But when we spotted this stunner of a towel rack, our jaws literally dropped. Simple, elegant, and seemingly obvious, an oversized pegboard can hold towels and, with the right accessories, anything else you might want to store on your bathroom wall. So why isn’t every bathroom equipped with its own giant pegboard? As Mindy O’Connor of Melinda Kelson O’Connor Architecture & Interiors notes, “This towel hanging system is minimal and informal, yet a very elegant treatment for a functional bathroom element.”
So are pegboards the key to bathroom organization? We turned to several experts to explore all the pros, cons, and things to consider when it comes to installing something similar in our own washrooms.
Why Pegboards Work
“The key thing about this striking look is that the pegboard towel rack unites both design and function,” notes Mark Fullilove, digital marketing manager at Sanctuary Bathrooms, a bathroom supply company. “Towels can be placed on hooks for easy access without the need for protruding towels rails that can sometimes take up space.”
Katrina Hassan of professional organizing service Spark Joy London agrees that it’s great from both a design perspective and an organizational perspective. “[This design] maximizes wall space to hang items instead of having to invest in bulky towel storage,” she says. “The rack also allows you to hang your clothing on the pegs instead of draping them over a chair. It’s also a good space for hanging a dressing gown [bathrobe] following a bath. The design is modern and could be adapted to fit any sized bathroom space.”
Long Pegs Are Key
“To implement a pegboard system that will be effective, make sure your hooks or pegs are long enough and installed at the correct angle,” notes O’Connor. “Also, check the surface condition of the wall and whether it has appropriate blocking for hanging the grid system or hooks you choose.”
“If wet towels are going to be hung straight onto a painted wall, consider whether there is enough ventilation to dry them well,” Monique Tollgard of Tollgard Design Group adds. “In practical terms, you need to consider the make-up of the wall this type of feature is mounted on. If it’s a plasterboard wall without tiles, it won’t be designed to take a lot of weight, so consider where you have some more structural verticals to fix into.”
Consider Sizing Carefully
“It is good to establish that you have ample continuous wall space for a system like this one,” says O’Connor. “It is visually nice to be able to view from a bit further back, and also the effect requires a good bit of wall and surrounding space to create the open and spa-like feeling it inspires.”
The height of the rack is important, too. “Pay attention also to creating uninterrupted floor space below the hanging towels,” O’Connor says.
Tanya Willock and Temidra Willock-Morsch of Southhampton’s Hidden Gem agree that knowing your available wall space is key before committing to this style. “You definitely want to consider that it would be semi-permanent,” they say. “It won’t be easy to make changes in rack height or distance. Consider the wall space available for you to install the piece and make sure you have your measurements!”
Commit to Keeping It Simple
While the design itself is stunning, maintaining the pegboard on a daily basis is key—and might be a struggle, notes Tollgard.
“Funnily enough, the temptation to overfill this design feature needs to be resisted for it to look good,” Tollgard says. “The visual, graphic strength of the horizontal bars works because it’s only randomly punctuated with matching towels. Any more and it will become cluttered and reduce the visual impact.”
“The downside to this design is that things that should be neatly hung or tidied away could stay on the hooks!” she adds. “For a hotel bathroom, this is a great design ... in our household, the clean, graphic lines would be hidden by a patchwork of teenage clothes within the space of three days.”
Consider Scaling Down
If your bathroom space doesn’t allow for a large installation, O’Connor suggests creating a similar concept using different materials. “Consider a few farmhouse pegs neatly aligned on a board, and a second adjacent board of hooks at a different height,” she says. “Or, in a highly modernist bath, try a couple of striking and simple metal hooks or fold-out bars.”
If you want to keep the scale of the hooks, then Willock and Willock-Morsch have another suggestion. “If your space is smaller, think about using fewer hooks and smaller spaces in between,” they advise.
Make It Match
If you love the idea of adding a pegboard to your bathroom but aren’t sure the execution fits your personal aesthetic, Tollgard suggests looking at the finishes of both the hooks and the bars.
“Changing the finish of the bars will result in a different look,” she says. “Using a finish that blends with the wall finish will have less of a graphic, contemporary look. Using roughened or natural materials together with industrial hooks could bring more of a boho feel.”
Alternatively, Fullilove points out that there’s room to play with what goes on the hooks, too.
“From a practical perspective, the pegs deliberately split bathroom users’ towels, as each person has their own separate hook making it appear nice and tidy,” notes Fullilove. “You could have fun and soften this look by assigning different colored towels to each household member to create a playful feature.”
Along with O’Connor’s suggestion of farmhouse pegs, Willock and Willock-Morsch point out that the DIY options for a bathroom pegboard abound. “If you decide to create an installation like this yourself, the possibilities are endless to create something that best fits your style,” they say. “Think about painting the base wood an unexpected color for a fun pop. If you are more of a minimalist, use beautiful natural pieces of wood or go simple by painting it white.”
“The next step is to choose hooks that best suit the style of your home. If you’re styling for a kid’s bathroom, think about using some fun animal head hooks. If you want something cleaner, go for a more modern shaped hook,” they suggest. “There are so many options out there for you to create something that fits your aesthetic.”
Try Pegboards in Other Rooms
If you love the look but don’t have the right bathroom space, Willock and Willock-Morsch note that this could be installed in a whole host of rooms: “This rack is not just for a bathroom. This style rack would work great for a pool house. It would also be great in a mudroom or entryway for coats, hats, and other accessories!”
Hassan agrees, noting that along with entryways and mudrooms, “this pegboard-style organizing system is great for using in a garage to store tools, hobby equipment, and materials—like rope.”
One thing’s for sure: This is a look that makes an impact. “The great thing about this design is that it is a beautiful architectural art piece that is functional,” say Willock and Willock-Morsch.