A bad towel rail can ruin your bathroom design – but you won't have that problem with these 12 design-forward buys

12 cool and contemporary towel rails to shop now for a stylish bathroom

A black towel rail in a monochrome bathroom
(Image credit: Marni Epstein-Mervis. Design: Duett Interiors)

Towel rails are more often than not a purely functional element of your bathroom interiors. But they are the perfect example of a prime opportunity to take something functional and create an aesthetic moment. 

Tall ladders that lean elegantly against the wall are a popular way to create a decorative moment, like this design from Portland-based Duett Interiors. Here, the towel rack is an integral part of the design of the bathroom, breaking up the masses of space on the dark grey walls. 

Wall-mounted towel rails are also proving popular in statement brass, brushed gold or nickel are also on trend, matching with taps and plumbing to bring a cohesive feel to any room and give a metallic sheen. I also like the industrial look of matte black rails - sleek, modern and unobtrusive. 

Smaller, freestanding towel racks are also bringing a sculptural element to bathrooms, and if you've got the space, can be slotted into an unused corner for added visual interest. However executed, interior designers are all making a moment of these modern bathroom essentials. Here are 12 options that I'd happily have in my bathroom.

Oonagh Turner
Oonagh Turner

Oonagh is an interiors writer and editor, and expert at keeping up with trends. She's also a keen online shopper, with shopping baskets full of decor must-haves that reflect wider trends from the world of interior design. For this story, she's picked her favorite towel rails and racks for a stylish bathroom. 

Ladder-style towel rails

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Wall-mounted towel bars

Wall-mounted towel racks

Free standing towel rails

Oonagh Turner
Livingetc content editor and design expert

Oonagh is a content editor at Livingetc.com and an expert at spotting the interior trends that are making waves in the design world. Writing a mix of everything and everything from home tours to news, long-form features to design idea pieces on the website, as well as frequently featured in the monthly print magazine, she's the go-to for design advice in the home. Previously, she worked on a London property title, producing long-read interiors features, style pages and conducting interviews with a range of famous faces from the UK interiors scene, from Kit Kemp to Robert Kime. In doing so, she has developed a keen interest in London's historical architecture and the city's distinct tastemakers paving the way in the world of interiors.