7 Ways to Style Towels in Your Bathroom Like a Pro

When it comes to decorating or styling your home, it’s safe to say most thought — and the most effort — goes to the main rooms of the house. Think bedroom, think dining room, living or lounge room. The places where you spent most of your waking — and most of your sleeping — time. 

The bathroom — where we go to freshen up, in more ways than one — is more often than not a bit of an afterthought.

“The wall was that colour when I moved in, retiling would take too much effort.”

And that may be true, but there’s no reason why your bathroom can’t be stylish, as well as practical and functional. It’s as easy as purposefully choosing the towels that go into your space — and don’t forget the bath mat, too.

Before you even learn how to style towels in your bathroom, you need to figure out which ones to choose, and why. Yes, they’re award-winning and yes, we can guide you through GSM and the fabrics — but let’s go from a visual point of view.

Look at the existing colour palette — not only in your bathroom, but throughout your home. Do you have a particular aesthetic you turn to, or a trend you want to highlight? 

Perhaps there’s an existing tile feature in the space, you can complement them with towels of a similar colour family. Your bathroom may be one colour from roof to floor, so something with a pattern or distinct texture can bring interest to simple spaces. 

There might be a pop of colour that features heavily throughout your home — a splash of pink, a burnt orange, a deep blue. Why not continue the feature colour in the bathroom, too? Or maybe you’re just a plant parent to one-too-many potted plants — a green towel will suit you and the space just fine. 

Now that you’ve narrowed down your final selection for bathroom styling towels, here are the seven ways to style your bathroom towels.

white towel in woven basket, orange towel hanging from wall.white towel in woven basket, orange towel hanging from wall.

1: With the Help of a Basket

There’s something collected yet homegrown about a basket — especially when it’s used in a bathroom. Adding a unique, natural-looking texture to the space, they help play with height in your bathroom. You can use structured baskets, multiple baskets in different colours or textures, bring in a separate basket to double as the fanciest laundry basket out.

The great thing about them is that they can store multiple towels, keeping your space from looking too cluttered; they’re also easy to tuck away under the sink, in a spare corner, or even on the countertop.

As for how to display towels in a basket, it does depend on the size of said storage, or even shape. It may be a roll situation, a neat fold, or strewn elegantly over one side.

2: With the Help of a Rack

Whether you’re a homeowner, renting out a space, or even building something from scratch, chances are your bathroom has a towel rack.

An easy solution that takes up minimal space — the perfect towel hanging idea for small bathrooms — there are ways to spruce it up, hang your bath towels decoratively. Best of all, it doesn’t take much time (or any money).

First, you need to know how to fold bathroom towels for hanging — it’s not just about flinging them over the rail and tugging at one end to make it semi-even.

The easiest way to fold a bathroom towel for hanging is in half, width-wise. As in, grab the shorter end of the towel, and fold those to corners towards each other; the shape should be a long rectangle (as opposed to a square). With the seamless fold facing the entry to your bathroom, drape over the towel rack.

Another way to fold a bath towel is to bring the seams along the two longer sides to meet at the back, and drape over the rack. Talk about a seamless experience (ha). You can also fold it in thirds, with the two longer seams folding underneath. 

As for how to hang your bath towels decoratively, you can layer different sizes of towels (in different colours!) atop each other, think a hand towel over a bath towel. If your towel rack has multiple rungs, you can style across different levels; you can also pull the towel to sit longer (or shorter) at the front for visual interest.

against biege wall, bottom of orange cotton bath towel and navy bath towel hang from hooks.against biege wall, bottom of orange cotton bath towel and navy bath towel hang from hooks.

3: With the Help of Hanging

Whether a BYO hook or hanger, or a previously installed one, this is another favourite for bathroom styling. Towels that are hung add obvious dimension and texture to your space; they’re also a great idea for smaller bathrooms if they’re affixed to the back of the door, freeing up more space.

If you can add your own hooks, you can install them at different heights to add some variation to your space — and some breathing room between towels. It also gives you an opportunity to play with contrasting colours here, if they’re not styled to be overlapped, it doesn’t matter if they don’t match or complement each other perfectly.

The best way to make it look stylish is with the pinch and drape technique. Pinch the edge of your towel — along the longer side — around midway (but you can have fun going slightly to either side). Then, carefully drape over the hook, where it should hang nicely. 

4: With the Help of a Ladder

We’re not talking about the old clanking metal ladder that dads everywhere are so fond of, or the helpful fold-out step-stool ladder for reaching higher shelves in your home.

Instead, we’re talking about the classic wooden ladder (not fold-out), that you can lean against a wall. This is great if you’re in a home where you’re not allowed to make changes to walls, or you’re worried about potential paint chips from sticky hooks.

Adding that natural material, as well as making good use of vertical space, means it’s an eye-catching feature. Hang the towels on the upper rails — folded as you’ve now learnt — and you can use lower railings to hang plants from, adding greenery to your space. 

Another option if you don’t have a ladder lying around? An old-school, standing, coat or hat rack. Stylish, convenient and unique — keep an eye out if you’re ever vintage shopping. 

orange towel is styled over the side of a cream bath tub.orange towel is styled over the side of a cream bath tub.

5: With the Help of a Bath

If you’re one of those people lucky enough to have a bath — well, first, you better be taking some relaxing soaks in it. 

But second, you can use it to style your towels. Hand or face towels can nonchalantly hang from the faucet, bath towels and bath sheets can be styled over the side. They can be draped without folding, or folded in half and then draped. 

If you’ve gone that extra mile and have a wooden bath tray, towels can be neatly folded into stacks and placed upon it. Any extra space in the corners? Rolled bath towels can be placed or stacked here. 

6: With the Help of Rolling

Ever wondered how to style your bathroom towels so it looks like something out of a luxurious spa?

It’s all in the rolling. 

There are fancier methods with pointed ends, or even shapes you can build (looking at you, hotels, and your towel swans), but we’re going to give you the easiest option, that still looks elevated. 

To start, fold your towel in half, length-wise. The two shorter sides should meet at the bottom, and the shape of your towel should now resemble a square. Now fold in half again, the other direction — it should look like a long rectangle; at the ends, one should be just the folds meeting each other, and the other end should be all hem.

Beginning at the end with the hem, roll the towel tightly and evenly until you get to the end. Style it so the end sits underneath, so it’s just one smooth curve visible to the eye. 

You can stack the rolled towels together for an elegant look, building it up like a cheerleader pyramid. Or, place them as if building on top of one another — create an angle by placing one end of the rolled towel on top of another one, while the other end of the towel still rests on the surface.

stacked towels styled on a bathroom countertop. marble top, pink-peach bowl. stacked towels styled on a bathroom countertop. marble top, pink-peach bowl.

7: With the Help of Stacking

This is a great one for guests coming over, but not staying — say, like for a dinner party

Perfect for hand towels and face towels, this brings height to your countertop and uses up what sometimes looks like white space. It’s also great for showing off the texture of your towels, guests won’t want to keep their hands off them…which is kinda the point.

For these smaller towels, fold them in half lengthways. Fold in half-width ways, then half again, for the easiest stack. You can set it two ways: so the curved fold is outward, or with the hem sitting at the top facing outward, for contrast. 

Or, you can follow the first step of the above, but instead of folding half then half, fold in thirds. Bring one end two-thirds of the way down, and then fold over the remaining third.

When stacking towels atop one another, start with the largest towel at the bottom. You can stack so it looks like a pyramid or stack where one edge of all towels aligns.

If a solo fold and stack, you can layer small items on top of the towel — a bar of soap, a solo plucked flower.

1 year ago