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The minimalism mantra is over – at least for bathroom storage ideas – and I couldn’t be happier. No longer must you advise clients to hide everything away, hiding all traces of personality and pizzazz. In the past, luxury bathrooms have been synonymous with the bare and unembellished. So there has been no place (literally or figuratively) for beautiful display items. However, times are changing, and the opportunity to display stylish possessions in the bathroom is an exciting game-changer for interiors. Time then to embrace and experiment with the wide variety of open bathroom storage options available. Think play and display, as opposed to cover and conceal.

Modern white bathroom with bath and window showing built-in open storage
Open bathroom storage is set to be one of the key interiors trends in 2021 and beyond. It’s a wonderful way to showcase upscale wares – and your clients’ individual taste and personality

Michelle Ogundehin, former editor-in-chief at Elle Decoration, is also advocating a change of approach. To paraphrase, it’s time to use interiors (including upscale bathrooms) to express ourselves openly. “Through the things we choose to display, we show others who we are,” she explained recently, in an article in Waitrose magazine on display space in the home. Ogundehin believes precious items should be celebrated, not hidden away. The things we collect, she maintains, are how we build our story, and displaying them is how we share it. And the key to doing this successfully is to choose your items wisely, then create dedicated spaces in which to show them off.

Open bathroom storage ideas

In fact, open storage is set to come into its own where luxury bathrooms are concerned. There really is no better way to present your clients’ gorgeous wares! Open storage options are not for the mundane everyday essentials, such as mouthwash  and dental floss. Think of them instead as a way to showcase those delicious indulgences, from Jo Malone candles and Soho Home hand towels to Chantecaille body oil and Diptyque soap. Little luxuries like these have been instrumental in helping many of us get through this year’s lockdowns. So, the good news is you can encourage your clients not to hide these things away!

It’s true that closed units and drawers help to create a streamlined, uncluttered look. However, the end result can often be a touch too cold and clinical. Open storage, in the form of open cabinets and shelving, adds another distinct dimension to your design plan, injecting character, warmth and interest.

Boxing clever

Starting a new bathroom project from scratch will allow you to consider a wide variety of built-in open storage options. Recessed shelving offers the perfect combination of practical and chic. But you’ll need to choose the location wisely, so they are easily accessible. And they’re unlikely to be a viable choice for many renovation/refresh initiatives. Adding open units and/or open shelving to an existing bathroom footprint is a far faster and more cost-effective way to embrace new storage solutions.

If you’re after maximum versatility with your open bathroom storage ideas, I highly recommend our Pier Glass 4 Box Square Shelf. Offering a seriously stylish solution to clutter, open storage box shelving allows you to carefully curate display items for maximum impact. Made from transparent toughened glass, they give a clever illusion of space. So, this style is perfect for both small and large bathrooms. You could even add a diffuser to add a beautiful aroma. Then complete the look with some plants for a touch of greenery in your bathroom retreat.

bathroom storage ideas showcasing Harp Ceramics Pier glass 4 box shelf square
Our Pier Glass Box shelves, shown here in Black, 450mm by 450mm, £220, in a striking display by Harp Ceramics. This shelving is an ideal way to maximise wall space, and introduce a range of versatile open storage options to any existing bathroom space

On the shelf

Sometimes the simplest options are the best ones. Wall shelves, like our Pier Glass collection, are such a smart storage solution, especially if you’re short on wall space. Clear floating shelves are the modern-day equivalent of the traditional ‘medicine’ cabinet. Here, you can forget the whole ‘less is more’ philosophy. One is good, but two, three or four are better! Layer vertically for maximum impact, and be creative with your citing. For example, don’t neglect that over-the-WC storage option or any other small/awkward wall spaces that could easily add to a bathroom’s decorative appeal.

Open storage glass shleves
I love how The Tap End has incorporated our Pier Glass open storage shelves, 40cm,  from £56 each including the brackets, into this bathroom design. The Pier collection is available in Clear, Black and Bronze, to complement both classic and contemporary bathroom colour schemes

On reflection

All the best bathroom storage ideas include a dash of versatility. If your clients are fans of multi-functionality, allow me to introduce our Dockside Mirror with Open Shelving. With open shelving on both sides, this piece doesn’t just look super stylish, it’s practical too. The shelving instantly allows easy access for all those frequent-use upscale unguents. And thanks to its slimline design, it’s perfect for compact bathrooms or awkward spaces. Think over the basin, above, or even beside the WC. For larger rooms, why not do the double? A matching pair looks fabulous!

I think the Dockside’s black frame works especially well with a timeless monochrome design, to offset paler pastels or even to complement an industrial aesthetic. With no fewer than three integral shelves, there’s plenty of scope to experiment with any items you plan to showcase.

Open Storage Docklands
Image Credit:  Lauren Sutton @bylaurendesign Head of Design Hub at Virtual Worlds
The best of both worlds: our Dockside Mirror Storage, featuring a black coated steel frame, incorporates three open shelves at both sides, 30cm by 60cm, £230. It delivers a chic, yet practical, twist on a traditional bathroom storage idea

Mix and match

For bigger bathrooms, mixing and matching is a wonderful way to really make a feature with different bathroom storage ideas. The ability to incorporate recessed spaces and built-in options needn’t exclude additional open units and/or shelving, too. Using different formats from the same collection – such as our Pier Glass 4 Box Rectangular Shelf and our Pier Glass 4 Box Square Shelf – is one way to maximise all available space, while maintaining a cohesive look.

Pier Glass Box Shelf 70 - Clear
Combining a selection of shapes and sizes, our Pier Glass 4 collection is a clever way to introduce different open storage options to the space available, ensuring a harmonious look, that still features a dash of variety

We’ve been transforming bathrooms for more than 25 years. If you’d like more advice about different bathroom storage ideas, call 020 8599 8080 or email: