This shower feature is no longer a must-have – designers reveal what you should have instead

The built-in staple is no longer essential – but it’s made way for a new statement that will make showering seamless

Botanical shower with shower cubby and wooden accents
(Image credit: Dobbies)

Shower cubbies, shower niches, or shower nooks. However you label this sought-after design feature, there is no doubt that it has surged in popularity over recent years. However, despite its undeniable functionality, experts have suggested that the conventional cubby is no longer a must-have. 

Instead, they have observed the rise of a more fashionable feature – that not only boasts the durability of a shower cubby – but exhibits unrivaled style too. 

The furnishing in question? A teak bench – that will add texture to your bathroom – whilst standing as a home for your toiletries. Here, experts discuss the modern bathroom idea of the moment – and why you should bring this wooden piece into your interiors. 

Outdoor bathroom with shower cubby and plants

(Image credit: Dobbies)

‘The built-in shower cubby is becoming less and less of a must-have. It is a mildew collector and design complicator,’ says Louisiana-based designer Lance Thomas of Thomas Guy (opens in new tab)

He continues: ‘I would prefer a beautiful teak bench – and can even get on board with a built-in bench – to place products as well as provide seating. I like to make sure that the bathrooms I design limit all ‘icky factor,’ and the shower cubby is the first thing on my design chopping block.’

Adding a teak bench will interrupt a minimalist scheme, however, designer Brittany Farinas of House of One Interior Design (opens in new tab) suggests this is only a positive. She suggests that mixing materials is a statement that you shouldn't feel afraid to try. 

'I’m personally a huge fan of this trend. Beautiful compositions come out of taking risks,' she explains. 

Shower bench by Waterworks

(Image credit: Waterworks)

However, before you invest in a teak bench, Caroline Thornborough, a wood specialist and co-founder of Thorndown (opens in new tab) reminds you to prepare your bench for inevitable bathroom wear – to ensure the statement continues to stand stylishly across the seasons. 

'Wood looks stunning in the bathroom. The hard part is keeping it looking stunning for a long time,' she says in the discussion of her small bathroom ideas

'Bathroom wood needs a high-quality, water-repellent wood paint to deal with the daily punishment of use, water spills, and excessive humidity from hot baths or showers.' 

Shower bench

(Image credit: Waterworks)

And if you have an old teak bench that looks too dated to be chic – Caroline suggests it's not too late. 'Even wooden elements in worn and tired bathrooms can be transformed into elegant, sophisticated schemes,' she says.

'All that is needed is a good clean and a light sanding if required, and then a coat or two of specialist wood paint and it will look great for years.'

And alongside its natural aesthetic, this modern decor idea boasts all the same functionality as the shower cubby – all with added comfort. We're rushing to mirror these organic hues in our bathrooms. 

Megan Slack
News Writer

Megan is a News Writer across Future Plc’s homes titles, including Livingetc and Homes & Gardens. As a News Writer, she often focuses on micro-trends, wellbeing, celebrity-focused pieces, and everything IKEA. 


Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and expansive collection of houseplants.