Clutter free counter solutions - need advices and ideas

alina_1March 19, 2014

We have 72" long and 30" tall ugly and hideous oak vanity in our master bath. It is installed along the 84" wall.

I found this (84" long and 36" tall) vanity for our remodeling. I fell in love with the beautiful quartz counter top - exactly what I wanted, sleek contemporary look, undermount sinks, single hole faucets:

It will fit perfectly into our space.
The vanity we have now has 4 tiny and inefficient drawers and two double doors. The entire countertop is covered with our stuff - tooth brushes, charges, hair dryer, creams, lotions, etc. I organized it a bit with shelves and trays, but my dream is to have a completely clutter-free counter. With the new vanity, I will have more room - it is taller and longer than the current one and has more drawers.

Here is what I have planned so far:

  • To install an outlet in one of the compartments with doors and to hide the hair dryer, curling iron, and possibly the tooth brush charger.

  • To install a wall mounted soap dispenser.

  • To keep tooth paste, creams and lotions in the top drawers.

  • To install roll-out baskets into under-sink cabinets for an easy access.

  • We have a recessed cabinet (as ugly as our current vanity) on the side. I plan to replace it with hand-made concealed recessed cabinet using picture frame as a door.

Now, i am a sucker for extra storage. I was thinking about installing recessed medicine cabinets instead of mirrors, but I am afraid that the mirror finish is not very durable and I will have peeled mirror corners in a couple of years.
I do not think I will use the mirror that comes with the vanity I chose - I am not crazy about it.

What else can I do? Some flat medicine cabinets between two mirrors? I do not like open shelves - this would assume the same cluttered look.
What do you think? This forum already gave me some brilliant ideas. I would really appreciate your thoughts. If you have pictures of such solutions, please share!

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YOu may want to check your electrical code about having a plug in in the cabinet. We are planning to put one in our semi-recessed medicine cabinet (like you, I feel you can never have TOO much storage), it will be 3 1/2 inches into wall and the same out for a depth of ~ 7 ". Not sure if there are special requirements for a plug inside?

I am not sure why a medicine cabinet mirror finish would be less durable? I know you are handling it every day whereas you wouldn't 'handle' a normal mirror, but the MC mirror in our next BRTBR (BR to be renoed) is over 40 years old, and still looks like new. Now the inside painted metal finish is horrendous...why didn't it occur to me to paint that in the last 18 years or so???

Having the vanity kitchen height and depth adds to the storage capability. I have a tiny Master BR, and managed to squeeze a 40" long (25 " deep and 35" high) vanity with three deep drawers. So far, I have all my paraphernalia/towels in there and still have a bit of room left free in the bottom drawer. Medicine cabinet and storage cabinet over toilet haven't even been built yet. I am planning on an 8" deep 4 foot high cabinet the width of my toilet alcove, which I plan to fill with extra TP, my one bottle of Method cleaner, and who knows, I may have to start searching for things to store in there! LOL

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 4:22PM
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I did not find any clear regulation on the outlet in the cabinet...
If someone can help me find it, it would be great (we are in Maryland). I really do not want to give up on the idea to hide our appliances in the bathroom! I already decided to not add that outlet into the drawer, so at least flexible constantly moved cord will be eliminated from the design. The outlet will be on the side wall of the right cabinet. The vanity will be installed in the corner, so this outlet will be basically on the same wall that exposed switch and outlet are installed.

I also want an outlet inside the medicine cabinet.
So, you think that the mirror finish will hold up well if I open the cabinet (without knobs or handles!) every day with wet hands? This really worries me...

I also plan to store towels in the bottom middle drawer. Currently, we have our towels in the linen closet which is accessible from the hallway, not from the bath. I like the idea to have an extra clean towel handy in the MB :)

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 4:39PM
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Alina, I went back again and looked at the mirror. Whoops there is a little tiny bit of mirror finish degradation particularly on one side. (It's one of those oh so lovely tri-fold mirrors from the 60's -70's) Honestly, I didn't even notice it when I looked 1/2 hour ago! Now, will I see it forever? LOL We've lived here ~18 years, and it has never entered my consciousness before! There are also no knobs or handles on this mirror, so either that or using a frame might eliminate that problem?

Am having the MC custom made, now will try and design some kind of way to open door without touching mirror...

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 4:52PM
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Yep, I saw this in several houses... Modern materials could be better, but could be worse too. Just do not want to risk - recessed cabinets are too expensive and the installation is too customized, so an easy replacement won't be an option.
I do not understand why manufacturers did not care of this. A small concealed handle would resolve this.

I did not find any framed recessed cabinets that would work with my design yet.. Keep looking!

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 6:04PM
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