Optimize Your Bathroom Storage

Get expert storage tips for organizing your cabinets, drawers and linen closet.
Contemporary Master Bath With Double Vanity

Contemporary Master Bath With Double Vanity

Design by Laurie March; photography by Daniel Collopy

Design by Laurie March; photography by Daniel Collopy

By: Peter Walsh

Clutter can be controlled in the bathroom if there is adequate storage. An in-room linen closet can easily hold more than extra towels and beauty supplies if you take an inventory of what you want to store and plan accordingly.

Creative Bathroom Storage Ideas

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Use Curtains to Conceal Storage

This bathroom's storage area features a pink and green color scheme that coordinates with the entire space. The delicate curtains create a whimsical feel while hiding the built-in storage area. Image courtesy of ClosetMaid

Add Extra Cabinets for Storage

If you are willing to sacrifice some counter space, you can increase your storage space by adding a cabinet on your countertop. In this bathroom, the butter-colored, furniture-style cabinet provides extra shelving space without making the room look cluttered. Design by Gail Drury in Glen Ellyn, Ill.

From: Drury Design

Hide Your Laundry Hamper

A small makeup area is nestled below a window, which is bordered by two functional cabinets below a lowered ceiling. One cabinet is loaded top to bottom with 10 customized jewelry pullouts. The other contains a laundry hamper and is used to store linens. Co-designed by Marilyn Akins and Gail Drury

From: Drury Design

Save Space With Medicine Cabinets

A dark-stained vanity is the only piece of furniture in this minimalist master bathroom. The sparse furnishings make the narrow space seem more open, while the medicine-cabinet mirrors provide much-needed storage space. Design by Lori Gilder

Create His and Hers Storage Spaces

His and her vignettes border the whirlpool tub in this bathroom, providing ample storage for each individual. Design by Gail Drury in Glen Ellyn, Ill.

From: Drury Design

Take Advantage of Dead Space

In this Spanish-style bathroom, a tall shelving unit built into the wall effectively uses the extra space in the corner. Photo by Michael McCreary Photography. Design by Kennith Brown

Use Furniture-Like Storage

The focal point in this room is the custom vanity made from darkly stained wood. It was built to look like a piece of furniture, adding both beauty and storage space to this bathroom. Design by Velvet Hammerschmidt

Upcycle It

An ordinary wine crate was transformed into decorative bathroom storage by applying a coat of stain by Minwax called Weathered Oak. The nice gray tone gave the wood an aged look that blends well with this contemporary bathroom.

Love This? Make Your Own

Create a Jewelry Organizer

A fabric mannequin torso adds a unique focal point to this bathroom countertop. The funky piece stores an assortment of jewelry, adding a touch of glam to the space.

Add Built-In Shelving

Built-in shelves and cabinets not only add ample storage to this bathroom but also give the space character. The shelves add a rustic feel without overwhelming the small space. Design by Anissa Swanzy

From: Anissa Swanzy

Create Attractive Displays

This bathroom has his-and-her vanities with plenty of individual storage, plus built-in furniture to showcase towels, perfume bottles and other toiletries. Design by Gladys Schanstra in Glen Ellyn, Ill.

Add Floor-Level Cabinets

This bathroom makes great use of limited space with floor-level cabinetry beneath slate benches. These cabinets are perfect for storing linens or other bathroom necessities. Design by Beth Haley Design in Nashville, Tenn.

Hang It Up

Cabinets in a small bathroom can take up a whole lot of space—create storage by using hanging baskets and rails on the wall, then make use of accessory containers to organize all the small stuff.

Customize It

For the bathroom of a longtime customer-turned-friend, designer Katie Gagnon created a unique storage unit for the space between a pair of pedestal sinks. The storage cabinet was custom made while the door is a vintage salvaged piece. 

Photo By: Katie Gagnon, Blue Moon Trading Co.; Stacy Larsen Photography

Floating Shelves With a Twist

When designing a bathroom for a busy family of five, Wanda Ely used a wide trough-style sink that lets all three children brush their teeth at once and she added clever storage solutions. The floating, rustic maple shelves had holes routed out of them to fit various glass and metal inserts that help hold and organize their belongings.

Photo By: Wanda Ely Architect, Inc.; Scott Norsworthy

Install a Cabinet Organizer

Adding a pull-out unit to a cabinet not only makes things easier to find, but creates more room to store essentials that would otherwise take up space on the counter.

Photo By: Elizabeth Swartz Interiors; Crown Point Cabinetry

Upgrade Your Vanity

In this guest bathroom, Alisa Hoffman designed the cabinetry with open storage for extra towels, baskets for toilet tissue and a space to sit down. 

Photo By: Alisa Hofmann, Design Set Match

Get a Hutch

Adding a hutch to the bathroom provides not only storage space but beauty. Paint the hutch in colors that coordinate with your bath.

Take Advantage of Unusual Layouts

In a home short on storage, builder Todd Best worked hard to provide his client with plenty of cabinet space. This custom sliding storage unit was built into an area of the master bathroom that is normally wasted space. 

Photo By: Todd Best, Best Builders Ltd.; Ema Peter at Ema Peter Photography

Turn to Baskets

To make the most of a nook in this bathroom, a built-in shelving unit provides open storage for towels and accessories. The lower shelves have baskets for hidden organization.

Round Up Those Towels

This neutral-toned contemporary bathroom is trendy yet practical, featuring unique storage spaces with plenty of room for towels and miscellaneous toiletries. These accessories add texture and color to the otherwise monochromatic hue of the room.  

Add Double-Duty Storage

A warm master bath features elegant touches such as windows flanking the mirror and illuminated storage shelves. A crisp white color palette makes the room feel clean and allows for pops of color from fresh flowers.

From: Lisa Vail

Take It Into the Halls

Running out of space in the bathroom? Make clever use of stylish storage units, like these baskets holding towels, and you can hide your necessities in plain sight!

Try This Budget-Friendly Trick

Repurposed white crates are creatively placed on the bathroom wall. The crates add functional storage for bathroom necessities and beautifully accent the room's light blue wall color.

Add a Ladder

This bright orange ladder adds a pop of color and dimension in this contemporary white bathroom, and was built for storing toiletry items and towels in an unused corner of the room.

"Take out everything you don't use," says Rozalia Kiss, designer and sales manager at TransForm. She suggests labeling a specific shelf in the linen closet for each person who uses the bathroom and installing pullout shelves so users can access the contents in the back of the closet.

Bulky items like folded towels and stacks of toilet tissue will fit on the lower shelves. Smaller items like cotton balls and beauty supplies can fill baskets on shelves at eye level.

A two-tier lazy Susan, often relegated to kitchen cabinets, can be used in the bathroom linen closet to hold nail polish, small makeup bottles and creams.

A well-designed vanity outfitted with drawers rather than cabinets will hold more stuff. "Cabinets are cheaper but drawers are more efficient," says April Bettinger, owner and designer at Nip Tuck Remodeling. She suggests using a vanity with two sinks in both the master bath and the guest bathroom that often doubles as the main bath for other occupants of the house.

Stacks of drawers of varying depths will hold hair dryers, curling irons, electric shavers and electric toothbrushes neatly, keeping the countertop free of clutter. Installing acrylic dividers inside the drawers will keep smaller items like makeup, nail clippers and hair clips neatly organized.

But not all bathrooms are created equal. In a powder room, a place where storage is often minimal, you can make a style statement by installing a pedestal sink or a smaller vanity that does more than hide the plumbing pipes and hold a few cleaning supplies. Pedestal sinks do not generally work in a master bath or guest bath as they offer no storage.

Next Up

Choosing a Bathroom Vanity

Get tips on how to choose the right vanity for storage and style.

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