How to achieve a beautiful functional bathroom

Say goodbye to toiletries lining the bath edge, overcrowded vanities, and clothes ‘hung’ on the floor with these great ideas that will turn your bathroom into a beautifully functional and clutter-free space


Romeo shelf, $169.99, from Ezibuy. Bentley shelf, $109, from Ezibuy.

Smart storage

Your bathroom should be a clean, calm and uncluttered space. It is the place where you prepare yourself for the day and where you get ready to call it a night. While the majority of bathrooms have a vanity, the more storage you can include, the better – and this is doubly true for those who have pedestal basins rather than vanities. Make the most of the space with these easy storage tips, which will make your bathroom super-organised and functional, while keeping the look fuss-free and stylish.


1 Recessed wall cabinets

Increase the storage for toiletries and medicines in your bathroom without obstructing the flow of the room with a recessed bathroom cabinet. These are harder to install in an existing room but something to consider if you’re designing a brand new bathroom. A recessed cabinet sits inside the wall cavity and generally has mirrored doors which open up. All your small bathroom items, such as shavers, toothbrushes and toothpaste etc, can be kept off the vanity top, making for a clutter-free and tidy space.


1. Vigo wide shelves in white, $99.95, from Mocka. 2. Leather strap shelf, $129, from Shut The Front Door. 3. Medium button shelf, $545, from Bauhaus.

2 Open and closed shelving

If your bathroom lacks storage space, consider adding a freestanding or wall-hanging cabinet or shelves. This way you can keep everything you need right at your fingertips – but off your vanity top. If you opt for open shelving, you’ll need to keep the items on display tidily arranged; they look even better if they are colour-coordinated.

A wall-hanging shelf or cabinet is a great way to make use of vertical wall space – often underutilised in a bathroom – and free up the floor. A clear expanse of floor is soothing to the eye and makes the room feel organised.

If you prefer to have things hidden from sight, there are plenty of closed shelving options on the market.


Canisters, $8 tall, $6 short, from Kmart.

3 Canisters

While canisters may be more associated with kitchens, they are also great for storing all your bathroom bits and bobs such as cotton buds and balls, make-up pads, nail polish and make-up brushes, to name just a few. Place on your vanity or on a handy shelf.


4 Wall baskets

Adding storage to a bathroom needn’t mean going for built-in. Grab a couple of wire baskets and hang them on your wall. If you’re not storing anything too heavy in them, you should be able to support them with just a couple of nails or screws. A group of them on a wall will also add a decorative element in your bathroom. Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best!


Over-the-door towel rack, $17, from Kmart.

5 Over-the-door hangers

If you are not keen on putting holes in your tiled walls but need multiple hooks for hanging towels and robes, then door-hanging hooks are a great storage choice. They normally come in an eight-hook option which simply hooks over the top of the door – no hammer required!


Three-element Componibili in black, $276, from Kartell

6 Multi-purpose furniture 

We love multi-purpose furniture that works in a variety of spaces. One versatile item which translates well to a bathroom is the round storage unit. These plastic numbers with sliding doors and rimmed tops look great and come in varying sizes and colours, making them perfect for a powder room or small ensuite. Versions of these popular items are available from a wide range of retailers.


Muuto dots, $220 set of five, from Bauhaus.

7 Hooks

Whether it’s somewhere to hang towels, or your bathrobe and clothes while bathing, hooks are a simple bathroom storage solution. You could match them to your tapware or go for ones with a bit of personality and colour – either way, they can make all the difference when it comes to getting your bathroom sorted. If your towels will be displayed in this way, be sure to choose ones that will complement the overall design theme of your bathroom.


Decorative ladder, $29, from Kmart.

8 Towel ladders 

If your bathroom doesn’t have a heated towel rail, re-purposing an old ladder or purchasing a towel ladder might be the perfect alternative. As ladders are slim and tall, they are great for fitting into a corner or a narrow space behind a bath or next to the shower. If the ladder is stood at enough of an angle, each towel will be able to dry in its own space.


Nkuku metal and wicker basket, $119, from Perch Home.

9 Baskets

Baskets can really prove to be your best friend in the bathroom. Positioning a stylish basket beside the bathtub puts the towels just where you need them and adds a visual element to the room. Baskets are also great for storing toilet rolls, spare towels and kids’ bath toys.


Bamboo bathroom cabinet with adjustable shelf, $29, from Kmart.

10 Shoe organisers 

Think outside the square when it comes to storage solutions – shoe organisers, for example, are not just for shoes! Use these handy items in the bathroom for storing everything from make-up to styling tools and any other beauty products that need a home. If you don’t want to see the organiser, simply place it behind the door or on the wall behind the door.

Words by: Vanessa Nouwens; Photography supplied by: Ezibuy, Maree Homer/

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