Magazine article Sunset

Beautiful Bathroom Storage: Fresh Ways to Unclutter This Often Crowded Space

Magazine article Sunset

Beautiful Bathroom Storage: Fresh Ways to Unclutter This Often Crowded Space

Article excerpt

* Bathroom design is undergoing a small revolution as Westerners look for ways to make this cramped room more beautiful and efficient. "A lot of attention is being paid to making the bathroom a relaxing environment," says Kyle C. Gaffney of SkB Architects in Seattle. "That means reducing the visual clutter of the bath and giving people a place for everything." With careful planning, as the following examples show, you can have your cake of soap and spaciousness too.

1. Storage strategies

There are three basic ways to store your belongings in the bathroom: Hang things on the walls, build in storage, and add a piece of furniture. An effective storage scheme usually combines all three approaches, but you'll want to consider the amount of available floor space; the placement of fixtures, doors, and windows; and the style of the room. Remember the common-sense rule: Always store objects near where you plan to use them.

2. Getting the hang of it

Using wall space for storage has become more important with the popularity of pedestal and wall-mounted sinks, which eliminate the cabinets normally found under the sink. One often unused wall space is the area above the toilet. Consider bolting a shallow cabinet to the studs here (be sure it's above the head level of a seated person). If there's space beside the toilet, a wall-mounted cabinet can screen the toilet somewhat from the rest of the room without taking up as much space as a floor-mounted cabinet. Or use this space for towel rods or hooks. When you add a cabinet to a wall, use open shelves to showcase decorative items like perfume or bath salt bottles, and enclosed shelves and drawers to hide workaday items.

3. The built-in option

For a coordinated, well-planned look, built-ins can't be beat. If you have limited floor space, look for places to recess storage--for example, there might be room for niches between wall studs. …

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