10 Tips to Maximize Storage in your Bathroom
Continuing in our series on bathroom renovations, today we are going to focus on how to maximize storage options. I think we can all agree on the idea that you can never have too much storage in a bathroom. A renovation project is the perfect time to take a look at the options you have to maximize your storage. In this article, we are going to look at changes you can make without changing the footprint of the room (e.g. working with the space you have).
1. Recessed Mirrored Medicine Cabinet
This is the tip that tops my list of favorite “go to’s” when looking for ways to increase the storage in your bathroom. Every bathroom needs a mirror over the sink so instead of using a wall mounted plate mirror, why not recess a medicine cabinet into the wall? I don’t mean the little white louvered type that usually sits on a side wall…rather a large mirror with a frame that opens providing multiple shelves to store small items. In my own bathroom, I used this trick to give both my husband and me our own storage space for little items. Items like toothpaste, floss, and toothbrushes can be stored in the medicine cabinet. Shaving items, razor blades, nail polish, cologne, perfume – even travel size toiletries stay visible and organized right at eye level. And because the cabinet portion sits into the wall – they look like regular mirrors when closed. This his and hers solution is perfect. One of the few areas couples don’t have to compromise and can rather each have their own space.
Tip to keep in mind if you’re not using the help of a designer – Make sure the swing of the door clears the faucet you selected without requiring the cabinet to be mounted too high from the counter-top.
2. Add a Center Tower
A Center tower on a vanity is a great storage addition if you have the room. It gives each partner a private section if the vanity area is limited and shared. This option can provide a home for medium size objects that are frequently used. In this tower shown above, we added an electrical outlet and a heat resistant holder for a blow dryer which makes its home on the main shelf. The drawer houses brushes and combs for easy access. Shown below is a center cabinet with shelves to store hair products and back up necessities like additional soap, shampoo, etc. – easily grabbed when the main one needs replenishment.
3. Don’t overlook Drawers
Consider choosing a base cabinet with a door and drawers rather than just doors. Drawers again give opportunity to organize by category and keep like things together. These are perfect for make-up, nail products, etc.
4. Hide the garbage
When I once asked a housekeeper what the grossest thing she comes across when cleaning homes, her answer was unequivocally – used dental floss! Having never really thought about that prior, I now recommend that you line the garbage can with a plastic bag and tuck it neatly under the sink portion. When the vanity is shared – why not have a garbage can under each sink?
5. Tilt out tray
This simple modification can be made by request when ordering your sink base cabinet. The panel on these cabinets has to clear the sink behind it, but there is usually enough room for a small tray that tilts out – just another little spot for tiny items.
6. Over the toilet cabinet
While initially I resisted this addition on aesthetic reasons, the added functionality far outweighs any visual design concerns. Usually your toilet is tucked away for some privacy anyway so adding a cabinet with a shallow depth is a no brainer for one reason alone…storage of toilet paper. This space-gobbling bathroom necessity fits nicely in this cabinet and is an arm’s length away when the roll needs to be replaced. As functional as this option is, it doesn’t make my husband change the roll when needed – maybe you’ll have better luck.
7. Open area for towels
Open shelves are a great option for towel storage. This gives you some flexibility to stack, roll, and fold in different ways to maximize the space. Another trick is to fold towels that sit to the back of the cabinet and add another layer in front.
8. Towel Racks
Here is a great tip if you have multiple kids using the bathroom and/or kids that use multiple towels – Hooks! I have had a row of hooks in the bathroom for my kids towels for as long as I’ve had kids and as long as they’ve had towels. Hooks are easy for them to just drape the towel over; they prevent the folded damp crooked towel look and there’s usually a heat vent on the floor that blows right up and dries them quickly – kind of a homemade towel warmer – except in the summer.
If you prefer to use towel racks instead, consider stacking them on top of each other to take advantage of vertical space.
9. Shorten the wall to wall installation
A standard bathroom is usually 5’ across and floats a 60” tub shower combo (see my hall bath photo above). This is the right solution if you are limited to 60” and want a tub. But if you’re considering a shower without a tub or have more than 60” across – think about adding tall vertical storage option instead of enlarging the shower and tub area. For example if you have 7 feet wall to wall, you could do a 5’ tub/shower combo and run a cabinet or open shelving of about 2’ on one of the sides – Voila! – a built in linen closet and space you didn’t know you had!
10. Shower niche
A shower niche or corner shelf is a great addition to any bath renovation or new tile application. A skilled tile installer will pitch this shelf so you don’t have any standing water, and the recessed area provides the perfect spot for shampoo and conditioner bottles. Side note on niches, even with a shower niche, I usually recommend a separate little wire basket tucked in a corner (see the photo below). This is a great spot for bars or soap that need air circulation and a nice spot to hang a pouf, loofah, or razor.
The photo below shows a fun bathroom niche we did that doubles as a footrest.
Bathroom Renovation Costs
These items I’ve outlined above can add to the cost of your bathroom renovation but are worth consideration during the planning phase. To get an idea of bathroom renovation costs, Click Here.
If you’re wondering how long a bathroom renovation can take and what needs to be done, this is a great reference guide to help you with the order and how long each task takes. Keep in mind not all these items need to be done sequentially – your contractors can help you prioritize.
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