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How to Fold and Style Your Towels Like a Luxury Hotel

Gorgeous towels on display in a modern bathroom
Written By
PARACHUTE TEAM
Photographs By
JESSICA SCHRAMM FOR PARACHUTE
@parachutehome
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Turning your bathroom into a stylish, spa-like sanctuary doesn’t always mean time-consuming or costly renovations. Sometimes, that five-star hotel look at home is all about the fine details. Even an already beautiful room can fail to impress when stocked with poorly-folded bath towels. On the flipside, neatly displayed and properly folded towels can instantly elevate your space.

But don’t worry — you don’t have to have Marie Condo-level skills to know how to fold towels (or how to make towel animals!)

The simple secret is in the right bathroom towel decor ideas. To help you master the art of folding towels for display, we’ve created this handy guide. You’ll pick up some fun towel hanging ideas along the way. You’ll also learn new ways to fold towels and even how to roll towels to create a luxury effect.

Let’s take the first step to make your bed and bathroom worthy of a glossy magazine.

How to Fold Towels: the Basics

Good style is often about simplicity and not complexity. When it comes to chic bathroom towel ideas, let the classics be your guide. A luxury hotel look in your bathroom starts with high-quality towels. Five-star properties go above and beyond for comfort by stepping up their towel quality.

What Are The Best Towel Materials

Thick, ultra-absorbent bath towels made from premium cotton are a smart starting point. Egyptian cotton and Long-staple Turkish cotton are considered the best towel materials. They deliver superior softness and a luxurious, five-star, plush appearance.

Towels crafted from a cotton/polyester blend are also a great option. They’re not as heavy-weight as 100 percent cotton towels, but they’re perfect for frequent, everyday use. They last for years, and since they’re thinner, they’re also easy to manipulate and fold. That makes them an ideal choice for towel animals, if you decide to try your hand at those creative bathroom towel ideas.

How to Stack Towels

High-end hotels most often stack their towels. This is a classic, beautiful and efficient way to organize bath towels of any size and weight on shelves. The technique is quite simple and easy to master.

Lay the towel horizontally in front of you. Then fold it over about two-thirds from top to bottom. Smooth the edges, and fold the remaining third. Next, fold the towel in half, smooth it and fold it in half again. Then stack it with the folded spine facing outward.

How to Roll Towels

Rolled towels add a spa vibe to any room. Start by laying your towel on a flat surface. Fold the bottom left corner to the center lengthwise. Repeat with the bottom-right edge. Smooth the towel, then flip it upside down with the pointed end on the right. Start rolling tightly from the left. When you’re finished, tuck in the flap.

How to Fold Towels for Vertical Storage

This technique is a great way to maximize your storage space and store towels vertically in a drawer. Begin by spreading the towel in front of you. Fold it in half horizontally, then again vertically. Fold vertically again, but this time in thirds. Place the towel in a drawer with the folded edge outward.

Another great space-saving technique for large towels is folding in thirds. Start by laying the towel flat. Fold it in half lengthwise, then fold a third of it vertically. Smooth it out before folding it again. Repeat the process, this time horizontally. As always, display with the folded edge out.

How to Fold Hand Towels

Whether in the kitchen or the bathroom, we use hand towels all day long. So if you have plenty of these towels in your linen closet, you may need a few creative ways to fold and organize them. While the techniques above also work perfectly for hand towels, there are a few methods that look neat and are quick to learn.

How to Fold Hand Towels for the Linen Closet

This towel folding technique is a great way to organize your linen closet if it’s deep but narrow.

Lay the towel flat. Fold the lower end halfway horizontally, then do the same with the opposite side. Fold the two halves together. Now you should have a long and skinny towel to work with. Bring both ends toward the center, and then fold in half. Stack the towels on top of each other with the narrow, folded edge faced outward.

What is the Classic Hand Towel Fold

Lay the hand towel horizontally, and fold the lower end about two thirds of the way across. Then fold the upper part over and smooth the towel out. Finally, fold the towel in half, lining up the edges.

This is the simplest way to fold hand towels, and it’s also practical. It lets you hang the towel on a rack without unfolding it.

How to Make Towel Animals

Learning to fold towels into animal-like shapes will bring endless smiles and compliments from family and guests. Contrary to what you may think, it’s not as hard as it looks. Here are a few easy and fun ways to make animal towels.

As a reminder, it’s best to start with towels made of the thinner, more foldable cotton/polyester blend.

How to Fold a Towel Swan

Lay out a bath towel horizontally. Fold both top corners until they meet in the middle. Start rolling the outside edges toward the center. Bend the towel into an S-shape with the pointy end on top — that’s the head of the swan.

How to Fold a Towel Crab

Lay out a hand towel vertically in front of you. Fold both sides in until they almost meet, and then repeat that step. Unfold the lower third. Start rolling that open end about halfway up, and fold the top half over. Find the corners of the towel on each side. Pull them out and twist them until they look like crab legs. Place two black buttons, chocolates, or round black stickers on top of the “crab” to serve as eyes.  

How to Fold a Towel Snake

Fold the two corners of a bath towel until they meet at the center. Then roll each side inwards. The pointy side of the towel will be the snake’s head. Twist the opposite side around itself twice. Finally, slightly bend the “head” down.

Bathroom Towel Decor Ideas

Once you’ve mastered a few towel folding techniques, it’s time to have some fun styling your bathroom.

Towel Ladders

Ladders and floating shelves are two creative bathroom towel rack ideas that can work wonders. They serve double duty, maximizing space and creating photo-worthy looks. A wooden ladder can make a stylish towel rack in a small bedroom. You can use it to display clean towels or dry damp towels, too.

Towel Rings and Hooks

Towel rings and hooks can work a little magic in an undersized space. They make for chic decor accents, and they’re a great solution to narrow walls that don’t allow for towel rack installation.

Towel Pyramid

To add a rustic vibe to your bathroom, organize your folded towels on an open shelf cabinet made from unpainted wood. To use this cozy yet chic bathroom towel decor idea, arrange the towels in a pyramid shape, starting with the large ones at the bottom and working your way up.

Towel Baskets and Stools

If your bathroom lacks shelf space, then go for a spa-inspired look. Baskets are great multitaskers in the home, and lend a fun, spa-like feel. Place a couple storage baskets on the floor and arrange rolled towels inside one of them. Used the second basket to collect used towels.

Stools can work in a similar way. And when you’re not using a stool as a towel display, it can serve as a handsome plant stand.

Towel Animals

We mentioned towel animals above, Use them as a thoughtful touch to decorate your guest bedrooms and bathrooms. Hand towels are perfect for “crabs” and add a jaunty look to the bathroom vanity. Larger bath sheets can be shaped into swans and placed in the middle of the bed.

Need some bathroom towel decor ideas and inspiration?

Decorating a bathroom in a practical and visually appealing way is not always an easy task. If you’re still unsure of the creative direction you’d like to take, book a complimentary consultation with one of Parachute’s expert stylists. Whether you’re looking for advice on how to fold towels for display, or would like to do a complete bathroom makeover, Parachute’s design experts will help you turn your bathroom into a five-star wellness retreat.  

Parachute also offers a beautiful selection of high-quality bath towels that, when properly styled, will elevate any bathroom decor. They’re crafted from premium Turkish cotton that feels incredibly soft to the skin. The towel bundles you’ll discover at Parachute can help create a cohesive look in a full range of sizes.

TagsTowels