A bathroom has many demands put upon it, not only to be a practical, user-friendly room but also as a tranquil place to relax.
Good bathroom storage ideas are essential to making both these aspects of the bathroom work, but limited or awkward-shaped space can create a challenge when it comes to making the best of any bathroom. However, the items that need storage, like bulky towels and numerous toiletries, can also add to the decorative look of the bathroom, so its worth thinking about how you can show them off to their best advantage.
Have a good look at your bathroom and see if there are any unused corners or, more likely, wall space that could be incorporated into a storage idea. It might be that you can clear out an old cupboard or replace it with one larger console or one-off vintage piece. The trick is to add to what is already there without cluttering the main room. With these fab bathroom ideas, you can keep your space looking stylish and store the essential items too.
1. Reflect light and boost space with a mirrored cabinet
First port of call, especially in small bathrooms, would always be a good mirror cabinet. Not only is it useful for those smaller everyday items, good cabinets are full of loads of extras to help you stay organized; internal drawers and compartments and even magnetic strips to hold your tweezers and scissors.
2. Fit storage that doesn't overpower the room
Keep the furniture wall hung to create a sense of space and give a sleek, ‘floating’ look. Although hidden storage is practical, don’t be tempted to shut everything away; instead use a combination of slim projection cabinets and shelving to provide plenty of storage but without enclosing the space.
3. Opt for drawers with depth
At face valve, a large under-basin cupboard may look like it offers heaps of storage space, but often waste a lot of space if the shelves are too far apart because most cosmetics and toiletries are quite small. Narrow depth drawers or more shelves installed closer together will give maximum small bathroom storage potential and make it easier to see everything at a glance rather than rooting around in the back of the cupboard.
4. Make the most of a vanity unit
If you invest well, furniture can easily become the main focal point. A key piece in every bathroom is a basin – therefore incorporating under-counter furniture is essential. A large vanity unit underneath the basin with an additional internal drawer always helps to hide the daily clutter.
5. Go for bespoke bathroom storage
It’s ideal in any room, but particularly in a bathroom where space is at a premium. In short, you will maximize storage by being able to manufacture furniture that makes the most of every niche, nook and cranny.
This is particularly useful in a home where there is a ‘quirky’ corner or slanted ceilings, which make off-the-peg furniture an impractical option. You can also choose the finishes, internal features such as partitioned leather-lined drawers, handles and even the hinge design.
Generally bespoke storage can be more expensive, and can involve lead times up to 12 weeks depending on the manufacturer’s order book, but you can save by selecting less expensive materials and keeping the design simple.
6. Master storage with a well-designed vanity
When there are so many beautiful and creatively designed vanity units available today, opting for a standalone basin is nothing short of madness.
'It's now possible to source a vanity unit to suit bathrooms of all shapes and sizes, all tastes and budgets. There's really no excuse not to enjoy the beauty and convenience that a vanity unit affords,' says Mark Walker of Bagno Design.
A cabinet-style vanity consisting of cupboards, open-shelves, or drawers, or a combination of all three, will help maintain order in your bathroom. 'As well as providing essential storage, exactly where it is needed most, it will also hide any unsightly pipework for a neat, professional finish,' adds Mark.
7. Create space for a central island
If space allows, take inspiration from the kitchen by including an island-style unit in your bathrooms. Albeit unusual, this bathroom provides ample space for toiletries, towels and other paraphernalia, negating the need for bulky wall cabinets.
8. Go for a freestanding trolley
A trolley or table on wheels with a shelf underneath is a simple but effective way to gain extra storage. Find a basket or box to fit underneath to keep hand towels or body brushes in order and use the top of the table to keep more immediate toiletries to hand. The best thing is that it can be moved to wherever it is needed or pushed against a wall out of the way.
9. Invest in a bathroom cabinet or cupboard
Customize your own furniture to suit the coloring and furnishing of your bathroom with a decorative cupboard, excellent for storing toiletries. Its timeless look will fit in with most bathroom schemes and is equally good for storing smaller towels and products.
10. Make the most of dead space
Making use of otherwise wasted space is all about being inventive. While freestanding furniture has its uses for both storage and display, there is nothing more efficient than well-designed, fitted furniture that allows you to squeeze every inch of use out of even the most unpromising corner, and in a most streamlined way.
‘Furniture designed specifically for a room will look as if it has always been there,’ says furniture designer and maker Claire Darwent.
How do I add storage to my small bathroom?
Give the design careful thought and allocate space for all the items you intend to store. If you have children, provide space for cleaning products out of reach. Integrate lighting, it will help you view contents more easily and can also be used for design effect.
In small bathrooms, choose mirror-fronted furniture to create a spacious feel and don’t waste the area around the sink waste – built-in drawers will conceal them and are perfect for washing essentials. Also decide early on if you will use the bathroom to store spare bedding, extra towels or a laundry bin.
Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space.
Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.
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