Conquer bathroom chaos with these stylish cabinets
Fluffy towels, extra shampoo, that value-size tub-and-tile cleaner—try finding a place for all the stuff in your bathroom when the only thing that fits under the sink is the plumbing. As one homeowner, posting on our discussion boards as "Alfetta159," says, "I love the pedestal sink in my 1930s house, but it has no storage!" Alfetta, we hear you. And so, apparently, do bath-cabinet makers. "Bath storage has evolved tremendously in the past few years," says Patricia Gaylor, an interior designer in Little Falls, New Jersey. "Today you can get vanities in virtually every size and style to help declutter around
your sink." Read on for 11 finds and four tips that can solve any household's needs, from a petite powder-room stand to a dresserlike base you can pack with bottles, jars, and bath towels galore.
Packed with 6 feet of under-the-sink stowaway space, this handsome two-person vanity has eight deep
drawers, one double-wide cabinet, and two shallow tilt-out drawer fronts for storing toothpaste and
the like. Solid wood, stained "rich espresso," cane door insets, turned feet, and antiqued brass knobs give it the look of fine furniture. Pegasus vanity, with marble top and twin sinks, about $1,700; Expo Design Centers for store locations
With echoes of streamlined Art Deco style, this rounded vanity makes any small bath feel luxurious. Made of cherry-veneered maple, it is just 2 feet wide but has a deep drawer and a cabinet above it big enough for a stack of hand towels. The little lav has just enough deck space for a bar of soap or a water tumbler. Porcher vanity, about $670; sink, about $239; Expo Design Centers for store locations
Clean, square lines give this 3-foot-wide vanity an unfussy air, making it a good choice for a his-and-hers bath. Made of hardwood with a black finish, it has a deeper-than-most tilt-out drawer on top and one deep drawer—for your spouse's curiously large collection of skin- and hair-care products, perhaps. The spacious open shelf below keeps the base from looking bulky and provides space for showcasing an inviting stack of bath towels. Pegasus vanity, about $799; Carrara marble top and sink, about $369; Expo Design Centers for store locations
Getting storage up off the floor helps a small bath look larger. So does a vanity with petite proportions. This compact wall-mount base is 33 inches wide (including two "wings" to hold toiletries), and the narrow top accommodates a bulbous basin that is 19½ inches front to back. The open shelf and towel bar corral washcloths and hand towels. Stash other Dopp-kit essentials in the bottom drawer—and in the matching medicine cabinet. Barclay Products vanity, about about $742; towel bar, about $118; sink, about about $618; medicine cabinet, about $942; Davis & Warshow for store locations
With its bamboo-textured doors, solid mahogany base, and exposed tenon details, this 36-inch-wide vanity begs for a spot in a well-appointed guest or master bath. It comes stocked with its own organizers: two dovetail mahogany boxes in the roomy cabinet and a tray in the open bottom shelf to keep spa bath extras at the ready. Kohler vanity, about $2,214, and sink top, about $1,178; Davis & Warshow for store locations
Storage in the round eases flow when powder-room space is at a premium—and makes a standout design statement. Just 21 inches in diameter, this leggy, black-finished maple vanity holds one curved drawer and an open shelf to display luxury hotel–style supplies. The vitreous-china sink top has a round bowl rimmed with a decorative pattern. Kohler vanity, about $1,897, and sink, about $805; Davis & Warshow for store locations
Tip: Adding baskets, boxes, and dividers keeps a vanity organized so the bar soap never gets lost amid the hand towels.
This floating vanity with exotic wood veneer is part of a customizable modular system that includes a mirrored medicine cabinet and open shelf storage up above. Wall-hung panels make the pieces appear as a single, furniturelike piece. Two deep drawers hide bulky items, such as a hairdryer; upper cubbies leave good-looking containers on display. Just add the vessel sink and wall-mount faucet of your choosing. Porcher vanity, about $958, and wall unit (as shown), about $1,110; Expo Design Centers for store locations
Inspired by Craftsman furniture, this flared-leg vanity would do well in a powder room or doubled up in a master bath. The black-finished maple base comes with a rustic rattan top drawer (coated with polyurethane for easy cleaning) to hold backup bars of soap, a bottom drawer deep enough for extra rolls of toilet tissue, and space in between for a basket of other grooming essentials or tall canisters. And all for a nice price. Kohler vanity, about $290, and sink, about $109; Expo Design Centers for store locations
To-the-floor storage maximizes every usable inch of this 18-inch-wide vanity—and makes cleaning underneath it a nonissue. The white laminate unit, with a cutout for a matching sink, holds a cabinet tall enough for a bag of bath toys or a roll of paper towels and a drawer to corral smaller stuff. Empire Industries vanity, about $128, and sink, about $91; Expo Design Centers for store locations
Updating an old-house favorite, this aluminum-legged washstand leaves bath staples out in the open, with a semitransparent glass shelf and a front rail that doubles as a hand-towel rack. Add the glass and chrome above-the-sink shelf to hold grooming supplies. What the sink lacks in deck space it makes up for in basin size—the trough's 39½-inch-wide opening is big enough for bathing a baby or hand-washing your best sweaters. console and sink, about $3,720, and shelf, about $425; Davis & Warshow for store locations
You could turn a vintage dresser into a vanity, of course, or you could buy this elegant number and pretend you did. The 30-inch-wide base is alder wood enhanced with a "cognac" finish; its fluted legs and turned feet evoke French Empire-style furniture. Behind two curvaceous doors sits a big open cabinet that will fit linen towels and French-milled soap by the boxful. The fancy ogee-edge granite top follows the cabinet's curves to a T and adds a good amount of grooming space. Empire Industries vanity, about $1,590, and top and sink, about $550;
Davis & Warshow for store locations
Recess an extra cabinet into the wall to augment what you've got over the sink. One made of wood or metal can tuck in behind the door so it's largely out of sight. Or opt for a mega-medicine cabinet that adds a full-length mirror, and organizes the whole family: This one, from Robern, is semirecessed at 8 inches deep and stands an astounding 6 feet tall. Framed in front for a traditional look,
it offers a modern convenience: outlets for your electric toothbrush or shaver (about $1,716; Homeclick)
If there's room, slide in a salvaged footlocker or metal doctor's cabinet; you'll gain character as well as more order. Narrow new freestanding units do the trick equally well. With this vintage-inspired three-piece tower, you can configure it the way you like and your space allows (base cabinet, about $118; drawers, about $70; glass-front cabinet, about $118; Expo Design Centers). "Just ask yourself how you're going to use a cabinet you add to the bath, and make sure it doesn't just become a place to store more junk," cautions Standolyn Robertson, president of the National Association of Professional Organizers.
To keep any vanity from becoming a catchall, install kitchen cabinet–style drawer dividers, slide-out shelves, and wire bins screwed to the back of the doors. These chrome two-tier pull-out shelves by start at about $85 (Lowe's).
Issue each family member a dorm-style tote to corral personal supplies, (about $7, small, and about $8, large; HomeGoods). "The idea is that everyone stocks one with all of their toiletries," says Robertson. "And everyone is responsible for putting their stuff away when they're done."