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Tips on How to Display Your Towels

Tips on How to Display Your Towels

This is an edited version of a post that originally appeared on September 2, 2015.

There are many ways to display one’s towels in the bathroom—rolled in a basket, draped over the side of a sink, stacked on a shelf, layered on a towel bar. It’s fun to experiment, and you can look at our Towel Play board on Pinterest for ideas. Above, our comprehensive towel display chart, complete with sizes and monogramming measurements, provides a fail-safe guide.

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Mindy Matouk talks us through two bathrooms displaying Matouk Newport (on the left) and Auberge (on the right) towel designs. In regards to the bathroom on the left Matouk says, “It makes me want to do all future bathrooms in this classic, New York City pre-war apartment style. I love how the owner of this bathroom has reinforced the classic black and white tiling with the accented towels and curtain.” Matouk points out all the careful details that made what is probably not a huge bathroom look absolutely perfect: “The actual bath towel has a simpler line which follows the wall accents, while the accent pieces (curtain, tub mat, and hand towel) have the more elaborate Newport stripes. The length of the shower curtain is custom-cut in order to avoid messy draping (which would also make the room appear smaller) and to show off the beautifully painted tub. The striped stool adds another layer of interest to the mix, along with the tiny pops of color from the jars and bottles.” Finally, she says, “The paint color on the wall plays off the black and white perfectly. The look is classic and charming, while still maintaining a hint of modern edge.”

As for the subtly monogrammed Matouk Auberge towels she says, “This is a great example of the successful juxtaposition of opposites: simple versus ornate; modern versus traditional; white versus color; solid versus pattern. The strong clean lines of the Auberge towels pop wonderfully against the curvilinear design of the floral wallpaper; each element compliments the other. Overall this is a clean and powerful vignette that would be difficult to achieve if all the elements were of the same genre.”

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Right: Photo by Werner Segarra

Left: Jamie Herzlinger, an interior designer based in Scottsdale, Arizona, uses large scale, Art Nouveau-style monogramming on white towels displayed on a handy, portable towel rack in a neutral bathroom with contemporary soaking tub and marble floor.

To Adelene Keeler Smith, an interior designer in West Palm Beach, Florida, monograms symbolize a sense of pride and place and help guests feel special and honored. However, she cautions that the use of monograms should be subtle. She says, “It is best, such as in this master bathroom, to use a matching set of towels, bath mat, and rug with only one item featuring a monogram.”  Here, it’s a crisp fresh white cotton bath mat hung over the freestanding tub. She adds, “Color is also a factor.  Note here how bright white linens are selected for the neutral surround. Select a coordinating color for the monogram thread. Less really is more.”

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Left: Photo by Michael J. Lee | Right: Photo by Dane Cronin

Boston-based green architecture firm Zero Energy Design shows how open shelving can provide functional storage—and a welcoming aesthetic—if kept well organized. This bathroom includes the clean look of a custom bamboo vanity and shelves with an engineered quartz countertop. "The best way to fold towels on display are first in half, and then in thirds like a letter, facing the single clean fold toward the room," says Stephanie Horowitz, AIA of Zero Energy Design. She adds, “Tightly-woven baskets can also provide a functional, yet elegant contrast to the crisply-folded stacks.”

In the bathroom on the right, designed by architect Brian Fuentes of Fuentes Design in Boulder, Colorado, a colorful straw basket is used to hold rolled towels. This is an easy and more casual way to store and display towels in a bathroom or even for an outdoor shower.

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Photo by Eric Roth

Zero Energy Design
 is also behind this contemporary master bath, which pairs a platform shower with a freestanding tub along alongside a wall-hung vanity in order to open up the space. Principal Stephanie Horowitz says, "A custom trough sink allows for draping a hand towel over the edge, achieving both personalized style and easy access.”

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Photo on right by Nick Smith

In the bathroom on the left, Jenna Buck Gross of Colordrunk Designs in Decatur, Georgia, layers white fingertip towels with fanciful chartreuse monogram over towels in that same accent color on a towel bar hung beside a built-in vanity.

Hannah Brown, co-founder of London-based design firm Amory Brown, designed the spa-like bath on the right, which is the master ensuite of a period loft conversion. She says, “We used soft muted colors and organic materials such as the pebble tiles and the fossilized wooden handles to achieve this effect.” The striped Turkish cotton towel draped over the sink fits perfectly with the room’s relaxed overall feel, which Brown says is reminiscent of a Hamman.

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Photo on right by Karyn Millet

On the left, a powder room with a floating wood vanity designed by cabinetmakers Mi-Kin Creations, Inc outside of Atlanta uses a simple towel bar to display monogrammed hand towels.

West Hollywood-based Elizabeth Dinkel Design Associates hangs white hand towels on a towel bar, using just one with a monogram as an accent.

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Matouk’s Chairo and Paloma towels look pretty layered in the bathroom on a bench or chair.