How to Hang Decorative Towels in the Bathroom

Decorative towels can add a splash of color, texture, and personality to any bathroom.

How to Hang Decorative Towels in the Bathroom

Whether you want to impress guests, create a spa-like oasis, or simply keep your space tidy, it’s important to properly display towels.

Prepare Your Towels

Before hanging up your linens, it’s essential to prep them properly so they look tidy and crisp. Here are some key steps:

Wash and Dry

Launder towels before putting them on display. Use bleach or odor eliminator if needed to remove stains and smells. Machine dry towels completely or they may develop mildew.

Iron Out Wrinkles

Once towels are dry, take them out promptly. Use an iron to smooth out creases if needed. This prevents towels from looking rumpled when you hang them.

Group by Size

Separate towels into piles by size—bath sheets, bath towels, hand towels, and washcloths. This makes it easier to designate specific spaces for each kind.

Folding Techniques

Folded towels tend to look neater and take up less space than randomly wadded ones. Try these basic folds:


  • Lay towel face down
  • Fold long left and right sides to meet at center
  • Creates long skinny rectangle

This technique works well for hooks, rings, and bars. For the latter two options, secure folds by tying a washcloth or ribbon around the towel.

Half then Thirds

  • Fold towel in half lengthwise
  • Fold in thirds widthwise
  • Repeat second fold if needed

The compact shape is great for shelves and baskets. Stacking multiples creates tidy towers.


  • Lay towel face up
  • Tightly roll lengthwise
  • Stack rolls vertically

Rolling maximizes storage in cabinets and cubbies. Display rolled towels in bowls or baskets for a stylish look.

Key Takeaway: Neatly folding towels before hanging them keeps your bathroom looking orderly and put-together.

Hanging Methods by Location

Where and how you display towels depends largely on your bathroom’s existing storage furniture and layout. Refer to the best options for various spots below.


  • Over Toilets: Install shelf with rail specifically designed for this awkward space
  • By Sinks: Opt for double rings or bars to give each user their own towel
  • Near Showers: Place 1-2 hooks within arm’s reach for easy access
  • On Backs of Doors: Affix 1-3 sturdy hooks to hang hand towels out of the way

Freestanding Storage

  • Ladders: Lean vintage ladder against wall for rustic charm
  • Shelving Units: Use open bookcases or hutches to neatly fold towels
  • Coat Racks: Repurpose entryway coat racks to hang multiple damp towels
  • Ladder Shelves: Mount floating ladder-style shelves horizontally to neatly fold and display towels

Built-In Nooks

  • Under Sinks: Put woven baskets holding rolled towels in cabinets
  • Open Shelving: Designate one shelf in bathroom for neatly stacked or rolled towels
  • Cubbies: Store rolled towels upright like wine bottles
  • Drawers: Use large rollout drawers to neatly fold washcloths and hand towels out of sight

Creative Design Touches

Once you’ve found prime real estate to hang your towels, it’s time for the fun part—arranging them artfully! Consider these decorative extra touches.

Mix Textures

Create visual interest by pairing plush towels with thinner waffle-weave ones. Layer different sizes, like rolling washcloths inside hand towels.

Play With Patterns

Make a statement by hanging bold graphic print and solid color towels side-by-side. Or keep it neutral with variations of stripes and solids in the same color family.

Incorporate Accessories

Tuck small decorative items into pockets created by specialized folds. Silver polish containers filled with cotton balls or soaps carved like sea creatures add personality.

DIY Details

Personalize standard towels by embroidering monograms or other designs on them. Use fabric dye to ombre color the ends. Get creative!

Fake Flower Accents

A bright gerbera daisy or elegant calla lily stems tucked into folds, vases, or containers liven up your towels. Opt for faux flowers which last indefinitely without maintenance.

Key Takeaway: Incorporating different colors, textures, personalized details and faux florals transforms basic towels into artful decor.

Type of TowelBest Folding MethodTop Display Location
Bath sheetThirdsLadder, shelves
Bath towelHalf then thirdsBasket, cabinet
Hand towelThirds, pocketRing, bar
WashclothRolls, accordionBowl, drawer


How Many Towels Should You Keep in the Bathroom?

A good rule of thumb is to have at least one bath towel per family member, 2-3 hand towels, and 4-6 washcloths. Store only what fits neatly—overflowing shelves look messy. Launder linens at least weekly.

How Do You Prevent Musty Smells in Folded Towels?

Wash towels in hot water with bleach or odor eliminator. Dry completely on high heat. Unfold after drying so air can circulate. Consider using a moisture-absorbing box like DampRid inside cabinets.

Where Should You Store Old Towels?

Designate a basket or bin for towels too worn for guests but still usable. Keep these older linens handy for messes, after bathing pets, applying hair dye, and other utilitarian purposes.

What’s the Best Way to Dry Towels Fast?

Hang towels fully open on bars rather than doubling over hooks to allow maximum air circulation for quick drying. Place bars near heat sources like radiators or air vents. Using a high efficiency washer/dryer also reduces dry times.


Decorative towels don’t have to be boring. With some simple storage solutions and creative styling, you can display bath linens in a way that expresses your personal flair.

Use the folding techniques, hanging locations, and design ideas above to keep your bathroom towels tidy and beautiful.

Emma Kellam
Emma Kellam

I'm Emma, and I run Towels Edition, a website for fellow home goods enthusiasts who, like me, are passionate about textiles. After working in high-end retail, I was amazed by how little most people (myself included!) know about all the towel options out there.

I research and write all the content myself. Whether it's specialized towels like bar mops, Turkish cotton production methods, or comparing hair towel absorbency, I cover it. My goal is to share my knowledge and enthusiasm to help others.

Running Towels Edition allows me to constantly expand my own expertise too. I love learning about innovations in bamboo fabric or ideal bath towels. It's so rewarding to receive emails thanking me for recommendations that improved my readers' routines.

I want Towels Edition to be the ultimate online towel resource, making this overlooked necessity far more fascinating. My aim is to open people's eyes to how specialty towels can thoroughly enhance hygiene, cleaning, recreation and self-care.