Organzing/storage on Countertops

nothingbutboysApril 25, 2012

Found gardenweb 1/2 through a kitchen remodel and so wished I'd found it before starting. Won't make that mistake with bathroom remodels. I've all ready found a ton of infomration, so thanks! We are doing 4 bathrooms at once, 3 full and a powder, so know I will have a ton of questions.

First one about "stuff" on the counters. I really don't want clutter, but am looking at what the options are. Find vanities with drawers? Medicine cabinets (which don't seem to be popular? What about electric appliances, hairdryer, soniccares, shavers, curling irons - what do you do with that? Any intersting or innovative ways of organzing the usual. All opinions, pictures, websites greatly apppreciated!

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Definitely maximize your storage via vanity and medicine cabinet (where did you read med cabs are out of favor--we recently installed a 6" deep Robern med cab in the MB to maximize storage in a very small bathroom).

Our vanities are modeled after a Sonia vanity we had seen on display. Ours were built by a local guy. We had them made taller than the original, which allowed for deeper drawers, while also keeping the open space behind the sliding doors as "tall" as possible (which allows us to store bathroom cleaning products and a roll of paper towels standing upright).

We used "standard"-depth Robern med cabs in our guest bathroom and our hall bathroom and the aforementioned deeper med cab in the MB (they also make an 8" deep cabinet, BTW). I love mine and can fit a lot in there.

I also store extra bottles of shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, bars of soap, tp, etc. in the MB vanity (a lot better than running to the hall bathroom/linen closet for a replacement when I realize I'm "out" at an inconvenient time !).

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 12:16PM
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Hiding clutter was one of my main concerns, too. I did an appliance garage so I could leave things plugged in, easily accessed and out of sight. With apologies to those who have seen this a thousand times:

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 12:19PM
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Cat Mom - I don't think I ever actual read medicine cabins are out of style. I think it's just my 1980's builder grade medicine cabs are out of style. Also, the look of 'furniture' mirrors appear not to have storage in them. I guess I'd focused on them, w/out realizing you can still install med cabs. Thanks for the other hints on drawers/cabinets and storage. They've been added to my notes!

Olychick - I actually HAD seen your appliance garage and loved the idea! I was hoping I'd get a few more for inspiration since it's such a brilliant idea. I do really love your vessel sink too!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 1:06PM
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Our med cabs have plain mirrors, no bevels (our preference), but Robern does offer options with framing around them if that's the type you want.

I am not affiliated with Robern BTW, it's just the brand we'd researched and got.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 5:06PM
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I've got an appliance garage next to my sink, with an outlet inside. Mr. Weedy keeps most of his stuff in the 4" deep wall cabinet between the sinks. Could have an outlet in there if he needed, but we don't.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 5:13PM
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We put the hairdryer in the top vanity drawer and put in tall - kitchen style cabinets instead of medicine cabinets. 9" deep, perfect for tootbrushes, etc. The only thing on the countertop is the soap (and the waterpik - I don't want it to spill in the cabinet).
Sorry for the bad picture...

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 5:20PM
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I guess you could call my storage for curling iron, hair dryer, etc an appliance garage of sorts. I have a "linen tower" on either end of the vanity with an upper and a lower door. There is an outlet inside each one for all the plug-in stuff which is stored on the shelf just under the outlet at counter height. I also keep my clean bath linens, makeup/toiletries, extra soap, shampoo & tp in there. Then we have a bank of 3 - 7" drawers & 1 - 10" drawer. Hairbrushes are in 1 drawer, dental care in another, my pretty soap/bath salt stash in the 3rd one & the bottom one holds various sunscreens and aloe gel (I burn so easy--I need to buy stock in sunscreen and aloe--LOL!). Our linen towers are 18" wide, but we definitely could have gone with a 15" and been just fine. 12" would be pushing it IMO, but it could be done if you just didn't have the extra 3" of space.

You didn't say if you kids were girls or boys. Girls will obviously have more "stuff" in their baths. Boys, on the other hand, not so much. For our boys, we did 36" vanities with small 9" tall drawers on either side of the sink and a cabinet below. They put their hairbrush and shaving stuff in one drawer and dental care items in the other. Extra towels, soap, & shampoo are kept in the cabinet underneath. Extra tp would fit under there too, but I couldn't bring myself to install a tp holder on the side of the beautiful vanity, so I bought them tp stands that hold up to 3 extra rolls in addition to the one that is in use.

Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 11:51PM
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weedyacres - thanks for the pictures. I like how you really maxed the storage. Are your cabinets bathroom or kitchen or custom? I ask, bc it looks like you were able to really find things that fit your space. I really like how it all came together.

chays- picture is great, no worries. Are the drawers in the middle or side where you store things? I think I need to actually go pull open drawers to see what kind of storage I can get (internet just isn't the same!) Love your shower too - do you have a door or just a 1/2 wall of frameless glass? Hows that work for you?

mydreamhome-like the idea of the outlet in the side cabinet. Love the mirrors too! I've got nothing but boys (hence my user name :-), but they sure can make messes and one of my guys actually does have lots of grooming products! Love the tp holder idea too!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 9:05AM
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I'm not a fan of medicine cabinets so we went with the appliance garage option. This is actually a kitchen cabinet and had a 'soft-closing' function. We LOVE it. Everything is handy and out of sight.

Now I hope I can post these photos...

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 10:37AM
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I went for drawers and tall storage in the vanity in my recent master bath remodel. Duplicated the outlet-in-the-cabinet over the toilet that I did in my hall bath remodel too. The hall bath has a recessed medicine chest, but I felt I didn't need quite that much storage in this room.


Electrified cabinet:

Medicine chest and wall cabinet in hall bathroom:

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 11:11AM
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Great pics and great ideas, thanks everyone! I didn't start this thread but found some stuff I can use on it!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 12:03PM
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nothingbutboys--sorry, it was late and totally missed the username! Don't know how I did, though as your username describes our house too ;-) If you go with a drawer stack, I do recommend going with shallow drawers vs. deeper drawers. Especially for boys, alot of space in deep drawers is wasted when if the drawers were shorter and there were more of them the space could be utilized.

Another thought for your DS with lots of hair/grooming products is a set of shallow shelves built onto the back side of the vanity cabinet door. I saw this in one of the stand alone vanities at Lowe's and I really liked it. I may still opt to add one of those shelves for DS1's vanity. We'll see.

Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 1:28PM
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sweetiecake - what a very cool idea. I will definetly check that out.

donna_nj - love your bathroom. Hadn't thought about electric outlet in a wall mounted cabinet, but it obviously works. Thanks.

mydreamhome - I love my guys, but they sure can cause issues. I get the shallow vs deep now that you've pointed it out and completely agree. I'll have to look for shelves on the back side. Interesting and useful.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 3:20PM
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My bathroom remodel is in progress but I have limited storage area.

I wanted to use medicine cabinets over the double sink vanity to store smaller items but there were issues since it's an exterior wall. I ordered this picture frame medicine cabinet instead. Concealed picture frame medicine cabinet

It will be on the adjacent wall over a 3 hook towel shelf. Haven't installed it yet but it appears to be well made.

I plan on storing cleaning products, extra bottles of shampoo, first aid kit, etc. in the vanity, which will be (2) 27" 2-door cabinets and (1) 15" 3-drawer cabinet.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 5:32PM
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I store the tall stuff and electronics in the tall cabinets next to the sink - both sides have outlets. Girls on the left - DS on the right. DH has his own sink to himself. I put my hair dryer in the top drawer (of the set of 4) to the right of the sink. We put an outlet in there too. The lower cabinets (doors) were supposed to be for linens & towels, but I haven't filled them up yet.

As for the shower - we love it! We do have a door on it...even with ~68x68 inside dimensions, there is a lot of splatter on the door and it would certainly leak without one. We keep the door opened in to reduce drips...probably why it didn't make it in the picture!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 3:53PM
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We each have a plastic bin that we keep our own smaller stuff (toothpaste, deodorant, shaving cream, face soap, etc.) in, and we keep them in the cupboards below our respective sinks. We just pull them out when we are using the stuff. Hair dryer, curling iron, etc. goes in drawers in the vanity (we have a few pretty tall ones that easily fit all that stuff). We do keep the toothbrush chargers on the counter, but it looks like some people here have really neat ways of eliminating that too.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 4:26PM
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