Corner shelf ideas for a small bathroom

Written by hannah wahlig
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Corner shelf ideas for a small bathroom
Corner shelves take advantage of the limited space available in small bathrooms. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Small bathrooms present homeowners with significant design challenges, and finding the space for adequate storage can be particularly difficult. Corner shelves are a space-saving option for small bathrooms because they utilise an often underused area in the bathroom. Choosing the right types of shelves and the proper location for your corner shelves will ensure that they are both practical and stylish additions to your small bathroom design.


Corner shelves are particularly useful for creating storage in the nooks of a small bathroom. One of the most convenient locations for corner shelves is around the toilet area. Toilets are often tucked into semi-private sections of the bathroom that are too small for regular shelving. Toilet corner shelves are useful for storing extra toilet paper, rolled towels or toiletries that don't comfortably fit into your medicine cabinet. You can also consider adding corner shelves above the sink to provide extra space for high-use toiletries like toothbrushes or make-up. Above-sink storage is valuable especially if your bathroom is too small to accommodate a standard vanity.

Free-standing Shelves

Free-standing corner shelves provide flexibility in case you ever decide you want to remodel or rearrange your space. Free-standing wooden units with built-in cabinets offer significant storage space and cater to country or traditional styles, but they are often bulky and may come assembled, making them hard to manoeuvre into small spaces. More modern corner shelving units use a minimal amount of materials, typically metal or wire frames with three or four wooden triangular shelves, so that they are light and easy to move. Minimalist corner shelves allow wall space behind the shelves to show through, creating the illusion of more open wall space.

Wall-mounted Shelves

Wall-mounted corner shelves are valuable to homeowners with small bathrooms because they don't take up any floor space. Wall-mounted shelves are completely customisable in terms of their placement. You might opt to place three shelves in a corner near the toilet for storing extra toilet tissue, or you might keep one shelf near the toilet and install another near the sink depending on your storage needs and space availability. Wall-mounted corner shelves are also a simple way to add a touch of your personal style to your small space. A small corner shelf near your toilet can hold a single-stem vase with fresh flowers or a small framed picture. Though the small details add significant design elements to the space, they don't compromise the perceived size of the room.

Shelf Designs

Though corner shelves are largely functional, they also provide an opportunity for expressing your personal design tastes. Traditional corner shelves complement a formal bathroom; look for shelves with decorative edging in natural wood that matches the other moulding in your bathroom. For more modern or contemporary spaces, metal or metal-coated shelves offer a reflective surface that will keep the space feeling airy and light while maintaining the industrial-inspired design. For a spa-like feel, glass or frosted glass corner shelves provide space for storage without making the space feel small or cluttered. Though most corner shelves are triangular with a curved front edge, you can also create your own version of corner shelves with short, rectangular wall-mounted bookshelves. When you are placing the shelves, arrange them so that they alternate between each wall that forms the corner to create a staggered corner shelf.

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