manage. So many beauty products are now multi-use, so you can simplify your routine and keep your space better organised.’

    Buy now: Extendable shower shelf, £50, La Redoute

    6. Go for gold with luxe fittings

    Shower storage ideas with gold shower and wire basket

    Image credit: Victorian Plumbing

    Free-draining racks and wire baskets are a sensible in-shower storage option to ensure that shower products aren’t left sitting in a puddle of water. It’s always worth paying a little extra and opting for rust-proof fittings that have been coated or pre-treated for protection.

    Choose complementary finishes to give your bathroom a chic, co-ordinated look. Swap standard fittings for on-trend brushed brass taps and shower rose to give a plain bathroom a luxe, new look. Brushed brass has been treated to give it a duller, matt look when compared with polished brass, and offers a more durable finish that will attract far fewer fingerprints.

    Buy now: Arezzo brushed brass wire shower basket, £99.95, Victorian Plumbing

    7. Choose practical, slimline shelving

    Shower storage ideas with black and white towels and shower unit

    Image credit: IKEA

    Keep essentials for all the family close to hand with freestanding shower storage that can slot in at one end of a walk-in shower enclosure or sit just outside a smaller shower cubicle.

    Opt for plastic or powder-coated storage that won’t rust or be damaged by excess water. Free-draining shelves are also sensible so that water doesn’t pool on the surface (so soap won’t go soggy).

    ‘We know how important it is to design the right furniture for different types of bathrooms,’ say the design team at IKEA. ‘That’s why many of our bathroom storage units and accessories are made of plastic – perfectly suited for shower/bath spaces – where you can bathe, shower and splash as much as you like, without worrying about exposing your furniture to too much water.’

    Buy now: Vesken shelf unit, £9, IKEA

    8. Supplement in-shower shelving

    Shower storage ideas with white tiles and ladder shelf

    Image credit: Aqata

    Having too many toiletries out on display will only make the shower area feel cluttered, so a shelf or niche that will hold just a few essentials is a good idea.

    A slimline shelf unit just outside the shower area will give storage for extras so that toiletries and towels are to hand when you need them. Ladder shelves are a neat option for small bathrooms as they take up little floor space and are easily moved. No fixings or drilling into tiled wall is required, simply prop against a wall.

    9. Add style with glam standout storage

    White metro tile shower enclosure with gold tiles and gold shower fittings

    Image credit: Future PLC/David Parmiter

    Tiling the shower area and niche in the same continuous tile throughout looks sleek and streamlined and will allow the niche to blend in with the background. On the other hand, if you want to make the area more of a focal point, tiling the niche in a contrast tile is an easy way to add wow.

    Keep to the same colour tile but add visual interest by using smaller mosaics in the inset area. Or go for gold and match tiles to standout fittings with luxe gold polished tiling in the niche area. Add a row of border tiles for extra sparkle.

    10. Double-up on space with a mirrored recess

    marble tiled shower with brass shower head and mirror alcove

    Image credit: Future PLC/David Parmiter

    Using mirrored areas in a small bathroom is a clever way of making a tight space feel brighter and more spacious. Instead of tiling a shower recess area, use a mirrored panel as a backing. It will give the illusion that the shower area stretches back further than it really does and make the shower storage area feel bigger too. A downlighter will add extra sparkle and illuminate the area after dark.

    11. Opt for an easy-up option

    Shower with white tiles and suction cup storage

    Image credit: Future PLC/Rachael Smith

    For super-easy shower storage that doesn’t involve any drilling into hard tiled surfaces, try simple suction caddies. Ideal for holding lighter-weight toiletries, wash cloths, sponges and even plants, they grip to smooth surfaces using suction and are easily removed should you need to shift them around.

    No tools or adhesives are needed to put the caddies up, just make sure the surface is clean and push down on the fitting to secure it. To remove, just insert a credit card between the suction pad and the wall to release the suction.

    Buy now: Tisken toothbrush holder with suction cup, £2.50, Ikea

    12. Illuminate in-shower storage

    blue mosaic tiled shower with alcove storage idea with lights

    Image credit: Future PLC/Jamie Mason

    If you’re at the bathroom planning stage and are including a storage niche or recess into your shower build, it might be useful to factor in extra lighting at the same time. A downlighter fitted into the recess will create a stylish focal point as well as illuminate the area for easy access to showering supplies.

    In areas where lighting fixtures might come into contact with water, such as in the bathroom, you’ll need to consider the IP safety ratings. The more susceptible to water penetration fittings are, then the higher the ‘IP’ rating they are required to have. A rating of IP65 is advised for lighting Inside the shower area, but your electrician will be able to advise.

    How do I add storage to my shower?

    If you’re at the planning stage of a new bathroom or shower, then including built-in storage into the layout, such as shower shelves, alcoves or recesses is a great way of utilising every inch of space.  It’s a great way of tailoring storage to your exact needs. Once the storage areas have been built-in, the surface can be tiled to co-ordinate with the shower area, which gives a fully waterproof finish that is easy to wipe clean.

    Adding storage to an existing shower is easy enough. There are plenty of off-the-peg buys that can be fitted into a shower as a permanent fixture. Such as wire baskets, corner shelves and slimline caddies that will fit into the space unobtrusively for a neat look.

    Alternatively, consider free-standing storage units, hanging caddies and slot-on storage for a non-permanent option. These will require no fixings and are easy to move around and take away, should you have a change of bathroom.

    Where should a shower caddy be placed?

    Positioning should be in the easiest-accessed spot. Many shower caddies are designed with a hook-over fitting that is designed to hang over the shower head, so you can grab shampoos, conditioners and shower gels with ease. Alternatively, some designs have a slot-on fixing, so that the caddy can be slipped over a glass shower door or screen. These usually have suction cups too, that will keep the caddy securely positioned.

    Floor-standing caddies are another option. But these will require more shower floor space so are best for larger walk-in showers or wet rooms. As caddies are likely to get wet from water splashes and steam, always opt for a material that won’t get water-damaged, such as plastic and powder-coated or rust-proof steel. Make sure that feet are non-slip too, so that the caddy stays in one place.

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