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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Small bathroom, no storage

keithandronniFebruary 17, 2013
This will be my daughter's bathroom in our new house. Recently redone so don't want to renovate, but there is no storage other than that medicine cabinet. The bathroom is small, there is a glass shower to the left of the sink and a towel bar on wall across from toilet. Would so appreciate ideas on how to add as much storage as possible for a preteen girl. Thank you!
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Norm Walters Construction Inc.
I would suggest an over the john cabinet (or valet cabinet) but the installation would be tricky with the existing tile trying to get it flat to the wall.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 8:10PM
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I would get baskets with liners to sit under the sink, not much room for anything else
1 Like    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 8:12PM
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The bathroom is beautiful! Would you consider having a cabinetmaker make a sink base to replace the pedestal part... something that would match the look of the built-in medicine cabinet ? I'm envisioning one that allows the whole sink top to remain visible. I love the curvy-knife profile of it.
    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 8:28PM
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Jayme H.
An open shelving unit with a towel bar on the bottom, over toilet...towels could hang down a bit..Or have a cabinet made....or..as someone else mentioned: some baskets on the floor...I would look for a type with lids to hide the stuff and/or get a rolling/drawer-cart she can move back and forth into the room as needed/not to be left in the room...LOVELY room!
3 Likes    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 8:42PM
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Kathryn Peltier Design
BEAUTIFUL bathroom!

This isn't totally lovely but it might work for you

However, I think a roomier idea would be to skirt the sink (use velcro and a washable fabric) and then put storage bins or a small plastic cart underneath.

Something like this might work if there is a place to put it.

Something like this might fit underneath - you could do one on each side of the sink. It would be nice if you could find little skinny drawer cabinets like this to fit underneath.

How about this? It's just under 7"x8". You might be able to find some little bins to sit on the shelves, or perhaps you could put a curtain over the front or even fashion a door for it.
Ikea has a lot of small storage type units - they might have something else that will work, too.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 9:02PM
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The medicine cabinet pictured with a small glass shelf over the loo should take care of beauty products and grooming with the suggested baskets for spare toilet tissue a laundry hamper and waste basket in her own bedroom and there should be a cupboard elsewhere in the house for spare towels. What else will she be wanting to store?
    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 9:12PM
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Kathryn Peltier Design
These might work, one on each side of sink.

Not as pretty, but you could spray paint it white.
    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 9:19PM
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@ pruner I think teenage girl was mentioned :) there is room for an over toilet shelving system. Also some clever things can be hung from the back of doors with useful, off the floor storage.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 1:03AM
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what a lovely bathroom! I realize there are lot of suggestions here, but I haven't seen this one done which is quite an English solution:
Use the same curtain fabric - I would do it ruched rather than a flat panel - that you used for your curtains and use sticky Velcro to the underside of your sink (just below the ridge) and stick the fabric to it. Underneath you can construct or buy some cheap shelving/racks and place boxes in them
1 Like    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 1:25AM
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I go along with the idea of a basket with towels under the sink and a small shelf over the toilet for paper and a few bottles. Al else will only clutter the place. How about a vanity in the bedroom?
1 Like    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 1:58AM
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U can make a wooden cabinet in white and hang just above the toilet seat
1 Like    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 2:49AM
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WOW!!! Thank you SOOOO much for all the ideas!!! I'm going to play with all of them and see what works best. I agree that the bath is so pretty and I don't want to clutter it, but she does need some places to store her toiletries (and eventually!) make-up. Although a vanity in her bedroom might be a very good solution for that, too. Thank you all so much ... you gave me a lot of great ideas!!!!!
1 Like    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 9:20AM
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If I did go with an over the toilet shelving system, is there a place you recommend that has good ones?
1 Like    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 9:23AM
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Thank you for the links and pictures, too ... I think a lot of those floor shelving ideas would work perfectly on either side of the sink.
    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 9:23AM
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Hey I dnt know as I am from india so dnt know what websites in USA have them.but check on eBay etsy or amazon may be.goodluck.I think a cabinet over toilet would look best..
    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 9:25AM
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First, gorgeous bathroom. Second, my bathroom is laid our exactly the same way and my solution was a cabinet opposite the pedestal sink. I was lucky to find the perfect one, about 3 feet wide, 6 feet tall, and only 15 inches deep. You don't say how much room you have between the basin and back wall, but I found this linen cabinet at Wayfair: 48.75" H x 17" W x 13.5" D


If it fits, I think something along these lines would be better looking and more appropriate in such a gorgeous room. (Not to mention a teenage girl is going to end up with way more stuff than will fit in a basket or two.)
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 9:38AM
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BTW, the reason I went to Wayfair.com is they have this nifty feature that allows you to refine your search by depth of cabinet. Here is a link of all accent cabinets that are 12" or less in depth.

2 Likes    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 9:46AM
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That is a gorgeous bathroom, and there's no way in the world-- not in any lifetime-- would I cover up that Kohler (Memoirs?) pedestal sink. No way. That sink is so well designed. You'd be insane to cover it up.

My suggestion is, if you have just a little bit of free space for a free-standing floor cabinet-- no matter how narrow-- that you could place in there-- it would hold a lot of pre-teen stuff and not destroy the cleanliness and airiness of the room. Even The Container Store sells these 5 bin storage towers, all metal, made in Italy. They are so much nicer than what they appear on the site-- and they take up so little room, and are very cleverly made-- and hold so so much (makeup, etc). You can easily slip one behind a door or anywhere you have a small amount of space.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 10:43AM
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THANK YOU!!! I think you are right, she is going to need a lot of storage and I am struggling in that teeny space. I love the idea of a tall piece if it can fit in the teeny bathroom. I'm going to measure and see. That Web site is wonderful! I really appreciate all of the ideas everyone has given me!
1 Like    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 10:52AM
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Oh, those swivel bins are really clever! That could be a possible solution near her shower. I really appreciate the link!
    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 11:04AM
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Change the vanity. That is just a pedestal sink. It could easily be swapped out.
    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 11:08AM
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calikym: I may be mistaken, but I'm pretty confident that's a Kohler Memoirs Stately sink. If so, it is a beautiful piece of modern design-- and just looks like beautiful artwork in a bathroom, honestly-- besides being functional and doing what sinks do. All that clean white porcelain is just spectacular. So, it really isn't "just a pedestal sink." I'm guessing, too, given the photograph, that the bathroom itself was carefully designed, deliberately eliminating the space-hogging typical vanity you see everywhere.

Every bathroom I have, I've eliminated the built-in stuff, for pedestal sinks and free-standing furniture. Makes such a difference in the look, is actually more functional, looks so much better, and is much les expensive (and it's real wood). I think we've all been led to believe we need built-in vanities everywhere. When I had all this god-awful built-in cabinetry torn out of my bathroom, I couldn't believe the stuff I had in all those cabinets that I never used, including prescriptions dating from 1992. I think the more cabinet space you have, the more junk you tend to store.

keithanddronni: I bought one of those swivel bins at the Container Store and put it inside a closet that's located in one our bathrooms. I cannot tell you how much this (surprisingly holds), and how cleverly designed it is. My thought, too, was to fit casters on it and then slide it in and out of the closet when needed. But I liked it so much, I went out and bought another and have it in my own clothes closet. They're nice enough to sit out, too, of course-- just very unobtrusive and smartly made. I like that they're metal, too-- not some fake cardboard masquerading as wood. Those Italians always have such a great design sense.. they really do.
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 11:20AM
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Thank you! I'm really glad to hear a second endorsement of the swivel bins. They seem like a great possibility! And I love the idea of adding casters. I do really agree that the previous owner did a great job renovating that bathroom and I want to add storage without cluttering up the open feel they gave to that teeny space.
    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 11:34AM
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I had the same issue in my bathroom. A free standing over the toilet option would not fit and pre-fab wall units were all too bulky my space. So I made my own shelves.

I cut up a cardboard box into different lengths and widths to determine the best size and number of shelves. Then I took the measurements to a local lumber store (a mom and pop type store) and told them what I was doing. They suggested toe strip molding to finish off the edges and even cut and mitered all the pieces for me no extra charge. A few hammer taps, paint and shelf brackets to match and you have inexpensive custom built shelves.

HINT - if you plan to use baskets on the shelves be sure the shelf is wide enough. I didn't think about this and it took me a while to find baskets that would fit.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 11:41AM
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Does the tile go up the wall across from the toilet and sink as it does behind it? I'm guessing it does but had to ask. If it doesn't then I would have a cabinet built into the wall, stud deep and as long as needed. Same concept as a medicine cabinet but longer. You could put it on the wall behind the door if you thought it would detract from the beauty of the room. If the tile is the same height then I would do the shelf over the toilet as others have suggested. Gorgeous bathroom!
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 4:04PM
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If you do have space opposite the sink, as grover mentions, then a wall hung shelving or cabinet with shelves and doors may work. Keeps the clutter off of the floor.
In the bedroom, well a dressing table of course so that your youngster can sit and perform her toilette in comfort :)
    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 1:55AM
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Thank you for the ideas! Yes, the tile goes up the wall all around the bathroom, but there is room above it for a shelf or cabinet. I do like the idea of keeping the floors uncluttered since the bath is so small. I really, really appreciate all of the help!!!!
1 Like    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 4:12AM
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An alternative storage solution on the back of the door would be a 'hold-all' made with matching blind fabric, constructed in a similar way to shoe holders, with rows of open, gusseted pockets for taller items. It would need to be sturdy in construction and in fixing so it remains in place... gentler on walls etc. when the door swings than a hard unit.
    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 3:35PM
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That's an interesting idea! Thank you :)
    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 3:54AM
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A ledge around the med cabinet with a built in cabinet /pony wall between sink and toilet. Either way, your looking a a couple of grand, but I 'd rather go up a notch than go down one. Space is critical between fixtures for that partial wall/shelf unit, so you may not be able to do that, but the shelf along the top of rhe tile should be considered, and hire a good carpenter who'll keep the elegance of the original design. I truly love that bath, too bad it's not a guest bath huh! Then you could just open the door and admire it!
    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 7:37AM
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Above is very well done! Don't put a skirt around that beautiful sink! Keep it clean. Basket rollout shelving underneath one side would be good. Check out Bed, Bath, and Beyond. And I have a small floor, basketweave, cabinet in my hall bath. About 12" depth, 28" long and great storage. Like the idea of having a makeup desk in her room also. That would help her out alot. I had one in my small bedroom as a child. Nice bathroom, very clean looking.
    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 7:57AM
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Also, maybe you could include storage behing the door. http://www.amazon.com/5-tier-Storage-Organizer-Bathroom-Laundry/dp/B005BK2QNI/ref=sr_1_6?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1361381037&sr=1-6&keywords=door+bathroom+storage
Over the towel rack another cabinet ,or replace it with one that has shelves
A floating glass shelve over toilet which can hold decorative containers for hair accessories etc..
    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 9:36AM
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Put a shelf around the room at the level of the top of the door (skipping the shower/bath). Use decorative brackets to hold it up and store towels, extra TP, soaps and supplies in cute baskets. Works great in my bathroom!!
    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 9:41AM
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