Choosing Bathroom Cabinets

Get tips on how to find the right cabinetry for your remodel.
Freestanding Island Centered in Master Bathroom

Freestanding Island Centered in Master Bathroom

Photo by: Designer, Peter Ross Salerno

Designer, Peter Ross Salerno

By: Kristen Hampshire

Sleek, veneer surface cabinets modernize an outdated bath and are easier to maintain than traditional raised-panel cabinets with decorative ridges that trap dirt and dust. But cleaning aside, a trend toward cabinetry that looks like furniture can give a bathroom an eclectic or modern-antique look.

Of course, there’s more to cabinets than appearances: Storage is a high priority in the bathroom, and in such a small space, there never seems to be enough room to stow toiletries, linens and more.

Bathroom Cabinet Styles and Trends

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Furniture Appeal

One of the biggest trends in bathroom design is cabinetry that resembles furniture, with legs and open shelves where bottles, towels and other attractive items can be showcased. Repurposed hutches and vintage dressers can even be used as vanities, creating a beautiful focal point in the bathroom. Image courtesy of Wellborn Cabinets

Photo By: Wellborn Cabnets

Sleek Cabinets

Some homeowners are forgoing cabinetry with ornate panels and trim in favor of flat-front cabinets, which are easier to clean.

Photo By: American Standard

Open Shelving

Open shelving is a versatile and aesthetically pleasing storage option for a bathroom. Shelves can be tucked into a variety of spaces, including above the shower head for keeping towels, or underneath and to the sides of a vanity. Image courtesy of QualityCabinets

Photo By: Quality Cabinets

Freestanding Vanity

Freestanding vanities are especially popular in powder rooms or half baths, where they can make a big statement. Many companies specialize in custom-built freestanding vanities, which are intended to look every bit as authentic as original antiques. Image courtesy of Native Trails

Photo By: Native Trails

Medicine Cabinet

Medicine cabinets have undergone a facelift and functional redesign. Today's options are deeper, with places to plug in appliances. Some even come with built-in television screens, such as this medicine cabinet by Robern.

Photo By: Kohler

Storage Accessories

Storage is a high priority in the bathroom, and in such a small space there never seems to be enough room to stow toiletries, linens and more. Pull-out organizers, drawer dividers and built-in laundry areas help maximize storage space in the bathroom. Image courtesy of Kraftmaid

Laundry Storage

Bathroom cabinets are generally 32 inches tall, but taller cabinets — up to 34 inches — are growing in popularity because they're large enough to store laundry hampers. Image courtesy of Merillat

Photo By: Merillat

Added Privacy

Double vanities provide extra storage and personal space when a tall cabinet is installed between the two bathroom sinks. Image courtesy of Wood Mode

Photo By: Wood Mode

Meanwhile, cabinets are getting taller, up to 34 inches. That way, they can fit laundry hampers that tilt out, describes Ken Perrin, president, Artistic Renovations, Cleveland, Ohio.

Following are additional storage solutions and trends in cabinetry:

Furniture appeal. Beyond the typical box, cabinets are getting legs and open shelves where pretty bottles, rolled towels and other functional-but-fanciful items can be stored, Snyder says. There are vanity cabinets that look like antique dressers.

Hotel shelves. Open shelving is versatile and offers storage with an open feel. Shelves can be tucked into a variety of space, including above the shower head for keeping towels, or underneath and to the sides of a vanity. When built into a wall, these shelves offer an interesting nook for displaying a vase or artwork—or for more storage.

Good medicine. The old, shallow medicine cabinets have undergone a facelift and functional redesign. Today’s options are deeper with places to plug in appliances, and the mirror faces are sleek and quite secretive: You’d never know there was storage behind them. And now they come with bells and whistles. For instance, Robern makes a medicine cabinet with a television incorporated, a magnifying mirror, or lights. “They are deep enough to hold everything so there’s no clutter on the counter and you don’t need a ton of cabinet drawers,” says Brian Johnson, principal, Collaborative Design Architects, Billings, Mt.

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