Friends of mine recently bought a condo in Georgetown in a wonderful old building (I have some VERY posh friends, folks). It has a beautiful terrace, fireplace, original details – it’s gorgeous. But – you knew there was going to be a but – it has tiny bathrooms with zero storage.
So my posh friend, Linda, reached out to me for some suggestions on a corner cabinet to create storage in her master bath. I don’t even like to use the word “storage” here. It’s not like she needs a place to put her air mattress or snow blower. She and her husband simply need a place to put their stuff that they use every day and they need a solution immediately. They want something decent looking but cheap(er) because they would rather spend her money elsewhere in the house in the spaces that guests actually see. It’s all about tradeoffs, people. I totally get it.
I thought that this would be a great blog post because so many of us in old, small houses grapple with this issue and could use some help. So Linda sent me some photos and she was kind enough to include the pile of stuff that needs to be stowed away. Thanks for sharing photos of your super personal space with us, guys! Please know that you are in a judgment-free zone here on PLRH. Here’s Linda and Devin’s master bath today:
I did some research and created a quick round up of small storage cabinets along with prices for each. There is a wide range of prices just to offer some variety. I really like the one from Urban Outfitters for $98. UO was brining it on the storage front. They also have this cute little storage cart if you need something really small.
Urban Outfitter storage tower $98 | IKEA shelves $50 | PB Above the toilet shelves $400 | PB Apothecary cabinet $700 | IKEA cabinet w/mirror $149 | HDC gray cabinet | PB Etagere $200-$300 | IKEA corner shelf
Of course, I couldn’t stop there. I believe that you should always come to your client / boss / devoted readers with options when trying to find a solution to a problem. That said, here are some other thoughts I have on making Linda’s bathroom immediately more functional (by “immediate” I mean tasks that you can easily complete in a day with little or no tools- so, not swapping out the sink for example).
(1) Get a wall-mounted medicine cabinet. Medicine cabinets are strangely kind of expensive, but this would be money well spent. You use it at least twice a day, every single day. It’s worth it to have that storage above the sink. Rejuvenation and Pottery Barn have nice options for wall- mount medicine cabinets. As an added bonus, the one from Rejuvenation (in the photo below) has an awesome set of shelves inside for your razor, glasses, etc.
(2) Consider wall shelves instead of the cabinet. Because it doesn’t look like you have TOO much stuff to store, I would go for wall shelves with small bins to collect your products and you can put a basket on the floor in the corner for bulky items like a hair dryer. If you get shelves that are 12″ deep, that should be sufficient to hold towels. Open shelves keeps things that you’re using every day within easy reach without taking up too much space and it keeps the floor clear and makes it feel bigger. Etsy is a great resource for rustic wall shelves (I really like these) and typically you will pay way less than at larger chains and the seller is often the maker who can give you a selection of finishes and hardware.
(3) Get rid of the towel bar above the toilet. Are you guys actually using that? Probably not. Hooks for towels that you are actually using are more practical. Put hooks on the back of the door or outside the shower and take down the towel bar. Instead, use this space to display some art with a shelf underneath or a basket for some extra items on top of the toilet.
Finally, I pulled together a mood board for Linda and Devin’s bathroom to provide a visual of a few of my suggestions and so you can get shopping:) I really really want those navy check towels, by the way….
Linda also needs some under bed storage so stay tuned for a platform-bed-with-storage round up next week. Any small or weird spaces that you think I should tackle next? Any small house design dilemmas you want to send my way? Leave suggestions in the comments! I would love to hear from you.
Have a great rest of the week, friends. Enjoy this beautiful fall weather and LET’S GO NATS!!!