10 bathroom ideas you never knew you needed

Multiple shower gel and shampoo bottles, plus towels that never seem to look good anywhere you place them? Do you agree that bathrooms are some of the most difficult spaces to keep tidy and clutter-free? I feel ya. It might seem an impossible mission to create a practical, yet stylish bathroom design at first given that most of our bathrooms are spatially lacking, but don’t worry, we’ve come with plenty ideas to your rescue. Some of these are so clever, even I’m wondering why I’ve never thought of them before…

From extra storage and layered vanity units to discreet heating solutions and water-saving products, with the help of journalist Alison Davidson, we’ve rounded up our top ten clever design ideas for your bathroom to help you maximise the space you have available.

A multi-purpose vanity unit
Sometimes it’s the simple things that can make our lives easier, such as vanity units that have accessories already built in to them. This birch-effect vanity unit has a copper frame, which includes a towel rail – a clever and chic-looking idea, perfect for drying your hands without dripping water all over the floor. The range also includes an open shelving unit that gives the illusion of space, ideal for smaller rooms. Plus, it has been wall-mounted to make it easy to clean beneath – they’ve really thought of everything, right? 
Clever design

You can hang a large mirror with the same copper rounded edges, vertically or horizontally, to complete the look. Vogue copper vanity unit, from £545; floor-standing leg set, from £195; Reversible copper mirror, £165; Tall open shelf unit, £235, all from Frontline Bathrooms.

A mini basin (within a basin)
I know we’re all trying to do that little bit more for the environment, so if you often find yourself thinking – ‘I only need a small amount of water, why am I filling up the whole basin?’,  then this is for you. The grid is a smaller version of the larger basin, in the same contemporary style, which sits inside. To save water, you can simply fill the Grid rather than the whole basin for that morning shave or washing make-up brushes.
Clever bathroom design

The Grid, washbasin with water container from £665.15; Flow single lever basin mixer in matt black from £196.65 Cosmic.

An all-singing all-in-one unit
Make your bathroom feel unique with an accessory personalised to your needs like the Juno unit, made up of a system of mirrors and Magneto metallic accessories that can be positioned anywhere on the surface of the mirror or mounted on the wall.  You can go for open-fronted storage boxes in different sizes for products, shelves, soap dishes, tumbler holders and towel rails – anything you could want and need from your bathroom’s design.
Clever bathroom layout

Juno wall-mounted unit in Titanium grey lacquer; Juno vanity unit in Komi Elm textured melamine, all from £5000, Scavolini, a great design for an ensuite to your master bedroom.

Storage with a twist
Do you need that extra storage in your bathroom? Choose a statement design to match your bathroom, like the Nest Trendy laundry unit which is practical and has a designer look. This unit can be concealed in your vanity unit and it slides out to reveal plenty of storage space – plus, it’s on wheels for easy access. You can store your spare towels or cleaning products to maintain a tidy bathroom.
Bathroom storage

Get that extra storage with the Nest 80cm Trendy laundry unit with wheels in waved natural wood, £523, from Vitra.

Easy access and double duty
Give your mirror storage a modern twist. This compact unit has a mirror on the front and three concealed shelves behind, so it’s perfect for hiding toiletries that you don’t want on display, like that bright mouthwash that doesn’t really go with your bathroom’s aesthetic. This is also a great choice for a cloakroom or smaller bathroom as it’s compact and wall-mounted
Bathroomm cabinet

Apart from having a clutter-free bathroom, the Cubiko Bathroom Cabinet, £80, from Store is a great way to keep any dangerous liquids out of reach, if you have small children.

The storage nook
If you have a smaller bathroom, it is important to maximise your space with a clever bathroom design that not only looks great but also keeps the space clutter-free. For example, this wall-mounted shelf holds all your essentials – such as hand wash, soap and toothbrush, while keeping the sink looking clean.

Alape black shelf with soap dispenser, £183.60; Durasquare basin, £478.80 and basin frame in matt black, £582 both Duravit; Dornbracht Tara mono basin mixer in matt black, £769.56 all West One Bathrooms.

The discreet heating solution
If underfloor heating isn’t for you, pick a heat solution that takes up little space, like this sleek slim-line radiator with its rounded edges in subtle a ice-blue shade. It takes up little room and when facing the wall, it creates the ideal focal point in shower areaHowever, the real hero is the towel bracket, which not only does it add a designer touch but it means you’ll have  a warm towel within reach – I need that! 

Go for a stylish design like the Niva radiator in Pigeon Blue, from £491, towel bracket, from £152.40, Vasco.

The retractable towel radiator
Make your radiators work harder and combine heating with towel warming and extra storage. This model looks like a standard ladder towel rail but the top section lifts up on a hinge to create a shelf where you can store, hang or stack towels, or any clothing for that matter. It’s a great solution if you don’t have access to outside space to dry clothes or live in a small flat where there isn’t room to put up a laundry hanging rack

Heating, towel warming and extra storage? Yes please! Comby heated towel rail from £241.20 Vogue.

Good lighting
Something you need to think about early on in a bathroom project is where the electrics will go, especially the lighting – from ceiling spotlights or lights above, or either side of the mirror – I know, so many options! But you don’t want to spoil that newly plastered wall or have to chip off tiles at a later stage if you change your mind. This stylish strip light above the mirror is perfect if you’re looking to create a more industrial look. The one essential thing is to make sure any lighting is rated IP44 to make sure it meets UK safety regulations in bathrooms – we have a guide right here to help you get your bathroom lighting right. 
Clever bathroom design

Create an industrial look with the Cabus bathroom light, from £345, Christopher Wray.  Christopherwray.com

Simple, but effective hooks
There is nothing worse than having to step out of a nice, warm shower and making puddles on the floor to get the towel, so hooks are a brilliant idea to have towels, your robe or the back brush close by. Small and stylish, they are strategically placed within easy reach, just outside the shower enclosure. You could also put additional hooks near the basin for hand towels, face cloths and other necessities.
Bathroom essentials

Have you essentials close by with the Urban C Robe Hook, £54 each, Porcelanosa.

You may also enjoy: 5 ways to get a hi-tech bathroom (without the gimmicks)

Featured image: iStock/ alvarez

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