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Is Your Bathroom Counter Bumming You Out?? Here Are The 6 Accessories That Will Level Up Your Bathroom Styling Game

Bathrooms, much like kitchens, can sometimes be overlooked and forgotten about unless a renovation is on the table. We tend to focus styling efforts on bedrooms, living rooms, and dining rooms because furniture and decor can go a long way even in the most basic, boxy style homes. When it comes to bathrooms, we are working with permanent fixtures and limited space so design paralysis can be strong. If you are staring at tile you hate or a medicine cabinet you’d like to throw in the garbage but can’t, it’s easy to just write off a bathroom altogether. Well, I am here to say that your bathroom deserves some styling love and I want to help get you there. Luckily for all of us, bathroom styling can be real simple and still pack a punch.

You guys are of course familiar with the soap dispensers, hand towels, and bath mats that are bathroom decor staples, but this is about the little extras that can make a world difference. These are not necessities but fun and stylish pieces that you may have overlooked. I am talking about 6 styling accessories that we use over and over that are both functional and stylish and are guaranteed to brighten up your bathroom and your mood. Let’s get into it:

Start With A Large Tray As A Base

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: mountain house reveal: our soft yet secretly sultry guest bed and bathroom

Think of the tray as the foundation of bathroom styling. When you use a tray for even the most simple bathroom accessories, the styling feels much more intentional. When using this method, make sure to mix and match the height and scale of your items so you can create dimension and visual interest. We love to style bathroom trays with cute vase with flowers or branches, a small canister, a little dish (for rings, etc.), and a grooming tool or two. Here are some trays we are coveting right now:

1. Leather Catchall | 2. Riad Tray | 3. Large Concrete Tray | 4. Vintage Round Tray | 5. Simone Trays | 6. Edge Plate| 7. Two of Hearts Tray | 8. Hand-painted Terra Platter | 9. Green Marble Tank Tray

I love the rustic and weathered look of #4 and think it would add some interest to a boring bathroom vanity. A brass tray like #6 is a perfect addition to a bathroom that’s lacking in pretty finishes but honestly, you can’t go wrong with any of these picks.

Layer In A Small Dish Or Bowl

To add even more depth, a small jewelry dish or bowl goes a long way and allows the jewelry you already own to act as decor. This is especially helpful if your bathroom is lacking in brass or silver finishes as you can create the illusion of metal finishes with your jewelry. If you are in need, these small cuties are our favorites right now:

1. Round Jewelry Tray | 2. Brass Curio Display Box | 3. Soapstone Bowl | 4. Metal Brass Tray | 5. Sea Biscuit Bowl (Set of 2) 6. Small Catchall Tray | 7. Concrete Jewelry Tray | 8. White Marble Cloche Base | 9. Red Clay Mini Piglet Tripot

A matte black tray such as #1 would be a great addition to a modern bathroom vanity as would #7 but if you are looking for something fun and fresh (maybe for a kid’s bathroom?) #9 is your guy.

Add A Cute Vase For Height

Vases are instrumental in bathroom styling because they add height and texture plus you can play around with whatever pattern or color you want. We love flowers in vases of course, but foraging for interesting branches outdoors is such a fun and cost-effective way to fill your vases and bring life to your bathroom. If you have the space for a larger, sculptural vase do that! But if you have limited counter space, go for a little bud vase with a single stem. All that matters is that you are creating levels (stem included). So make sure that even if it’s small, it’s still varied in height from your other countertop pieces. These are some vases that will give your bathroom style instantly:

1. Pleated Stoneware Vase | 2. Glass Bud Vases (Set of 3) | 3. Monolithic Tadelakt Vase | 4. Little Gem Vase | 5. Tiered Stoneware Vase | 6. ‘Just Because’ Grid Vase | 7. Capstone Bud Vase | 8. Ceramic Bud Vase | 9. Canopy Trio Vases (Set of 3) | 10. Mini Porcelain Vase | 11. Camden Bud Vase | 12. Gray Stoneware Vase

Obviously, #7 is extremely cool and intriguing and would look good on any countertop. If your bathroom is lacking something textured and sculptural #1 and #5 are great picks but honestly I love the classic glass look of #9. Now if you are tight on space #2 is a pretty and affordable option.

Use Canisters For Everyday Products

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | design by emily bowser | from: emily bowser’s 32 square foot bathroom packed with small space hacks

We love freeing up closed storage space by decanting things that are used daily and displaying them in stylish canisters. Using canisters reduces clutter and it is such a simple way to make your bathroom feel more elegant and modern. These are the ones we have our eyes on:

1. Ribbed Glass Canister. | 2. Cane Storage Box | 3. Porcelain Bathroom Accessories | 4. Alabaster Storage Jar | 5. Glass Apothecary Jars | 6. Glass Jar with Stand | 7. Small Glass Canister | 8. Large Bijou Canister | 9. Glass Container

#2 is so cute if you want to add more warmth to your bathroom and a set like #5 is a great choice if you have enough counter space to display several canisters.

Once you have a jewelry dish, vase, and canister it’s time to configure them on your main tray. We suggest making sure each is varied in height and assembled in a way where the heights and widths are not too close together. We also like the dish “in between the vase and canister in case you wanted our go-to:)

Opt For Candles With A Sleek Container

photo by keyanna bowen | design by jess weeth

Candles are a bathroom staple (because, well, you know..) and a great hack is to buy candles that have an already sleek or stylish container. Always having a candle in your bathroom makes it feel like a spa and will lift your mood anytime you enter.

Hot Tip

When your candle is finished, use the container as a canister to reduce waste!

1. Wood Plank Candle | 2. Maison Louis Marie Candle | 3. Joshua Tree Candle | 4. Lavender Soy Candle | 5. Night-Blooming Jasmine Terra Candle | 6. Beratan Scented Candle

I could not not include #1 in this round up because how cool is that wood detail? I am really into it. #2 is super chic and smells INCREDIBLE (and EHD go-to) and #4 is made by an awesome queer-owned brand that we love.

Complete The Look With A Match Cloche Or Match Striker

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: how to design a modern, dramatic powder room

Matches are the perfect mate for your stylish candle and can be used as decor too. They are an unsuspecting yet impactful prop that are useful and cute when decanted in a stylish cloche or striker. Here are some of our favorites:

1. Match Cloches | 2. Match Striker | 3. Black Line Ceramic Match Striker | 4. Ceramic Match Striker | 5. Beach Stone Match Striker | 6. Farmhouse Pottery Match Striker

I’ve been eyeing #1 for way too long so I think this is my sign to finally snag it. I also love the shape and line detail of #3 and #4 is very similar to what Emily used in this bathroom reveal.

And that’s all for now! What other styling posts would you like to see from us? Would you want a full bathroom combo post like we used to do? Drop your suggestions in the comments and have a lovely Wednesday, my friends. xx

Opening Image Credit: Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp | From: How To Design A Modern, Dramatic Powder Room

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Susan
3 months ago

I don’t have a flat space around the sink so most of this won’t work for me. I have a sink only with enough space for a soap dispenser on one side a petite bar of soap on the other. Anything else would be on the floor

Emma
3 months ago
Reply to  Susan

My bathroom is like that too, but I added some wall shelving above the toilet to hold those items.

Vera
3 months ago
Reply to  Emma

Same! Our main bathroom shared by all 5 of us can *just* fit our 24” vanity. I do hair and makeup in our bedroom but I’d love to make showers and teeth brushing feel more spa-like! For the past few weeks I’ve been planning a little refresh which will include two wall mounted shelves over the toilet full of art, plants, and pretty things. This post was so timely for me! 😃 Thanks Ryann!

Amy
3 months ago

Love all of these. I struggle with the back of the toilet!!! And art. Ugh. Thanks for all your high low options!

anoush
3 months ago

These are all beautiful but I’d love to know good options for how to hang/get the hand and face towels off the counter. I don’t have a lot of free wall space next to my sinks (mirror on front wall and light switches on the side wall.

Amanda
3 months ago
Reply to  anoush

I used this mounted vertically in my bathroom….same issues/no space

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B07448NYDY/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Abby
3 months ago
Reply to  anoush

Is there room for a hook to hang a hand towel on? I did that in my bathrooms next to the light switches.

Sheila
3 months ago

All these pretty vanities with barely an outlet in sight. Am I the only one who has a vanity styled primarily with appliances?Maybe I should group them all together on a pretty tray…the tall, slender toothbrush next to the chunky Water-Pik, the perforated design of the speaker adding texture and the hot pink hair dryer for a pop of color 🙃

Rusty
3 months ago
Reply to  Sheila

Soooo funny!🤣

Sunny
3 months ago
Reply to  Sheila

Same! I use a large clear glass vase ( heavy glass base 8.5 x 9 inches) to stow my blow dryer and two brushes on the counter. At least it keeps them corralled and not laying on the counter.

Emma
3 months ago
Reply to  Sheila

I don’t keep any of those items in my bathroom, personally (except a waterproof bluetooth speaker that lives on the top shelf of my shower). A lot of older places I’ve lived have the bathroom outlet and lights on the same circuit, so you can’t get power to the outlet when the lights are off, or I’ve had those “razor only” outlets like they use in the UK. I would keep my toothbrush charging in the bedroom for sanitary reasons anyway – don’t need a toilet flushing two feet from my toothbrush – and I do all my hair/makeup in my bedroom as well so that I can take advantage of the natural light and avoid my cosmetics being damaged by the heat and humidity of the bathroom. Might be worth considering whether you can relocate those items (if they are bothering you).

nancy
3 months ago
Reply to  Sheila

If they do these things in the first place, it’s just not that expensive. People need to demand stuff. We are remodeling our bathroom right now. I (bashfully) asked for 12 outlets (24 plug in spots) and the electrician didn’t even flinch. I am so tired of the water pick tooth brush hair everything phones shaver. Perforated design of speaker makes me laugh SO HARD!!!. I also asked for an enormous shower niche because I grab the shampoo and everything else falls out. Sick of it and I have a chance to quit cursing the darkness and light a candle!!

Suzanne
3 months ago

The tray is the design trick that I learned here and has brought together so many surfaces. I now buy trays more readily, because I always find a place for them. In fact, I just set up an area that would benefit from one, so your roundup is great starting point to find the perfect one.

Jessica
3 months ago

My bathroom counter is bumming me out because we have no medicine cabinet(s) in this house! I know this space is generally unsupportive of medicine cabinets, but for me, they are a must! It will be a while yet, but I’m looking forward to installing some nice Robern ones when we get around to renovating the bathrooms. I put two Robern cabinets in the bathrooms in our last house and miss them so….

Rusty
3 months ago

Really timely post for me. Thanks, Ryann!
In my Old Girl’s bathroom, I have a vanity with basin, an original medicine cabinet cupboard behind a beveled mirror door with a small window each side … but a small window sill each side too.
I’ve been thinking a lot about trays, baskets and vases to lift the mood in there and your well-written post has inspired me and provided some honing-in direction.
Yaaay! 🤗

Amanda
3 months ago

Both my bathrooms are small as can be…..like no room for art on the walls or anything but soap and tissue box on the vanity or it looks cluttered! Old houses have tiny bathrooms 😛 Plus I am at the point in my life where I am questioning/editing everything…..organize and purge! lol

Michelle
3 months ago

This is a post I really want to like, because on the surface it speaks to a topic I actually need help with. My primary bathroom will likely be the last space we renovate and it’s blah. But, while all of these spaces you are showing are beautiful, none of the suggestions or photos speak to real life. I see no place to put real life items. Electric toothbrushes with charging stations and hairdryers and medications and 5 bottles of vitamins and my husband’s electric razor. These are the eyesores that I’m working with, I’ve long ago figured out to put my cotton swabs into pretty containers. I’m wondering if designers are making bathrooms with appliance garages like in the kitchen, I’ve never seen it, but it makes sense to me. If it’s out there I would really like to see it, and how it can be beautiful, before we embark on a future renovation!

Alice
3 months ago
Reply to  Michelle

Nowhere do we see the break between real life and staged perfection more clearly than on a bathroom counter!

Sheila
3 months ago
Reply to  Michelle

Michelle, I have seen a lot of people have electrical outlets or power strips installed inside a vanity drawer. Seems like a good solution if it meets code in your area.

Michelle
3 months ago
Reply to  Sheila

yeah, I’ve seen that too. . . and plan to do it for hair tools when we renovate though it won’t really work in our current bathroom. My problem is for things that stand up. Like toothbrushes and water-pics. They charge in a standing position and can’t be shoved in a drawer, or at least it’s not very practical for our lifestyle to pull them out for charging and then restore them every day.

Abby
3 months ago
Reply to  Michelle

I don’t use a water pik, but my daughter did for a while and I kept it in the cupboard below the sink. Take out to use, then put back. I am fussy about having pretty bathroom counter tops though 🙂 Re the electric toothbrush, I recommend Quip! It’s battery powered and comes with a holder that sticks the wall (and can be moved and restuck). They send you a new brush head and battery every three months. We used to have normal electric toothbrushes and we have been really happy with Quip and having less cluttered countertops!

Vera
3 months ago
Reply to  Michelle

I like the cabinet (seen in this post) as a solution for things that stand up:
https://www.housetweaking.com/2013/05/20/fade-to-white/

Emma
3 months ago
Reply to  Michelle

I wrote this on another comment, but personally I don’t keep any of those items in the bathroom. Cosmetics are stored in the bedroom so they don’t get damaged by heat/humidity, and so that I can sit by a window and do makeup/hair with natural light. My toothbrush also charges in the bedroom, and that’s where I would use any hair styling tools. All my medications and vitamins are in a drawer in the kitchen near the glasses, so it’s easy to get a glass of water and take them. They shouldn’t be stored in a room that gets hot/humid anyway. I really only use the restroom to shower, use the toilet, brush my teeth and wash my hands. Maybe you could consider whether some of those things could move out of your bathroom?

Rusty
3 months ago
Reply to  Emma

I don’t keep vitamins etc. in the bathroom either. I didn’t know people did.

Amanda
3 months ago
Reply to  Michelle

I feel like the practical storage solutions for these things are inherently not pretty… unless you’re really, really good about actually putting things back inside cabinets and the like. Every two months or so I reorganize my cosmetics and within two days things are all over the counter again haha That said, the solutions I was thinking about, if we ever renovate: setting some niches with outlets into the space between studs in our bathroom for my electric toothbrush, boyfriend’s electric razor, etc. You could easily cover this with doors or even hinged artwork if you don’t want them open Personally I’m not too fussed about things being visible, so I’d probably just go for a regular old hairdryer wall mount, but I also considered constructing a hairdryer drawer with an outlet, switch for outlet, and cord winder; basically a slide-out cabinet for it (like a cookie sheet drawer, but for a hairdryer?) that would allow you to use it without having to unplug/replug it every time no cabinets or only one small cabinet in the vanity, just deep drawers (like IKEA kitchens!) Side note– if you Google “bathroom appliance garage,” there are actually a few decent examples, though they… Read more »

Nicolette
3 months ago
Reply to  Michelle

Hi Michelle! I’m in the middle of a whole house reno and I added a linen closet (less than two feet wide) in both bathrooms next to the vanities with outlets inside. I plan to keep my water pick and husbands razor in there. Chris loves Julia redid their primary bath and added storage towers on either side of their sink that could be used as an appliance garage like you mentioned too!

Alice
3 months ago

The link to bathroom tray #8 is wrong.

tbg
3 months ago

I love these ideas and tried to implement some in my space, but realized I have too many things I want quick access to. I ended up creating an open medicine cabinet/shelf using three ikea dynan units stacked vertically. It’s worked really well so far and I can use some of these general styling tips to make it look more organized!

Vera
3 months ago

Really enjoyed this and very timely for me! YES I’d love to read more posts like this – there could be one for literally any spot in the house – bedroom dresser, nightstand, mantle, dining room sideboard, entry.. okay you get it lol!

Ash W.
3 months ago

Lovely vases. Any advice on where to get an affordable faux branch, though? Foraging can lead to all sorts of bugs/pests in the house.

Rusty
3 months ago
Reply to  Ash W.

You could use a dried branch. Some florists have great varieties that you just stand in a vessel, no water, they dry out and still look great, like eucalyptus.

Irene
3 months ago

Enjoyable post, thanks! I liked the looks of nearly all the products. Compliments to Bloomist, 54 Kibo, and Goodee for including the country of origin prominently in their descriptions of the items I clicked on.

Since my vanity top counter is even smaller than Emily Bowser’s (mine is 4″ at its widest), Jayson Home’s Simone trays were my best tray choices. I e-mailed them to ask the country of origin, and they replied they’d get back to me within 24 hours. I don’t always avoid buying products made in any particular country, but I do like to have the information.

Ryann, it would be great to be able to use storage shelves behind the toilet. There are so many more attractive designs now than there were back in the 1970s when I did have them. However, windows are directly behind the toilets in both the bathrooms of my current house, built in 1949 — the midcentury solution for bathroom ventilation in lieu of exhaust fans.

EK
3 months ago

For those of us with tiny bathrooms and no surface space to put cute items, this is a major struggle that sadly candles won’t solve! One tip: my tiny. bathroom came with a similarly tiny, bad recessed medicine cabinet. Even though I’m a renter, I had a handyman replace my old medicine cabinet with this huge one from Pottery Barn: https://www.potterybarn.com/products/vintage-recessed-medicine-cabinet/?. The installation was not expensive or complicated at all, and it quadrupled my closed storage space which made a HUGE difference in the bathroom. Particularly in California, where putting any glass canisters (why are all cute canisters made of glass or breakable stone???) on open shelving makes me nervous from an earthquake POV.

Nancy
3 months ago

Please HELP! The fixture above vanity in the part of article that refers to incorporating vases, which originally appeared in this article from last year (https://stylebyemilyhenderson.com/blog/minimalist-desk-office-reveal) says the 3-light fixture above sink is from Schoolhouse and links to that site. However, it’s not the same fixture and I just hung up with Schoolhouse who says the light in photo is not one of theirs. I’m in love with it! Can you please give me correct sourcing info? Thanks soooooo much.

Brit
3 months ago

Catching just the first part, I thought this was dissatisfaction with my *actual* bathroom countertop, and it was like you were surveilling me and my internet history.

Amanda
3 months ago

I just want to say, to anyone else whose knee-jerk reaction to the window cosmetics was “oooh pretty”– be very cautious about placing skincare and other cosmetics in a window, many of them are reactive to heat and light, so you could ruin your stuff!

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