Whether you’re one of the lucky few who has a bathroom with ample space and multiple sinks, or you’re the kind of person whose bathroom feels more like a closet with plumbing (we’re right there with you), you can’t deny that bathroom storage is an endless battle. More often than not, mirrored medicine cabinets don’t store much more than a toothbrush, and under-the-sink storage is more or less a chaotic bottomless pit.
But the storage solutions out there aren’t much better. Those old-fashioned over-the-toilet shelving units are never very aesthetically pleasing. And if you go entirely for aesthetics, you end up with a “storage” ladder that doesn’t do much more than adding an element of rustic style to your space. It's a rough terrain to navigate.
But stylish and functional bathroom storage is possible; it just takes a little creativity. Meet our favorite bathroom storage solution of all: floating storage shelves. They’re functional, they’re stylish, and if you do them right, they can look just like something you’d find on your Pinterest feed. Plus, without brackets or bulky hardware, they're pretty streamlined, so you can fit them in any small space.
Don't just take out word for it, though–check out these 15 floating shelf ideas that prove they deserve a place in anyone's bathroom.
The Traditional Take
Floating shelves come in many shapes and sizes, but there’s nothing wrong with the classic. This thick dark wood option is minimally invasive, but it serves up maximal style. It’s a sturdy choice that you know can hold almost anything, whether it’s your spare hand towels or your heavy glass jars holding your bath products.
With bathrooms, simplicity reigns supreme. That’s why it’s a fitting place for metallic decorations. Here we love the effortless design of these golden metal shelves. They are the perfect place to display plants, photo frames, or even skincare products. The bonus rod at the bottom for draping a hand towel is an additional bonus.
Embrace the Monochromatic
If your goal is to keep the floating shelf concept discreet, then choose shelves that match the rest of your bathroom. This gray bathroom uses two separate shelves to hold decorative items, rolled-up extra towels, and bath products. The gray color allows them to blend in despite their thick design, which is the perfect understated choice.
Keep Your Items Secure
A traditional floating shelf is wonderful, don’t get us wrong. But sometimes we’re afraid of things rolling off the edge and shattering—especially that one glass serum bottle we splurged for at Sephora. To avoid any mishaps, go for a floating wicker option with bars to secure things in place while also adding a charming boho vibe.
Fake a Built-In
Built-in shelves are the dream—but unless your landlord is your BFF, you probably don’t have such amenities ready for you when you move in. Instead, get the same look by outfitting a bathroom nook with floating shelves in a light stained wood or a coordinating color to your wall. No one will be able to tell the difference.
Keep Things Close By
We’ve all been there: we’re washing our face and forget a hair tie to pull back our loose ends, or we forget to grab the face lotion from our bedroom vanity. The solution: a small floating ledge that fits right in between the sink and mirror. It’s the perfect space to store small necessities from soap bottles to toothpaste—and of course, a few hair ties.
Go for Glass Shelves
Wood options are the typical go-to, but you shouldn't count out glass shelves. Especially in an almost entirely white bathroom like this one, glass shelves truly create a floating illusion that brings more attention to your dećor rather than itself. Choose a glass option if you want to hang them higher up on the wall–the transparency will allow items to be seen from below and won't block the view.
Experiment with Different Support Ideas
The whole concept of a floating shelf is to give ample storage without having bulky support underneath–but there are plenty of support ideas to choose from. For example, this bathroom has a simple light wooden shelf balanced on two white circular rods, which add a minimalist and approachable effect to the room.
Try an All Black Shelf for a Dramatic Flair
If your goal is to add a bold effect to your bathroom, try floating shelves that are entirely black. While white and wooden options can feel more cohesive, implementing black shelves allows them to stand out–especially in a bathroom like this one that only has minimal black accents. If you want storage that makes a statement, this is the choice for you.
Add a Shelf Inside Your Bathroom Nook
Bathroom layouts come in all shapes and sizes and can come with advantages and disadvantages. While a bathroom nook does add some additional privacy, it can also not leave much of an option for storage–which is where a simple floating shelf comes into play. Adding one over your toilet to hold a few simple items can be a great addition, and bonus points if you include one against a creative backdrop the way Laquita Tate Styling and Designs did here.
Add Some Storage Under the Sink
We typically associate floating shelves with being placed on the wall at eye level or above, but that doesn't have to be the case. Placing one in an unexpected place–like under the sink–can be a great way to add extra storage and be subtle about it. Whether you use it for towels or other toiletries, it still creates an open and spacious appearance while holding your essentials in the process.
Stick to a Color Theme
If you’re looking to treat your shelves as decor instead of storage, we love the idea of incorporating a color theme. Here, the white shelving coordinates well with the gray and white decorative accents. The three-tier layering and placement between the mirrors give these shelves maximum decorative impact, and we're living for 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 know: not all bathrooms are lucky enough to have natural light. Some don’t even have windows. But we’d be lying if we said shelves aren’t the perfect opportunity for some plant decoration. It’s okay if they’re fake—it’s the look you’re going for here.
Hang One Over Your Tub
If you happen to have a freestanding tub, give your bubbles, bath salts, and dry brushes a place to live until they’re needed. A shelf like this one is within enough proximity that you can access your bathing essentials without getting out of the tub. Bonus: it doubles as a place to set your phone so you don’t accidentally get anything wet.