Having ample storage in a small bathroom can seem like an impossible feat. With minimal floor space and limited wall areas, finding places to tuck away towels, toiletries, and other necessities often requires getting creative. This is where built-in storage can be a small bathroom’s saving grace.

Cleverly designed built-ins can maximize every nook and cranny, transforming your petite bath into an organizational haven. From vanities with pull-out drawers to medicine cabinets with hidden storage, there are plenty of built-in options that can help tackle your bathroom’s storage woes. Keep reading to discover how incorporating built-ins can help boost storage in your small bathroom.

Choosing Built-In Storage for Small Bathrooms

When selecting built-ins for your small bath, opting for customized storage is key. This allows every inch of available space to be utilized based on your specific needs. Here are some of the most popular built-in options to consider:


Your vanity offers prime real estate for enhancing your bathroom’s storage capabilities. Look for a wall-mounted vanity or one with a narrow depth to maximize floor space. Incorporate drawers, open shelving, and cabinets to stash away items. Pull-out drawers are great for keeping things organized and easy to access. For a unique touch, have drawers custom built to fit specific items like hair dryers or curling irons.

Medicine Cabinets

Medicine cabinets provide discreet storage behind the mirror. Look for one with adjustable shelves and storage nooks to accommodate tall bottles. Consider having one custom built with features like hidden compartments or integrated electrical outlets for devices. For safety, make sure it is installed at a height for easy access.

Niches and Cubbies

Take advantage of the often underutilized space between studs with custom niches and cubbies. These shallow openings can be used to store toilet paper rolls, extra toiletries, and smaller bathroom essentials. Have them built into walls, corners, or wherever unused space allows.


Shelving adds both storage and display space in your small bathroom’s tight quarters. Floating shelves take advantage of vertical wall space while eliminating visual clutter from brackets. Corner shelves maximize awkward spaces and recessed shelving built into walls also expands storage possibilities. Glass-fronted display shelving allows you to creatively showcase favorite decorative items.

Built-In Vanity Ideas for Small Bathrooms

Your vanity can make or break your petite bath’s storage situation. Choosing the right size and style is essential for maximizing its storage potential. Consider these vanity ideas to boost functionality in your small bathroom:

Drawer Storage

Incorporate drawers into your vanity design to hold necessities like makeup, hair products, medications, and toiletries. Multiple shallow drawers work better than fewer deep ones, which can make items get lost in the back. Consider having a couple wide drawers built for larger items like blow dryers and flat irons. For ease of access, include pulls on drawers and cabinets.

Open Shelving

Complement drawers with open shelving in your vanity to display decorative items or daily essentials you want to easily grab. Built-in ladder shelves add visual appeal while providing organizing space. Make sure items on open shelving can handle the moisture.

Narrow Vanities

A vanity with a narrow depth is a great option for small bathrooms. The minimal footprint still allows floor space to open up while you gain the storage and counter area a vanity provides. For more functionality, look for one with cabinets, drawers or open shelving.

Wall-Mounted Vanities

Wall mounted vanities with floating bases are a smart choice for compact bathrooms. Since they don’t sit on the floor, they create the illusion of more space while eliminating hard to reach toe-kick areas. Opt for open shelving or closed storage to meet your needs.

Towel Storage

Incorporate designated towel storage into your vanity design. Built-in pull-out towel rods or open shelving fitted for folded towels keeps them off the floor and within arm’s reach. Cabinets can also be customized to accommodate folded towels.

Built-In Medicine Cabinet Ideas

Your medicine cabinet can be one of the most underutilized areas in your small bathroom’s storage scheme. Make the most of this hidden space with these clever ideas:

Optimize Shelving

Have adjustable shelves built into your medicine cabinet so you can customize storage. This allows you to accommodate tall bottles as well as small items like cosmetics. Consider glass shelving to easily see contents.

Built-In Electrical Outlets

Integrate electrical outlets inside your medicine cabinet to store devices like electric toothbrushes while they recharge. This frees up precious counter space while keeping cords neatly concealed.

Custom Storage Nooks

Have your medicine cabinet designed with specific storage nooks built in for customized organization. This could include narrow vertical spaces for toothbrush storage or small shelving fitted for contact cases.

Hidden Storage Compartments

For discreet storage, add hidden compartments to your medicine cabinet. Great for stashing away valuables or private items, spring-loaded compartments lend a bit of intrigue. Just make sure you can easily remember how to access it!

Angled Cabinet Fronts

Installing your medicine cabinet at an angle in corners allows for easier access and visibility. The angled front provides better sight lines so you can easily see and reach contents. Bonus points if the mirror is also angled for checking yourself out!

Pull-Out Storage

Swing-out medicine cabinets with pull-out storage provide the best accessibility in small baths. Cabinet doors that completely open out of the way along with pull-out mirrored trays allow you to fully see and easily access contents.

Creative Built-In Niche Ideas

Take advantage of the narrow spaces between wall studs by incorporating specialty built-in niches and cubbies. Here are some inventive ways to utilize them:

Toilet Paper Storage

Design a narrow niche specifically sized to hold a few spare rolls of toilet paper. Discreetly keep extra rolls hidden but within reach. For easy access, build the niche into the wall or side of a vanity near the toilet.

Corner Shelves

Fit narrow shelving into tight corner spots to stash toiletries, candles, or small decorative items. The shelves can be open or enclosed with cabinet doors. For flexibility, make shelves adjustable.

Wastebasket Niche

Dedicate a niche next to the toilet or vanity to hold a small wastebasket. This keeps it out of sight but conveniently accessible. Have it built right into the wall or incorporate a discreet cabinet door.

Bathroom Scale Niche

Build a ledge niche fitted for your bathroom scale at floor level along the wall. This creates a designated home for your scale while keeping it out of the main foot traffic path.

Extra Toilet Paper Holder

Utilize an awkward space to install an additional toilet paper holder as a backup. Construct a built-in niche fitted with a spindle to discreetly house extra rolls within arm’s reach.

Shampoo Niche

Design a narrow opening fitted for shampoo and conditioner bottles. Have this built right into your shower wall so bath products can be kept organized and at your fingertips.

Clever Built-In Shelf Ideas

Shelving adds both style and storage capability to your small bathroom. Get inspired by these creative built-in shelf concepts:

Floating Corner Shelves

Make use of awkward corner spaces by installing floating corner shelves. Great for storing toiletries or decorative objects, they maximize vertical storage without cluttering floor space.

Recessed Wall Shelving

Have shallow, rectangular shelving recessed into the wall for organized storage that blends right in. Stash toiletries, extra towels, and small decor items on uniquely shaped cubbies fitted into the stud space.

Display Shelving

Incorporate glass-fronted display shelving on walls or in niches to show off decorative items with visual flair. Display colored glass bottles, rolled towels, or greenery while keeping them dust-free.

Ladder Shelves

Ladder-style shelving adds a visual element while providing a place for neatly folded towels. Have open ladder shelves custom built into vanities or walls. Make them large enough for folded bath towels.

Floating Vanity Shelving

Complement your floating vanity with matching floating shelves on each side. Great for decor or toiletries, the asymmetric shelves add stylish visual appeal. Add sconce lighting above for ambiance.

Curved End Shelves

Unique curved shelves built into corners are great for displaying decorative vases, candles, or greenery. The rounded shape softly contrasts with angled walls and allows visibility from more angles.

FAQs About Built-Ins for Small Bathrooms

What type of built-ins work best in small bathrooms?

Customized and space-saving built-ins designed specifically for your bathroom’s footprint work best. Great options include wall-mounted or floating vanities, medicine cabinets with specialized storage, pull-out drawers, open shelving, and wall niches.

How can built-ins help maximize storage in a small bathroom?

Cleverly designed built-ins allow you to make use of every inch, nook, and cranny in your bathroom. You can incorporate customized storage suited to your specific space and needs. Built-ins allow you to take advantage of awkward areas and unused voids between wall studs.

What should be kept in mind when choosing materials?

Durable moisture-resistant materials are best for the high humidity environment. Powder-coated metals, solid surface, and water-resistant treated woods are great options. Make sure drawers and cabinet hardware is rust resistant. Glass shelving allows visibility of contents.

How can I make my built-ins multifunctional?

Look for ways to design your built-ins to serve more than one purpose. For example, have open shelving double as towel storage or a medicine cabinet that can charge electric toothbrushes. Built-in seating can also serve as storage.

Should I get professionally installed custom built-ins or DIY?

Professionally customized and installed built-ins are best to ensure proper mounting and durability. However, you can also do DIY built-ins on a budget using stock cabinets and shelves secured properly into wall studs. Just keep bathroom moisture in mind.

Key Takeaways for Incorporating Built-Ins

  • Take advantage of every inch by having built-ins fully customized to your specific bathroom’s footprint and storage needs.
  • Look for dual purpose designs that allow builtins to multitask – like open shelving that stores folded towels or vanities with charging stations.
  • Make sure built-ins are thoughtfully placed based on bathroom function and traffic flow. Consider sightlines and easy access when positioning.
  • Size built-ins proportionally to fit your small bathroom’s parameters. Overscaled builtins will overwhelm while undersized ones won’t be functional.
  • Carefully consider moisture resistance and durability of materials used in your bathroom’s humid environment.


Creative use of customized built-ins can make all the difference when trying to maximize storage potential in a small bathroom. By seamlessly incorporating space-saving vanities, medicine cabinets, shelves, and niches, you can transform those tight quarters into an organizational oasis. Work with bathroom designers to create built-ins tailored to your specific needs and make the most of every square inch. With smart builtin storage solutions, you can enjoy all the function of a larger bathroom, even in the most pint-sized powder rooms.