Cloakroom storage ideas – 10 ways to make the most of your downstairs toilet

Your downstairs loo may be the smallest room in your home, but it likely plays host to the most amount of visitors! So as well as looking stylish, you’ll want it to stay tidy too. A cloakroom is a godsend if you have kids or regularly play host, and with the right cloakroom storage idea, it can pull its weight in more ways than one.

‘By the very nature of where it is in the house, your downstairs loo always ends up being more than just a toilet and sink,’ explains Sophie O’Mahony from Funky Chunky Furniture. ‘It can often become a bit of a dumping ground; the place where things are hastily thrown as guests come round, with coats hung on the back of the door and, of course, where all the toilet essentials and cleaners are stored too. No one needs to see all of that, so storage is essential!’

Cloakroom storage ideas

Whether you use this small bathroom to hang coats, store shoes or stash extra loo roll, these 10 cloakroom storage ideas will ensure this tiny spot remains tidy at all times. Top tip: many of these ideas double up as en-suite ideas too!

1. Install a wall-to-wall vanity unit

white downstairs cloakroom with wooden sink storage unit

Image credit: Future PLC

This cloakroom idea features a vanity unit that stretches the entire length of the cloakroom, providing ample storage space. The textured wooden finish and the hexagonal tiles create a feature of this cloakroom, proving that just because a space is small, it doesn’t mean it can’t make an impact.

2. Make the most of wasted space with built-in shelving

Cloakroom with Chanel perfume bottle print mirror over the sink

Image credit: Future PLC

If your cloakroom has an awkward alcove, build shelves into it to optimise the space and add extra storage. Keep the shelving open to add depth to the room, and use storage baskets to keep your bits and bobs looking neat and tidy. Roll up your towels to store them for a sophisticated hotel feel, and display pretty trinkets on spare shelves.

3. Go for a combined toilet and sink unit for maximum cupboard space

Chalkboard paint on cloakroom wall

Image credit: Future PLC

In a small downstairs bathroom, an integrated toilet and sink unit is a fantastic space-saving solution that also provides you with plenty of cupboard space. Choose an option like the one in this small bathroom, with cupboard space not only under the sink, but beside the loo too – perfect for stashing away spare loo roll so that your guests are never caught short!

4. Fix a wall cabinet above the loo to save on floor space

Pale blue bathroom with storage cabinet above loo

Image credit: IKEA

‘When floor space and square metres are limited, our top tip is to occupy wall space instead,’ says Sophie O’Mahony from Funky Chunky Furniture. ‘Not only can this prevent the room from feeling cluttered or claustrophobic, but shelves and mounted units can give the space a sense of height too.’

Consider mounting a wall unit in the unused space above your toilet. If the ceilings are high enough, you could even choose a double height unit like the one in this bathroom, so that there’s plenty of room for storing toiletries, spare towels, cleaning products and spare loo roll. The white cabinetry seen in this image works wonders when it comes to brightening the room and bouncing light around – a mirrored option would work well too!

5. Make the most of every inch of space with a corner unit

white corner unit in bathroom

Image credit: Bathroom Mountain

The corner of any room can easily go unused, but in a small space like a cloakroom, every inch of space counts. Make the most of this otherwise-wasted space with a corner unit. It’ll fit neatly into the corner of the room and provide extra storage space for storing spare soap and hand towels, leaving you with more floor space to play with.

6. Think about multifunctional fixtures and fittings

white bathroom with storage mirror above sink

Image credit: Beaumonde

No cloakroom is complete without a mirror, and since you’re going to hang one on the wall anyway, why not make it multifunctional? Hidden shelving behind the mirror is the perfect place to store small items that you don’t want left out on display.

7. Add open shelving in a cloakroom-cum-utility-room

open shelving in cloakroom

Image credit: Orthex Group

If your cloakroom doubles up as a utility room, then storage is even more important. On top of all the usual toiletries and spare hand towels, you’ll need space to store additional cleaning products, and floor space needs to be maximised so that there’s plenty of room for getting washing in and out of the machine.

‘Make the most of available wall space with floating shelving,’ advises Sophie. ‘This makes for really flexible storage that you can use in a way that suits your home the most. Place storage boxes on the shelves to keep hats, gloves, cleaning products, dog leads and other outdoor essentials all tidied away. Or, maybe they’re the perfect spot for the weekend’s sports equipment, and more.’

In this room, open shelving has been installed, with clear plastic boxes used to neatly store all the essentials. The addition of a plant stops the room from looking too functional – pictures on the walls would have a similar effect.

8. Invest in decorative yet functional storage baskets

Image credit: Future PLC/ David Giles

The purpose of storage is functional, but that’s not to say it shouldn’t be stylish too! Pretty woven baskets, like these ones with heart-shaped details, will add a rustic feel to any bathroom, while of course giving you extra space for storing all the necessary bathroom accessories.

9. Hang up a coat rack


Image credit: Future PLC/ David Cleveland

Make your cloakroom live up to its name by turning it into somewhere to store cloaks and coats too! This will help to keep your hallway clutter-free, especially if you add a shoe rack underneath.

This copper pipe design adds an industrial touch to the space, but there are plenty of styles available, from rustic wooden designs to shiny metallic styles.

10. Keep it simple with under-sink storage


Image credit: Big Bathroom Shop

This vanity unit has a large drawer for hiding away your less attractive items, while the shelves below give you the opportunity to display neatly folded towels to show your guests just how much of a domestic goddess you are! Add a decorative storage basket for used hand towels and other laundry.

What can I store in my downstairs toilet?

‘This naturally depends on how big your downstairs loo is,’ says Sophie. ‘But it definitely can be a multi-functional space. Use built-in storage, under the sink for example, to store toilet rolls and cleaning fluids, making sure the latter are safely locked away from smaller family members.’

‘Move clutter out of the hallway and create space for coats and shoes – maybe behind the door, or hang hooks on the wall and add a stylish shoe rack.’

How do I get more counter space in my small cloakroom bathroom?

As well as choosing a vanity unit with a decent surface area, installing shelves will give you extra counter space too. Use boxes and baskets to store items neatly, selecting the most aesthetically pleasing trinkets to stay out on display.

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