15 Smart Bath Storage Ideas

Turn your bathroom into a serene spa-like sanctuary by adding storage that clears clutter and maximizes every square inch. Here are 15 clever storage solutions to steal.

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August 24, 2015
By: Amanda Lecky

Photo By: Shelly Amoroso, Amoroso Design; Todd Roberts

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

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

Photo By: Lorraine Bonaventura Architect; Hulya Kolabas Photography

Photo By: Daniel Contelmo Architects; Sandra Oster; Michael Partenio

Photo By: Gregg De Meza, De Meza + Architecture, Inc; Shae Rocco

Photo By: Harmony Wells, designHARMONY; Cory Holland, Holland Photography

Photo By: Alisa Hofmann, Design Set Match

Photo By: Paul Warchol Photography; Joe Eisner, Eisner Design

Photo By: Elizabeth Swartz Interiors; Crown Point Cabinetry

Photo By: Kari Arendsen, Intimate Living Interiors; Brevin Blach

Photo By: Lindsey Lang Design, Ltd.; Rob Streeter

Photo By: Mark Williams Design Associates; Erica George Dines

Photo By: Alisha Hillery, Matilda Rose Interiors; Allan Shankland Photography

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

Neat Retreat

In a bathroom designed for the parents of three young daughters, designer Shelly Amoroso took care to make all the details as relaxing as possible. Her goal, says Amoroso, was a space that was both beautiful and practical. "In addition to a deep tub deck with room for plenty of candles, we also included storage space for the kids' toys, towels, reading materials, and even photos of the girls — to remind mom and dad of how lucky they are."

Now You See It, Now You Don't

In a home short on storage, builder Todd Best worked hard to provide his client with plenty of cabinet space. "She wanted us to be creative," he says. "So we took advantage of every extra square foot that we could find — thus the use of this custom sliding storage unit in a normally wasted area of their master bathroom."

One-of-a-Kind Character

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. "This was a long-term project, and we spent a lot of time curating the perfect pieces for her ever-evolving space," says Gagnon. "This storage cabinet we had custom made by an artisan we work with. The door is a vintage salvaged piece that had the original paint sanded off and we added an iron cremone bolt for some contrast and visual interest."

Basket Case

For the master bathroom of a 1870s row house in Brooklyn, NY, designer Lorraine Bonaventura designed a vanity in keeping with the home's historic style. A vintage mirror hangs above the white-painted vanity, which Bonaventura fitted with polished nickel fixtures. "Five deep drawers provide enough storage for all the toiletries," she says. "The four seagrass baskets hold towels."

Vanity Fairest

For the bathroom of a new home in Westchester County, NY, architect Daniel Contelmo created an elegant vanity that is as rich in storage as it is in style. "It's packed with various storage options, equally divided for the couple who shares the bath," says Contelmo. Among the amenities are a built-in hamper, a linen closet, plenty of cabinets and drawers, lighted custom-framed mirrors, and a central shelving area that offers display space and visually breaks the long limestone counter.

Bright Idea

For the bathroom of a designer showhouse, architect Gregg De Meza designed a vanity with a sophisticated modern exterior and sunny yellow interiors. "The storage was designed with form and function in mind," he says."To keep a clean modern aesthetic, the vanity front is clean and simple. Pull it open for toiletries and get a bonus hit of sunshine to kick off the day."

Tower Power

Designer Harmony Wells chose a tall cabinet to solve several problems in her clients' small bath. "Because the space only had 8-foot-high ceilings, we wanted to draw the eye up. The floor-to-ceiling custom linen cabinet makes the room feel larger and lighter," she says. Wells designed the piece with an open-and-closed combination of storage. "This makes the unit less busy, visually, and keeps the overall scale on the smaller side, so it doesn't compete with the shower."

Open and Airy

In a guest bathroom, designer Alisa Hoffman took a creative approach to the design of the vanity. "By 'floating' the vanity cabinet we were able to open the space and light it from below which gives the illusion of expanding the room as the floor tile continues underneath the vanity, all the way to the wall," says Hoffman. She designed the cabinetry with open storage for extra towels, baskets for toilet tissue, and a space to sit down. "It's reminiscent of being in a spa, an experience from which everyone leaves refreshed," she says.

A Place for Everything

In this sleek East Hampton bath, designer Joe Eisner used contrasting colors and materials in his storage-rich design. He says, "the canopy over the vanity is supported by a storage tower with drawer and open shelving on the left side. The mosaic wall to the right of the vanity separates the vanity from shower enclosure. The L-shaped shampoo shelf cutout in the mosaic wall is referenced in the L-shaped cut out cabinet pulls of the white lacquer vanity cabinet doors."

When Every Inch Counts

"Innovative storage solutions were key to making the most of every room in this waterfront cottage," says designer Elizabeth Swartz. "This included the use of some wonderful hardware, such as this Hafele pull-out unit in the master bath to organize even the smallest of spaces efficiently." 

Small Space Strategies

When faced with a tight bathroom, designers have to get creative when planning storage. "This was a small space with little room to spare for storage," says designer Kari Arendsen. "I found these cute storage boxes and hung them from the wall to save space and keep floor space clear. Also the choice of a high contrast application on the walls is helpful to make a space feel larger than it really is."

Vintage Appeal

For a personal, time-touched look, consider repurposing an existing furniture piece instead of installing a new vanity. In this space, designer Lindsey Lang used a deft hand when mixing old and new elements. "I used a reclaimed piece as a vanity and an antique market basket for storage. These older elements pair beautifully with the modern tiles."

Architectural Inspiration

When renovating a bath in a historic home, designer Mark Williams had to work within a small footprint. "Baths were not as luxuriously proportioned back then so we had to get creative with storage solutions," he says. "We built in a large piece — designed to look like an armoire — but is actually linen storage above, and a hamper below. The antiqued mirror insets in the upper cabinet doors make the whole space feel larger."

Multipurpose Shelving

Sometimes, a storage unit can play more than one role in a space, as in this contemporary master bath designed by Alisha Hillary. "The towel caddy was installed between the vanity and the toilet primarily to stop the view straight to the toilet when walking into the bathroom," says Hillary. "It also serves as a great spot to store hand towels or candles and other small decorative items. The small stone feature tile running up behind the caddy references back to the travertine on the floor."

Family Friendly

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 added clever storage solutions to store everyone's essentials. "The clients wanted a white bathroom with Scandinavian, spa-like feel with open shelving," says Ely. "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. Stainless steel inserts hold toothbrushes, glass test tubes hold flowers, glass cups hold miscellaneous items like hair elastics and cotton balls."

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