I recently made the switch from liquid soap to bar soap—and let me tell you, I am a changed woman.
The swap was made for environmental reasons: Watching one too many documentaries had me stressed about my single-use plastic tendencies, so I started making small changes wherever I could. However, while building a bar soap arsenal, I began noticing a secondary, more aesthetic benefit to this update. Bar soaps are beautiful; available in so many different colors, shapes, and artisanal designs; and instantly bring a level of sophistication to my bathroom countertop that their plastic-enclosed predecessors could never dream of.
That said, simply leaving my bar soap hanging out on the counter was cramping its style. It either stuck to the surface, leaving soapy residue I had to continuously scrub off, or kept sliding into the sink in a soggy bid for freedom. So I finally invested in a concrete dish (something timeless that could work with a myriad of colors and styles), and it was just the finishing touch my tiny bathroom needed.
Not only does my little soap dish keep the sink space clean, but it also elevates the vanity area; it’s a small change that feels like a luxury—which, when you live in a rental apartment, is always a huge win. Plus, with so many great soap dishes on the market right now, there’s no excuse for soggy bar soap. From the sculptural to the simple, here are some of our favorites.
The Mini Sculpture
Martin Pearce’s lightly splatter-painted vessel is a joy to behold and a tiny bit of 3-D artwork for your bathroom. Use it for smaller soaps in need of a sophisticated place to live; with its sculptural appearance, it more closely resembles an objet than a functional storage tool.
The Neon Accent
Neon is famously hard to decorate with, but something as small as a tray is pretty risk-free. This silicone option is self-draining (so you don’t have to worry about gunk building up) and easy to clean. Plus, it works equally well with stark-white bathrooms as it does color-saturated spaces, thanks to the sleek design.
The Instant Mood Booster
We dare you to look at this modular rainbow tray and not smile. It’s a cheerful delight; the perfect thoughtful touch to elevate your bathroom or kitchen sink without trying too hard. If you have a double sink with counter space to spare, pick up a few of these trays to make a wavy design.
The Multifunctional Tool
Sturdy concrete sensibility and pretty dusty pink color aside, Spartan Shop’s zigzag soap dish is a must-buy. The reason for this lies in its versatility: Yes, it’s perfect for bar soap, but it has many other uses, ranging from plant stand to kitchen trivet. You’ll be enjoying this fun piece for years to come.
The Trend That Won’t Die
Terrazzo: It’s still here. Whether you’re a die-hard fan of the retro pattern or are just starting to get into it, it looks like this playful material isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Bring a hint of it to your bathroom via a circular soap dish; it’s a lower lift than springing for terrazzo tiles and a great way to incorporate a pop of print.
The Sink Percher
When counter space is at a premium, a clunky soap dish is not a good idea. Enter: this handy tool. Thanks to a spout that helps it stay neatly perched on the edge of your sink, the stoneware piece is ideal for a smaller bathroom.
The Luxe Tray
Swirled marble is just the opulent morale booster your rental bathroom is craving. It’s definitely on the pricier side for a utensil that basically exists to house bar soap, but the attention to detail really makes this beautiful piece worth the splurge.
The Natural Touch
Olive wood makes for the perfect au naturel bathroom accessory. Style this tray by surrounding it with other earthy materials and colors: a linen shower curtain, for example, or a concrete toothbrush holder.
The On-Trend Hue
Deep berry hues ruled the fashion runways last season, and the timeless tone is super-versatile. If your bathroom color scheme involves other rich shades, like mustard yellows or navy blues, this moody red will fit right in. If not—well, every space can use a pop of color, right?
See more bathroom decor ideas:
16 Bold Wallpaper Ideas for Your Powder Room
Don’t Be a Square—Oval Mirrors Will Totally Revitalize Your Bathroom
Bath Mats So Pretty, You Almost Won’t Want to Step on Them