Vanity Tray

Explore your options for a vanity tray, and get ready to add one of these efficient storage elements to your bath space.

Glass Top Vanity In Contemporary Bathroom

Glass Top Vanity In Contemporary Bathroom

A glass top vanity with a Parsons-style base leaves the sink drain exposed for an industrial contemporary look in this bathroom.

By: Sean McEvoy

A vanity tray can be an elegant and efficient way to store essential bath supplies, especially ones you'll need to have close at hand if you're getting ready to face the day or a night on the town.

18 Savvy Bathroom Vanity Storage Ideas

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Convenient Stepstool

When designing a smaller bathroom for kids, smart details like this pullout stepstool can help save valuable floor space. Placing the sink off-center allows for three vanity drawers, space under the sink and maximum counter space. Design by Amanda Richards of Burlap & Denim

Built-In Cabinet

"It doesn't cost that much more to build organization right into a cabinet," says interior designer Angela Todd. For this master bath, Angela turned the bottom portion of the countertop tower into clutter-free cubby storage for hair-styling tools and other toiletries, complete with a flip-up door and interior electrical outlets. The top part of the tower houses a small stereo and iPod docking station, while the bottom has wide, full-extension drawers that hold brushes, curling irons and other bathroom necessities.

Cabinet Storage Tower

Sleek vanities in custom finishes make this smaller-scale master bath feel larger. The room required more storage, so designer Bea Pila placed a tower cabinet between the two sinks. With its combination of adjustable enclosed shelves on top and pullout drawers below, the furniture-like tower offers a place for everything.

Floating Vanity Storage

Despite its small size, this contemporary floating vanity designed by Anna Marie Fanelli packs plenty of clever storage. The vanity's large center drawer houses a custom laundry hamper, while the drawers on the left feature dividers for easily organized creams, toothbrushes and more. "A hanging vanity makes the space appear larger, and makes it easy to clean the space," Anna Marie says.

Sleek Open Shelving

Open storage in a sleek, contemporary-style vanity adds a spa-like feel to this master bath. "Instead of hiding your things, expose them for appeal," says Bea. While the shelves are perfect for towels or baskets, drawers are useful for stowing away personal items and beauty products. The single-sink basin provides more counter space to house everyday essentials.

Uncluttered Bathroom

Sleek, modern lines and a surprising amount of storage make this floating vanity an ideal choice in this small bathroom designed by Candice Loren. Three large drawers conveniently hold hair-styling tools, cosmetics, towels and other essentials, making it easy to achieve a clean, uncluttered look.

Plenty of Storage

Designer Christine Suzuki built plenty of storage into this expansive lake house bathroom, designed to accommodate large groups of people coming in and out of the house. The vanity features abundant closed cabinet storage, while the grand apron-front sink helps protect the cabinets from water. The open cabinets above offer easy access to beach towels and other lake house necessities.

Small But Mighty

Squeezing extra storage into a small vanity can be a challenge. Designer Christopher Grubb chose a vanity with a bottom drawer to store hair styling and toiletries. A vessel sink allows for a more storage inside the vanity.

Buffet Table Turned Vanity

Denise Duffy of Bella Dreams turned this antique buffet table into her dream master bath vanity. A clever combination of interior shelves and door-mounted organizers allows her to conveniently store towels and daily essentials.

Less Is More

In a small bathroom, sometimes less is more. Why crowd the space with a vanity cabinet when even a small-scale piece can be functional? Designer Elizabeth Swartz used a custom-designed furniture piece as a vanity for this petite powder room. "The combination of the open base and tall legs helps create a lighter, more open feel," she says. Using a vessel sink means the drawers underneath remain spacious enough to store soaps, guest towels and extra rolls of toilet paper.

Hidden Drawer

Elizabeth used a combination of open and closed storage to provide efficient organization in this master bath. Open shelves offer easy access to towels, while pullout drawers, a tall cabinet and a full-height pullout cabinet conveniently store toiletries, beauty items, cleaning products and everyday essentials.

Customize Your Vanity

Designer Jamie Gold believes in incorporating as much functional organization into a vanity area as possible. These days custom vanities can feature tilt-out trays, drawer dividers and hair-dryer racks. In this master bath suite for two with his-and-her vanities, one of the tall cabinets houses a wardrobe area, complete with a bar for hanging clothes. A drawer opens to reveal a built-in laundry hamper alongside the other vanity.

Extra Counter Space

In older homes, master bathrooms often have limited space, so building as much storage right into the vanity is essential. That can often mean scaling down from a double sink. "We've been noticing a move away from the need to have multiple sinks in smaller master bathrooms and a focus more on storage," says designer Jason Ball. Using one basin opens up extra counter space and provides extra storage — including pullout drawers on either side of the sink and a tilt-out center drawer to store toiletries.

Storage for Two

"These clients had quite a list of specific needs for their master bathroom," says designer Kurt Hakansson. To create separate storage for each person, Kurt added two top wall cabinets on each side of the double vanity with adjustable shelves and convenient outlets. In the center, base cabinet drawers offer storage for common items. Towel bars placed under each sink provide easy access with a shelf below for extra towels.

Under-Sink Storage

For this home, designer Laura Meyer balanced open sinks by incorporating tall cabinets on either side to hold towels and personal items. Laura maximized the under-sink storage by adding deep shelving, as well as metal bars for hanging towels.

Mason Jar Storage

One of the challenges of converting a dresser into a one-of-a-kind vanity is the limited drawer space. To accommodate the under-sink plumbing, drawers end up being shallow — often about 8 inches deep. Designer Leslie Hart-Davidson takes a creative approach to that storage challenge. She used wide-mouth Mason jars to hold cotton balls and swabs, while votive-sized candleholders store makeup brushes.

Medicine Cabinet Storage

When working with a small space, every bit of extra storage counts. Designer Pangaea installed a custom double-depth medicine cabinet in this contemporary bathroom. The recessed cabinet offers valuable interior storage, along with electrical outlets for charging toothbrushes and razors. "You can recess one of these on any interior wall as long as nothing else inside the wall is in the way," she says. Other space-saving features include a 36-inch counter and a vessel sink, which allows for more storage underneath.

Super-Long Vanity

Sleek and sophisticated, this custom vanity is stocked with storage options. Designer Tracy Black designed this elegant, oversized piece, which measures an eye-catching nine feet long and 25 inches deep. "A vanity is so much more practical and functional with deep drawers instead of just doors," she says. The roomy drawers and center cabinets easily accommodate bath and beauty products, hair-styling tools and more. The lower open shelf is a practical spot for storing towels or baskets and prevents the vanity from overpowering the room.

Vanity trays come in a variety of designs, many of which are designed to match common bathroom styles. For example, your bathroom might be an elegant, ornately designed, romantic space, reminiscent of the grand bathrooms common during the Victorian era. If so, a glass vanity tray with an ornately designed rim of gilded metal can be an excellent choice. As is often the case with accessories of this period, the rim may even feature natural designs like leaves or other flora and fauna, for an added touch of elegance.

Conversely, if your bathroom is a sleek, contemporary or modern affair, you may want to consider a vanity tray that reflects the simplicity and efficiency of midcentury modern design. There are many options for this style, but a simple wood or laminate tray laden with elegant accessories can work extremely well in an up-to-date bathroom design.

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