17 Shower Niche Ideas That Are Equal Parts Smart and Stylish

urbanology designs dallas showhouse
The Best Shower Niche Design IdeasStephen Karlisch

Designing a good shower takes more than choosing a cute shower curtain or curating an apothecary of lotions, potions, and bath bombs. (Though don’t get us wrong, those things are important.) It’s crucial to build in organization that works. Enter shower niches. These alcoves offer a convenient place to put toiletries; you’ll never knock them off the side of the tub again. We’ve seen shower niche ideas in practically every shape and size—square! rectangular! arched! with shelves! without shelves!—so there’s definitely a design out there to fit your specific needs. That said, there are a few ground rules that apply to every setup, Courtnay Tartt Elias of Creative Tonic Design says. “Size matters when it comes to shower niches,” the designer says. “I like to ensure that they are large enough for big bottles of shampoo and conditioner. Typically, 14 inches is perfect!”

Though shower niches are often considered a function-first feature, the truth is these nooks and crannies have plenty of design potential—you just need to know where to look. To help, we’ve pulled together some of our favorite shower niche ideas from designer bathrooms to inspire you.

More bathroom design inspiration:

Opt for an Arch

Squares and rectangles might be the shower niche status quo, but if you’re looking for something different, take a cue from Cristina Lehman and try an arched design. “We took inspiration from the arched mirrors in this bathroom and mimicked them in two niches in this space: one in the walk-in shower and another arched niche above the freestanding tub,” the Bay Area-based designer explains. “This added some curved contrast against all the straight lines from the rectangular tile.” Bonus points: The unexpected silhouette brings some visual intrigue to an all-white bathroom.

Related: What Is an Ensuite Bathroom?

cristina lehman
Jessica Brydson Photography

Pack in Pattern

Calling all maximalists: Your shower is an excellent spot to embrace your bold streak. Designer Lizzie Green fashioned a series of square tiles to create the illusion of a striped backsplash. (She even continued the pattern in the alcove for some much-appreciated visual cohesion.) The result? A shower—and niche!—that toes the line between statement making and soothing.

Related: 16 Shower Tile Ideas to Suit Every Style

a bathroom with a blue and white checkered floor
Snook Photography

Be Picky About Placement

Looking for a niche that accommodates both showers and baths? It’s all about location, location, location. Just ask Austin-based designer Annie Downing, who admittedly had a lot to pack into this small space. “The client requested a freestanding tub, and the only way to incorporate that and a shower in this remodel was to house the tub in the enclosed area,” she says. “We found the right spot so the niche was easily accessible from both and the perfect height: just low enough so it would be accessible from the tub but high enough so you wouldn’t have to bend down to reach it when using the shower.”

Related: What Is a Wet Room, Anyway?

a shower with a glass door
Cate Black

Go Low

Speaking of shower niche placement, Marea Clark recommends thinking through your entire shower routine. “If you make them down low, it gives you a spot to prop up your leg to shave,” the San Francisco designer shares. “It’s not something most people think about when designing bathrooms, but our female clients always comment on how much they use and love this feature.” See how it’s done in this serene shower, which boasts a minimalist tan niche and marbled bench.

Related: 21 Walk-In Shower Ideas That Elevate Your Bathroom

marea clark shower niche
Marea Clark

Keep It Simple

As the shower niche idea Blair Moore designed for this project in Narragansett, Rhode Island, proves, less can sometimes be more. “Embracing a minimalist ethos, we opted for predominantly organic and natural materials to evoke a moody, wabi-sabi sensibility," says Moore, who’s the creative director and principal designer of Moore House Design. “Walls were removed to cultivate spaciousness, while small windows were replaced with larger statement windows and doors to invite natural light and panoramic views.” Here, the wide niche draws eyes across the room and onto that stunning, sun-drenched window.

Related: Everything You Need to Know About Wabi Sabi Design

a white room with a white wall and a sink
Erin McGinn

Sidestep the Subway Tile

When it comes to choosing the right tile for your bathroom, it doesn’t get more classic than rectangular subway style. However, if you want to shake up the go-to tile choice, why not include a shower niche? In this space by Atelier Davis, a vertical niche creates some visual tension with the horizontal tiles, creating an alcove that both stands out and blends in.

Related: 24 Creative Ways to Use Subway Tile in Your Bathroom

atelier davis shower niche
Emily Followill

Try Some Texture

Just because you’re going for a single-shade shower doesn’t mean it has to be boring. Case in point: This spot by Morrison Interiors, which got the full-on textured treatment. “Shower niches are a great way to add a pop of pattern or seamlessly blend with existing designs,” designer Denise Morrison says. “We have done a bit of both yet always like to deliver a chic, seamless look, even when patterns are juxtaposed.”

Related: 65 Best Small Bathroom Design Ideas

a window in a brick wall
Shade Degges

Stack the Shelves

Ultra-organized dwellers will find a lot to love about this shower niche idea from Morrison Interiors, which maximizes the storage space. “We did a three-tier vertical stack, and it added some great visual interest,” Morrison explains. Ah, the power of shelving.

Related: 15 Black and White Bathroom Ideas You'll Love

a room with a shelf and a window
Lance Gerber

Select a Statement Shelf

“I love to use a shower niche as a storage solution that easily integrates into the overall design,” Ginger Curtis of Urbanology Design says. However, if you want to add drama to your setup, take a cue from the Texas designer and select an exaggerated shelf. This smart trick draws the eye to the alcove while keeping your belongings organized.

Related: 90 Bathroom Design Ideas to Inspire Your Remodel

urbanology bathroom
Stephen Karlisch

Step Up Your Storage

A small shower niche might be a clever way to break up a big, bare wall, but can it fit all of your stuff? Curtis of Urbanology Designs found a smart solution by pairing this alcove with a small wooden stool. It’s the perfect way to double up your storage without cramping your style.

Related: 31 Best Bathroom Storage Ideas

a white wall with a light fixture and a plant on it
Stephen Karlisch

Consider the Slope

When installing a shower niche, it’s important to be cognizant of your angles—literally. “Niches need to be ever so slightly sloped to be sure that water doesn’t pool,” says Elias. Though she thinks it’s best to integrate the niche into the shower tile rather than backing it with a different tile—“I like to make them disappear when not in use,” she says—the contrasting tiles used here offers the best of both worlds.

Related: 60 Stunning Bathroom Tile Ideas to Steal for Your Space

a white tiled wall with a window
Julie Soefer

Build a Bold Border

Admittedly, having the same tile or material in your niche and shower can be a bit...well, boring. However, designer Linda Hayslett adds an unexpected pop with a thick, black border. “Considering the design of the niche helps enhance the shower experience,” the Los Angeles designer explains. The result is modern without feeling too masculine.

Related: How Designer Linda Hayslett Squeezed Major Charm Out of This Condo

a bathroom with a glass shower
Lauren Taylor

Double Up

Sometimes two shower niches are better than one. “When designing a shower, and it’s for you and your partner, it’s always best to have a big, long niche so you both can put all the products needed without fighting for space,” Hayslett says. Have your own shower? There’s still a reason to consider dual niches. “Depending on where it’s placed in the space, it can also be for eucalyptus, candles, and incense burning, " the designer says.

Related: The Proper Way to Use Eucalyptus in Your Shower

a shower with a tile floor
Lauren Taylor

Go Wall to Wall

Have a lot of stuff? You’ll love this idea from Chango & Co., a New York–based residential design firm. In this pink bathroom, a niche stretches from one side of the shower to the other, making it possible to house all of your shower essentials. (Shampoos? Scrubs? A waterproof speaker? You'll definitely have enough space.)

Related: 14 Timeless Colors That Go With Pink

a bathroom with a shower unit
Chris Coe

Think Up and Away

Sometimes, like in this neutral bathroom from Chango, the only way to go is up. Not only is this slim vertical shower niche great for avid organizers—you can place your most-used items at eye level and less frequented essentials up top—but it’s also a practical move for anyone who shares a bathroom with a significant other, roommate, or child.

Related: 65 Best Small Bathroom Design Ideas

a bathroom with a shower unit
Raquel Langworthy

Get Creative With Color

Showers and niches are typically swathed in versatile (yet predictable!) neutrals, but you have our permission to go with a fun, eye-catching color instead. In this cool shower by Portland, Oregon–based designer Max Humphrey, a deep green adds a maximalist flair to the slim, uniform Ann Sacks tiles.

Related: 25 Tile Designs to Try in Any Room

a table and chairs in a room
Kaitlin Green

Put It Front and (Off) Center

Though placing your shower niche smack-dab in the middle of your wall might be a symmetry win, Kaitlyn Murphy wants you to reconsider. “We like to locate our niches in an inconspicuous place—because who wants to call attention to their shampoo?” asks the senior designer at Marguerite Rodgers Interior Design. For the finishing touch on this off-centered shower niche, she used a slab material for the sill, sides, and top. Murphy says: “No matter what tile you’re using on the walls, you will never see an exposed cut edge.”

Related: 26 Best Neutral Paint Colors, According to Interior Designers

a bathroom with a glass shower
Halkin Mason Photography

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