Whether you’re one of the fortunate few who has a bathroom with plenty of space and multiple sinks, or you’re the type of person whose bathroom feels more like a closet with plumbing (we’ve been there), you can’t deny that bathroom storage is a never-ending battle. Mirrored medicine cabinets frequently don’t hold much more than a toothbrush, and under-the-sink storage is a chaotic bottomless pit.
However, the storage options available aren’t much better. Those old-fashioned over-the-toilet shelving units are never very appealing. And if you only consider aesthetics, you’ll end up with a “storage” ladder that does little more than add a rustic touch to your space. It’s a difficult terrain to navigate.
However, stylish and functional bathroom storage is possible; all it takes is a little imagination. Introducing our all-time favorite bathroom storage solution: floating storage shelves. They’re functional, they’re stylish, and if done correctly, they can look exactly like something from your Pinterest feed. Plus, because they don’t have brackets or bulky hardware, they’re pretty streamlined and can fit in any small space.
But don’t just take our word for it–check out these 15 floating shelf ideas that prove they belong in any bathroom.
The Traditional Take
Floating shelves are available in a variety of shapes and sizes, but there’s nothing wrong with the classic. This thick dark wood option is minimally invasive while providing maximum style. It’s a sturdy option that you know can hold almost anything, whether it’s extra hand towels or heavy glass jars containing your bath products.
When it comes to bathrooms, simplicity is key. As a result, metallic decorations work well here. We adore the uncomplicated design of these golden metal shelves. They are ideal for displaying plants, photo frames, or even skincare products. An added bonus is the bonus rod at the bottom for draping a hand towel.
Embrace the Monochromatic
If you want to keep the floating shelf concept hidden, choose shelves that complement the rest of your bathroom. Two separate shelves in this gray bathroom hold decorative items, rolled-up extra towels, and bath products. Despite their thick design, the gray color allows them to blend in, making them the ideal understated choice.
Keep Your Items Secure
Don’t get us wrong: a traditional floating shelf is fantastic. But every now and then, we’re afraid of things falling off the edge and shattering, especially that one glass serum bottle we splurged on at Sephora. To avoid mishaps, choose a floating wicker option with bars to keep things secure while also adding a charming boho vibe.
Fake a Built-In
Built-in shelves are ideal, but unless your landlord is your best friend, you’re unlikely to find them when you move in. Instead, achieve the same effect by outfitting a bathroom nook with floating shelves in a light stained wood or a wall color that complements yours. Nobody will be able to tell them apart.
Keep Things Close By
We’ve all done it: we’re washing our faces and forget to grab a hair tie to pull back our loose ends, or we forget to grab the face lotion from our bedroom vanity. The solution is a small floating ledge that fits perfectly between the sink and the mirror. It’s ideal for storing small necessities like soap bottles and toothpaste—and, of course, a few hair ties.
Go for Glass Shelves
Wooden shelves are the most common choice, but glass shelves should not be overlooked. Glass shelves, especially in an almost entirely white bathroom like this one, truly create a floating illusion that draws attention to your decor rather than itself. If you want to hang them higher up on the wall, choose a glass option–the transparency will allow items to be seen from below and will not block the view.
Experiment with Different Support Ideas
The whole point of a floating shelf is to provide plenty of storage without the need for bulky support underneath–but there are plenty of support options to choose from. A simple light wooden shelf balanced on two white circular rods, for example, adds a minimalist and approachable effect to this bathroom.
Try an All Black Shelf for a Dramatic Flair
If you want to make a statement in your bathroom, try floating shelves that are completely black. While white and wooden options can feel more cohesive, incorporating black shelves allows them to stand out–especially in a bathroom with minimal black accents like this one. If you want storage that stands out, this is the option for you.
Add a Shelf Inside Your Bathroom Nook
Bathroom layouts come in a variety of shapes and sizes, each with its own set of benefits and drawbacks. While a bathroom nook adds some privacy, it can also leave little room for storage–which is where a simple floating shelf comes in. Adding one above your toilet to hold a few simple items can be a great addition, and extra points if you include one against a creative backdrop, as Laquita Tate Styling and Designs did here.
Add Some Storage Under the Sink
Floating shelves are commonly associated with being placed on the wall at eye level or higher, but this is not always the case. Placing one in an unexpected location, such as under the sink, can be a great way to add extra storage while remaining subtle. Whether you use it for towels or other toiletries, it maintains an open and spacious appearance while also holding your essentials.
Stick to a Color Theme
If you want to use your shelves as decor rather than storage, we like the idea of incorporating a color theme. The white shelving works well with the gray and white decorative accents in this room. The three-tier layering and placement between the mirrors maximize the decorative impact of these shelves, and we’re loving it.
Have Fun With a Geometric Design
Not all shelves have to be a singular straight plank–floating shelves come in a variety of designs. Choose one that has multiple shelves attached by an overarching structure or that comes in a unique shape. It’s the ideal option if you want your storage to just as aesthetic as it is functional.
Leaf It Up
We all know that not every bathroom has access to natural light. Some have no windows at all. But we’d be lying if we said shelves aren’t an excellent place to display plants. It’s fine if they’re fake—this is the look you’re going for.
Hang One Over Your Tub
If you have a freestanding tub, keep your bubbles, bath salts, and dry brushes there until they’re needed. A shelf like this one is close enough to the tub that you can get to your bathing necessities without getting out. It also serves as a convenient place to set your phone so it doesn’t get wet.