How to Decorate Bathroom Shelves – A Comprehensive Guide

Bathroom shelves are an essential element of any bathroom, providing much-needed storage and decorative space. However, it can be challenging to know where to start. With a little planning and creativity, you can transform them into stylish and functional storage solutions. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you through everything you need to know about decorating your bathroom shelves.

Assessing Your Needs

Before you start decorating, it’s important to assess your needs to ensure that you create a functional storage solution. Think about what items you use on a daily basis and need to have readily available, and what items you only use occasionally and can be stored elsewhere. Consider the number of people who will be using the bathroom and their storage needs. For example, if you have children, you may need to create a separate section for their toiletries and toys.

Another important factor to consider when assessing your needs is the available space. Take measurements of the area where you plan to install your shelves and consider the dimensions of the items you plan to store. This will help you determine how many shelves you need and what size they should be.

By assessing your needs carefully, you can create a storage solution that is both functional and visually appealing. Take your time when selecting shelves and materials, and don’t be afraid to get creative with decorative touches. Remember, a well-organized and attractive bathroom can make your daily routine much more enjoyable.

Choosing Your Style

Whether you prefer a modern, minimalist look or a more traditional, cozy feel, there are countless ways to create a storage solution that fits your style.

One of the first decisions you’ll need to make when choosing your style is the type of shelving you want to use. There are several types to choose from, including floating shelves, built-in shelves, and corner shelves. Floating shelves provide a modern and sleek look, while built-in shelves can provide a more seamless and custom look. Other than that, corner shelves are a great option for maximizing space in small bathrooms.

Once you’ve decided on the type you want to use, it’s time to choose your materials. The material you choose will depend on your personal style and the overall aesthetic of your bathroom. Wooden shelves add warmth and texture and can work well in bathrooms with a more traditional or rustic feel. Glass shelves provide a modern and sleek look and can work well in contemporary bathrooms. Chrome and stainless steel finishes work well in modern and industrial-style bathrooms, while brass and bronze finishes add a vintage touch.

Moreover, consider the color and finish of your bathroom fixtures, such as your faucets, towel bars, and lighting. Choosing shelves with a complementary finish can help tie the look of your bathroom together and create a cohesive design.

Planning Your Space

The first step in planning your space is to take measurements of the area where you want to install your shelves. Measure the length, width, and height of the space to determine how many shelves you can fit and what size they should be. Consider the height of your tallest items, such as bottles of shampoo and conditioner, to ensure that your shelves are spaced far enough apart to accommodate them.

On top of that, consider the layout of your bathroom and the flow of traffic. Ensure that your shelves are installed in a location that is easily accessible and doesn’t block any doors or walkways. If you have a small bathroom, consider installing shelves above the toilet or in unused corners to maximize your storage space.

Another important factor to consider is the type of items you have to keep on your shelves. Think about your daily routine and the items you use most often. Keep things you use daily, such as toothbrushes and hand soap, in a prominent location for easy access. But items you use less frequently, such as extra towels or cleaning supplies, can be stored on higher shelves or in decorative baskets to keep them organized and out of sight.

Finally, consider the overall aesthetic of your bathroom. Think about the style and color scheme and choose shelves and decorative touches that complement the space. For example, if you have a modern bathroom with clean lines and neutral colors, consider using floating shelves with minimalist decor. If you have a more traditional bathroom with warm colors and textured finishes, consider using wooden shelves with decorative baskets or vintage-style accents.

Organizing Your Items

Decorate Bathroom Shelves

Once you have assessed your needs, chosen your style, and planned your space, it’s time to start organizing your items on your bathroom shelves. The key to effective organization is to create a system that makes it easy for you to find what you need quickly while keeping the space looking neat and tidy.

The first step in organizing your items is to group them by category. Grouping similar items together makes it easy to find what you need quickly and helps prevent clutter from accumulating. Some common categories for bathroom items include toiletries, towels, cleaning supplies, and makeup.

Another helpful organizing tip is to use containers to keep small items together. For example, use a small tray or dish to keep your toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss together. This not only keeps your items organized, but it also adds a decorative touch to your shelves. You can also use small baskets or containers to store hair accessories or makeup.

If you have limited shelf space, consider using stacking or tiered organizers to maximize your storage space. These organizers can be used to store items like towels or toiletries in a compact and visually appealing way.

When organizing your items, don’t forget to regularly purge any items that are no longer needed or expired. This not only keeps your shelves looking tidy, but it also prevents clutter from accumulating and ensures that you are only using fresh and effective products.

Adding Decorative Touches

Decorative elements are what take your bathroom shelves from functional to fabulous. Here are some tips and ideas to help you add those finishing touches:

  1. Use Plants: Adding a plant or two is a great way to add a natural element to your space. Not only do plants add a pop of color, but they also help purify the air in your bathroom. Choose plants that thrive in low light and high humidity, such as snake plants or ferns.
  2. Incorporate Artwork: If you have some wall space above your shelves, consider hanging a piece of artwork to add visual interest. Choose artwork that complements your color scheme and style. Alternatively, you can prop up a small piece of art on one of your shelves.
  3. Play with Textures: Adding texture to your shelves is an easy way to add visual interest. Consider incorporating items with different textures, such as woven baskets, ceramic vases, or fluffy towels. Mixing and matching textures will give your shelves a layered look.
  4. Use Decorative Containers: Decorative containers are not only functional but can also add a stylish touch to your shelves. Consider using decorative jars or canisters to store items like cotton balls or Q-tips. You can also use decorative trays or baskets to corral smaller items together.
  5. Use Scented Candles: Scented candles not only add a decorative touch to your shelves, but they also help create a relaxing and spa-like atmosphere. Choose a scent that complements your bathroom’s overall style and color scheme.

Remember, when adding decorative touches, less is often more. Don’t overcrowd your shelves with too many items, as it can quickly become cluttered. Instead, choose a few key items that complement your style and color scheme. By incorporating these tips and ideas, you can create a visually appealing and functional bathroom shelf display.

Lighting Your Shelves

  1. Use Accent Lighting: Accent lighting is a type of lighting that is used to highlight specific areas or items in your space. If you have decorative items on your bathroom shelves that you want to highlight, consider using accent lighting to draw attention to them. You can use LED strip lights, puck lights, or even small spotlights to achieve this effect.
  2. Incorporate Natural Light: If your bathroom has a window, take advantage of the natural light it provides. Make sure your shelves are not blocking the window and allow the natural light to flood your space. You can also choose to install sheer or light-filtering window treatments to diffuse the light and create a soft, spa-like atmosphere.
  3. Choose Bulbs Carefully: When choosing light bulbs, consider their color temperature. Warm white or soft white bulbs create a cozy and inviting atmosphere, while cool white or daylight bulbs provide a brighter and more energizing light. It’s also important to choose bulbs that are dimmable, so you can adjust the lighting as needed.
  4. Add Decorative Lighting: Decorative lighting can add a stylish touch to your bathroom. Consider using a string of fairy lights to create a cozy and whimsical atmosphere. You can also use decorative lanterns or candle holders to add a warm glow to your space.
  5. Use Mirrors: Mirrors can help reflect and amplify the light in your bathroom, making your shelves appear brighter and more spacious. Consider positioning your shelves near a mirror to take advantage of this effect.

Remember, when it comes to lighting your bathroom shelves, it’s important to strike a balance between function and style. Choose lighting that complements your overall style and color scheme, while also providing ample lighting for your tasks. By incorporating these tips, you can create a well-lit and stylish bathroom shelf display.

Maintenance and Cleaning

Maintenance and Cleaning in a bathroom

Maintaining and cleaning is an important part of keeping your bathroom organized and hygienic. Here are some tips to help you keep your shelves in top condition:

  1. Regular Cleaning: Regular cleaning is the key to keeping your bathroom shelves clean and organized. Wipe down your shelves with a damp cloth or microfiber cloth to remove any dust, dirt, or grime. If your shelves are made of wood or other porous materials, avoid using harsh cleaning products that can damage the surface. Instead, use a gentle, non-toxic cleaner like vinegar or a mild soap and water solution.
  2. Deep Cleaning: In addition to regular cleaning, it’s important to deep clean at least once or twice a year. Remove all items from your shelves and clean them thoroughly with a gentle cleaner. Be sure to pay extra attention to the corners and crevices, as these areas can easily accumulate dirt and grime. Once you’ve cleaned your shelves, dry them thoroughly with a clean cloth or let them air dry completely before replacing your items.
  3. Prevent Water Damage: Water damage can be a major problem in bathrooms, especially if your shelves are located near a shower or bathtub. To prevent water damage, make sure your shelves are properly sealed and waterproof. If your shelves are made of wood, consider applying a waterproof sealant to protect them from water damage. Decorate Bathroom Shelves
  4. Address Mold and Mildew: Mold and mildew can quickly grow in damp and humid environments, such as bathrooms. To prevent mold and mildew from growing on your bathroom shelves, make sure your bathroom is properly ventilated. Use a fan or open a window after showering to help remove moisture from the air. If you do notice mold or mildew growing on your shelves, clean them immediately with a bleach solution or another mold and mildew cleaner.

By following these tips, you can keep your bathroom organized, clean, and in top condition. Regular maintenance and cleaning can help prevent damage and keep your shelves looking their best for years to come. Decorate Bathroom Shelves

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about decorating bathroom shelves:

1.     What are the best materials for bathroom shelves?

The best materials depend on your personal preferences and the overall style of your bathroom. Some popular options include glass, metal, wood, and plastic. Glass shelves are sleek and modern, while wooden shelves can add warmth and texture. Metal shelves are durable and easy to clean, and plastic shelves are affordable and lightweight. Decorate Bathroom Shelves

2.     How many shelves should I have in my bathroom?

The number of shelves you need in your bathroom depends on the amount of storage space you require and the size of your bathroom. In a smaller bathroom, one or two shelves may be sufficient, while in a larger bathroom, you may need more shelves to accommodate all your items. Decorate Bathroom Shelves

3.     How do I keep my bathroom shelves from looking cluttered?

To keep them from looking cluttered, use storage baskets or containers to keep smaller items contained and prevent them from falling over or getting lost. You can also use shelf dividers to keep your items separated and organized. Additionally, only display items that you use regularly and avoid overcrowding your shelves with unnecessary items. Decorate Bathroom Shelves

4.     What types of decorative items should I put on my bathroom shelves?

The types of decorative items you should put depend on your personal style and preferences. Some popular options include candles, plants, decorative bottles or jars, and artwork. You can also display items that have a practical use, such as a stylish soap dispenser or toothbrush holder. Decorate Bathroom Shelves

5.     How can I add more storage space to my bathroom without taking up more floor space?

There are several ways to add more storage space to your bathroom without taking up more floor space. One option is to install floating shelves on the walls. Another option is to use an over-the-toilet storage unit or a vertical storage tower. You can also use hooks or baskets to hang towels and other items. Decorate Bathroom Shelves

6.     How do I choose the right lighting for my bathroom shelves?

When choosing lighting, consider the overall style of your bathroom and the amount of natural light in the space. If your bathroom has minimal natural light, consider using LED lights or a bright light fixture to help illuminate your shelves. If your bathroom has plenty of natural light, you may want to choose a softer lighting option to create a relaxing atmosphere.

7.     How can I incorporate live plants into my bathroom shelf decor?

Live plants can add a refreshing touch to your bathroom shelves. However, it’s important to choose plants that can thrive in a humid environment. Some great options include ferns, spider plants, and pothos. You can also consider using hanging planters or wall-mounted planters to save shelf space. Just be sure to water your plants regularly and provide them with adequate light to keep them healthy. Decorate Bathroom Shelves

By following these tips and answers to frequently asked questions, you can create beautiful and functional shelves that suit your personal style and storage needs.


Decorating bathroom shelves can be a fun and rewarding project, providing both function and style to your bathroom space. By assessing your needs, choosing the right shelving materials, and planning your space carefully, you can create a functional and visually appealing storage solution. Don’t be afraid to get creative with decorative touches, and remember to regularly maintain and clean your shelves for long-term use.