A shower is a place to unwind and should be a relaxing experience, but if you’re constantly knocking over shampoo bottles and can’t find your shower gel, it can quickly become a nightmare. Your shower storage ideas are important so all of your shower ideas have a designated space and won’t cause unnecessary clutter.
Shower storage normally falls into one of two categories. Built-in storage, such as alcoves and permanent shelves, and freestanding storage which can be moved about such as shower caddies, storage hangers or suction storage.
‘Our bathrooms are essential to self-care and relaxing rituals, so creating a clutter-free, calming space is a must,' says Paul Bailey, leader of product management at LIXIL EMENA and GROHE UK. 'In a shower study conducted with YouGov, we found that 43% of us view our bathrooms as a space for well-being, relaxation, and recovery, while 58% believe a relaxing shower can alleviate tension and worries. Couple this with the rising awareness and significance of our mental health and wellbeing, it’s not surprising that the bathroom is viewed by many as a sanctuary for escapism within the home.’
Shower storage ideas
Shower storage ideas will keep your shower and by extension your bathroom neat and clutter free and depending on how many products you have, you may need just one storage solution or multiple to keep things in order.
‘Bathrooms and shower areas have fast become an at-home sanctuary where people can unwind and use numerous products as part of their wellness practices. With that in mind, there's a key trend in minimalist, clear storage ideas that better showcase products such as scrubs, shower oil and hair care,’ says Chloe Martin, bathroom specialist at The Range.
1. Opt for a wire caddy
A wire caddy is the perfect companion to modern bathroom ideas and can come in chrome, nickel or gold. These types of caddies are great for the shower because they have gaps that allow for easy drainage and prevent water build up.
Warren Kinloch, bathroom expert at Bathroom Deal advises not letting your shower caddy get too wet because this can lead to the build-up of bacteria and the development of rust. ‘Ensure to clean your caddy as often as you would clean your shower, ideally a minimum of once per week.’
2. Go for an easy up option
If you don't want to or are unable to drill holes into your shower to add storage a suction tray or hook is a smart budget bathroom idea to add storage without the drilling.
Suction trays, baskets or hooks come in all shapes, sizes and colours so you can easily match them to the rest of your shower ideas. The best part is they can easily be taken off and moved around as you work out the best shower storage set up in your washroom. To remove, just insert a credit card between the suction pad and the wall to release the suction.
3. Include a hamper
No one wants dirty clothes or towels making a mess around your bathroom so a hamper is essential to keep them separate from your nice clean clothes. The bathroom is where you normally take off your clothes to get into the shower so having the hamper in the same space, prevents clothes from being dropped on the floor and forgotten about, or worse a dirty floordrobe from building up.
Hampers can be chosen to match the style of your bathroom, for example, you could even match it with your shower curtain ideas. Wicker hampers add a touch of cottage chic to your bathroom especially if they are whitewashed.
4. Use a ladder or towel rail
If you are considering walk-in shower ideas consider installing a towel rail at the far end of the shower. Not only will they keep the space warm, but they are a great way to store your towels, ready and waiting for you at the end of a relaxing shower. Just keep in mind to keep it far enough away from the shower head so it doesn’t get splashed by any water.
If you are looking to add your storage in retrospectively and can't afford the expense of a heated towel rail a ladder is a great alternative. Just be careful to opt for a material that will be able to withstand the bathroom moisture.
5. Make use of a window sill
If you have wet room style bathroom make use of a window sill for extra storage. Avoid adding too many items to the windowsill that could obstruct the light or air circulation. Be purposeful with what you choose to put on display and use it to hold essential items.
If you wan to create a more cohesive look but your toiletries are a little mismatched decant your products into matching bottle sets instead. A plant is a nice touch to add colour and aesthetic appeal.
6. Add a stool or bench
Incorporating a stool or bench into your shower area is a stylish way of add an extra surface to store toiletries or towels. A built-in shower bench gives the area a luxurious spa-like feel, especially if you're lucky enough to have any ensuite ideas, but a stool just outside the enclosure is a great budget alternative.
Make it a focal point by adding a decorative tray, or choose a contrasting colour. If your stool or bench is going to get wet, moisture-resistant materials like teak, bamboo, plastic, and resin are the best options. For a sleek and minimalist design a floating seat works well to allow for extra storage.
7. Build in a smart recess to store supplies
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.
'These in-shower shelves tend to be in extremely visible places, showcasing masses of shower accessories for guests to see,' says Warren Kinloch from Bathroom Deal. 'For a more minimal effect, select a space for the shower niche on the side of the shower entrance, facing away from the rest of the bathroom. This way the shelf is hidden from sight but still accessible to the person using the shower.'
8. Double-up with twin storage
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.
9. Store supplies with neat corner shelving
Corner-shaped shelves or baskets are a great way of taking bathroom shelving ideas and 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.
'The most popular renter-friendly and space-saving shower storage styles now seem to be corner shelves,' recommends Warren Kinloch from Bathroom Deal. 'Placed at the end of two sides of the shower, small triangular shelving is a great way to keep a shower feeling big, whilst still creating extra storage space. For these, think quantity over size. Having 4 - 5 small corner shelves looks sleek, but also works as effectively as having 1 - 2 classic rectangular shelves.'
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.
10. Opt for an easy-access shower caddy
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, such as the Croydex hanging shower caddy, £27.20, Wayfair.
This neat shower caddy 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.
11. Install an extendable shower shelf
Ensure plenty of shower storage ideas without worrying about drilling any holes for fixtures and fittings. This clever Extendable shower shelf, £35, La Redoute, 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.’
12. Go for gold with luxe fittings
Free-draining racks and wire baskets are an option of sensible in shower storage ideas 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 to give a plain bathroom a luxe, new look which the Arezzo brushed brass wire shower basket, £99.95, Victorian Plumbing does perfectly. 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.
13. Choose practical, slimline shelving
Keep essentials for all the family close to hand with freestanding shower storage ideas 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 such as the Vesken shelf unit, £12, IKEA, 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.’
14. Supplement in-shower shelving
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. Ruth Foster, interior designer at Victoria Plum says, 'Fit glass shelving in your shower for extra storage, so your shower toiletries are always to hand. This will help save your small bathroom cabinet from the grimy build-up you can get with certain products.'
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 and place it in the position that best suits your bathroom layout ideas.
15. Add style with glam standout storage
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, just know how to clean the tiles.
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.
'Recessed shelves are ideal for creating extra storage in your shower area, 'says Barrie Cutchie, design director at BC Designs. 'The best way to achieve this is by installing one within a stud wall which makes it much easier to construct, and by doing so, it allows you to create a shelf storage without decreasing the space within the shower cubicle. This is really important for helping to organise when space is tight, but if you are lucky enough to have a large shower area, it can also be used to showcase luxury toiletries or plants.'
16. Double-up on space with a mirrored recess
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 your shower storage ideas feel bigger too. A downlighter will add extra sparkle and illuminate the area after dark. A mirror will reflect your bathroom lighting ideas and make the space look bright. Plus having a mirror so close to the shower is handy to check that you've washed off all the soap suds.
17. Illuminate in-shower storage
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?
Having good storage in your shower can make your shower experience a lot nicer and life a lot easier. No one wants to be tripping over shower gels, or finding their foot on a misplaced toothbrush, so storage needs to be practical, easy to use and not take away from your small bathroom shower ideas when space is limited.
Daniel Doherty, owner of Ripples Southport says, ‘In showering areas, you can create recesses in the wall and build-in shower niches to conveniently stow-away soap and shampoo bottles; this frees up space on the shower floor/tray and creates a pared-back look. If space allows, you may also want to consider an in-built shower bench which not only offers a handy, easy-to-reach space to store shower products away from the floor but is also useful if you're looking to future-proof your bathroom as it gives you a place to perch.’
With built-in storage areas, the surface can be tiled to coordinate with the shower area, which gives a fully waterproof finish that is easy to wipe clean. Free-standing storage units, hanging caddies and slot-on storage work well 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?
Shower caddies are simple and easy-to-install solutions to your shower storage problems and are a great way to keep your bathroom organised and clutter-free. A shower caddy stops toiletries from taking up floor space and brings them to eye level so it is easier to see what you have and makes things easier to access, which is always welcome when you have shampoo in your eye and need to find your conditioner.
‘Different shower caddies can be placed in different areas e.g. suctioned to the wall or hooked over the shower itself. Whichever option you choose, you want to make sure it is easily accessible when you're in the shower and to be cleaned regularly. Wooden footstools are a popular alternative to shower caddies because they're practical but also have a lovely aesthetic,’ comments Daniel Doherty from Ripples Southport.
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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Lisa is Deputy Editor of Style at Home magazine and regularly contributes to sister title Ideal Home. She has written about interiors for more than 25 years and about pretty much every area of the home, from shopping and decorating, crafts and DIY to real home transformations and kitchen and bathroom makeovers. Homes and interiors have always been a passion and she never tires of nosying around gorgeous homes, whether on TV, online, in print or in person.
- Imani CottrellContent Editor
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