Shelves are far less costly to construct than drawers and cupboards. Topped with fabric-lined baskets, they offer drawerlike accessibility and partially conceal contents. For the same function but a different look, try wire office- or locker-style baskets, or use brightly colored or translucent plastic baskets.
Lack of countertop space is a bummer in a bathroom, so using vertical storage is crucial to maximizing small square footage. Keep your daily necessities out in the open by making your own stand-up vanity. A floating shelf and a small mirror hung at face-level is the perfect place to hold your nightly routine products. Stock your shelf with makeup remover, cotton swabs, and a small hand towel.
A wedge of wall space becomes a built-in hutch that swallows masses of linens--clean and dirty--on shelves and in drawers. The multidrawer facade at the base conceals a deep pullout laundry bin. This hutch replaced a door-front linen closet similar to those found in many older houses. This unit also could be built on unused floor space. Drawers and pullouts provide better access to deep spaces that are otherwise difficult to reach and use.
Every bathroom has awkward nooks and crannies. Here's how to tackle everything from unused wall to floor space.
A restaurant-style steel shelf unit turns an open wall into storage for towels, washcloths, and shower supplies. Small items are corralled on trays and in baskets. Pegs screwed into the trim board are handy for hanging robes, towels, and clothing.
Purchase an armoire from a finish-it-yourself company or at a flea market. Look for one with adjustable shelves to store various types of toiletries. Take off the doors, if you like, for easy access, and paint it as desired. Then have fun filling it with items your family or guests will need for their bathroom routines. On the armoire's top shelves, place items only needed by adults. Display cotton balls and swabs and bath salts in attractive glass jars.
This modern shelf offers ample towel and product storage without using a lot of wall space. (Slender bookcases work great for this!) Oversized baskets maximize the amount of stuff each shelf can hold. Because not all bathroom products are "pretty", tucking them away in woven baskets not only adds a nice texture to the space, but they also keep clutter at bay. For a symmetrical look, top each shelf with matching storage boxes or baskets.
A simple set of painted wooden crates tells the story of creative storage. Petite jars and boxes make the most of otherwise limited storage areas.
Inspired by kitchen storage systems, this metal rod with hanging accessories allows you to keep necessities near the tub. What was designed to hold utensils can also hold sponges.
Gain storage without losing space by building shelves right into the walls. An unused area above the tub fitted with simple glass shelves offers ample space for towels and accessories. Near the sink, a shallow space sandwiched between studs houses small items such as lotions. Building between studs increases space without the expense of a major remodel.
Get creative when thinking of storage options. From simple to hard-to-find, bathroom storage cabinets are available in a wide variety of sizes, colors, finishes, and functions.
Items stored on open shelves naturally look tidier when they're a compatible size or style. Find a brand you like and stock the whole collection.
When selecting a vanity, look for convenient storage solutions such as built-in drawers, shelves, and pullouts. This compact unit is both attractive and functional.
When space gets tight, go vertical--the ceiling is your only limit. This storage unit uses a small footprint to fill a tall order. Another great way to go after that vertical space is with wall pockets. Storage racks typically designed for magazines are a great option for folded towels.
Even though bathrooms are utilitarian, they still benefit from the basic decorating principles applied to the rest of the house. Watch proportions--note how the scale of the storage baskets balances the stacks of randomly placed towels.
Store items near their point of use. If you shave in the tub or shower, for example, locate a mirror and razor close at hand. Stow towels in multiple places for easy access.
The shallow drawers in the vanity create floor space in this small bath without giving up much storage capacity. Long, narrow cabinets below the sinks welcome cleaners and other bath needs. Varying the depth of the drawers keeps items in check without wasting space. Drawer dividers are also a good way to keep things from becoming a jumbled mess. They ensure you can quickly find what you need in the morning and also reduce overpurchasing since everything is easily visible.
Makeup, lotions, and other bath products are off the counter and out of sight in medicine cabinets between sinks. The false door above conceals retractable lights that illuminate the mirrors, but it could be fitted to hide extra supplies.
Repurpose items originally designed for other uses. This trunk--the kind potentially found at an antique store--now keeps bath salts and extra towels dry.
What could be easier than lining up baskets on a shelf? Often the most straightforward ideas are also the best. Before you throw down money on a fancy solution, scout the house for everyday items you can press into service: pottery bowls, serving platters, baskets, tin buckets, and glassware offer practicality and character. Leftover packaging containers and jars can also be given a facelift with decorative papers. Group items into containers by type (hair products, cosmetics, cleaning supplies).
A well-proportioned drawer can handle items of various shapes and sizes. Here, homeowners saved valuable floor space by building slide-out drawers between wall studs.
The simplest way to make sense of extra bathroom supplies is to group like items. Store soaps with soaps, keep towels together, and stash cleaning supplies in the same spot.
Clutter will take less of a toll on your bathroom if you group items in a logical spot. For example, keep extra rolls of toilet paper near the toilet, shampoo close to the shower, and bars of soap in a sink drawer.