Need More Space

When Joe and I moved into our current apartment, we inherited a storage-type thing for the bathroom.  For the past six months (yeah, it’s weird thinking we’ve been here for 6 months already), we’ve sort of made do with it.  The door on the bottom hides a broken shelf, it’s wobbly, and it’s not deep enough to store my hairbrush or hairdryer without oddly positioning them.

Our vanity doesn’t have much storage.  There’s one door and two drawers (both of which are shallow).  The top drawer is so short that we haven’t really figure out what to do with it.  So far, there’s just the charging wire for Joe’s electric shaver.  I’m honestly not sure what that drawer is meant to hold.

Thank goodness for our medicine cabinet.  To be honest, I was never a fan of these before but ever since working in a bathroom with limited storage I have become very appreciative about these.  I am still impressed with how much we’re able to hide in there.

Even with the lack of storage, this is a really nice bathroom.  We’re lucky enough to have an outlet in here.  Yes, our first apartment did not have an outlet in the bathroom.  In fact, drying my hair required the use of an extension cord.  In comparison, this bathroom is a million times better (ie. the ceiling doesn’t look like it’s about to fall on me while I’m trying to shower).

So, while limited storage is a problem, it’s definitely something we can fix.  Thankfully.

I am also ridiculously excited to get rid of our current linen tower.

I’ve been doing some browsing online in hopes of finding a replacement.  Sadly, it’s not each finding something that we love that fits in our budget.

My first instinct was to browse the IKEA website.  I stumbled upon the Freden Shelving Unit is a nice match.  I like that the top has open shelves (it’ll be great for displaying things and making our bathroom look presentable).  I’m not entirely a fan of the dark color (the vanity is white and the space is small) but since it seems like a lot of it is pine, we may be able to paint it just like we did with our TV stand.  Another downfall is that it’s just open shelves and then a cabinet.  That cabinet would be great for hiding all of our cleaning products but I wish it had drawers or something for my hairdryer and such.

Another possibility is the Symphony Linen Tower from Target.  This is very similar to the previous option but it seems fancier.  Again, I’m not a fan of the dark color and with this one, I’m not entirely sure that it’s going to be something we could paint.  I also think it would be nicer if the sides of the shelves were all open.  I do like that there is a door (although I don’t like that it’s opaque glass) and a drawer.  This layout is more of what I’d like to get.

The last option I found online is also from Target.  This time it’s the Madison Avenue Linen Tower.  I love that it’s white and that the shelves are open.  Unfortunately, I don’t like that it’s just shelves.  That means that all of our bathroom stuff is going to be on display.  Sure, I could get some cute baskets or something to kind of hide things but if I’m going to spend so much on a piece of furniture, I’d hope it would be more to my specifications.

I haven’t quite found anything that fits what I want.  Now that it’s getting warmer out, I’m dreaming about DIYing our own linen tower.  One that will incorporate all the things we want.

Joe and I have never built anything before in our lives, aside from IKEA furniture.  The only power tools we have are a dremmel and a drill.  I think we’d be able to have all the wood cut where ever we buy it, but we’d still need to put all the pieces together.

Before running out to the store, a lot of research will be done.  We need to make plans.  With measurements.  Oh, and figure out how the heck to build it.  Knowing Joe, he will be Googling up a storm to learn about furniture building.  I will of course be heading over to Ana White’s blog for some inspirational plans (so far, the Bathroom Storage Tower is a perfect example of what I’d like up top).

I did sketch up what I’d like for our bathroom’s storage.  It’s a very rough plan I made in Adobe Illustrator and it has no measurements but you can get a sense for the look I’m after.

I would paint it white and get matching knobs to what’s already on the vanity so it almost looked like it belonged in there.  The top three shelves would be for displaying things and making everything look pretty.  I’m not 100% sure what will be on the top shelf, but the middle shelf will have bars of soap, q-tips, and cotton balls all on display in fun apothecary jars.  I get excited thinking about it.  The bottom shelf will have hand towels (probably in a low basket) for any guests (and us) after they wash their hands.

That’s another thing our bathroom is missing… a towel rack.  There isn’t even anything for hand towel and counter space is not a luxury we have.

The drawers will hold my hair dryer, straightener and brushes.  They’re be out of sight and out of mind, but very easy for me to get to.  I like that.  That bottom cabinet will be meant for all of our cleaning products.  It probably won’t be as large as it appears in this image, just large enough to fit the spray bottles and such.

Another little detail will be to have this storage tower on legs (versus letting it just rest on the floor).  I think this will help protect the piece for any possible water damage.  As a plus, we can hide our scale under there for days I just don’t want to see it.

This is not a product that will be started right away.  A lot of research needs to be done first.  It is something I’m adding to our “to-do” list.  The best part about this storage tower is that if it’s done right, it’ll be a piece that we can move around with us and place it in different spaces based on what we need.

Does anyone else have tales of odd bathrooms (such as ours that were lacking an outlet)?  Did you have to get creative to work around a specific design downfall?  Better yet, have you ever built furniture before?

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  • Christine @ Casa-de-Christine

    Our ensuite bathroom has no storage either. We have a small 27″ wide vanity with 2 doors below but the plumbing comes from the side wall so the bottom space is very limited. We plan on adding a cabinet over the toilet to up our storage levels and I can’t wait to get it in place!

    Love the idea of a linen tower. I think you could probably handle building it. Drawers may be a little tricky but I’m sure if you google it you could handle it.

  • Ashley@AttemptsAtDomestication

    I love this idea! There isn’t a lot of space in our new houses bathrooms to fit a standing shelf, but I’m looking into getting the Ikea Freden hanging shelves for our guest bath room and maybe the half bath.

  • Ainhoa

    We have a Freden cabinet ( and it’s definitely solid wood. I like the dark brown/black color, but you could paint it if you wanted to!

    • Kristen

      I like the dark color it comes in (and I’m glad to know it’s really wood) but our bathroom is so small that I think we should stick with something light. If we did get that, I’d probably want to paint it white.

  • John @ Our Home from Scratch

    This is an exciting project! You can probably get by mostly with a hand saw and a small miter box if you need to make cuts. I’ve also seen people setup a miter saw and a hobby table saw in their apartment. For assembly, you’ll need a Kreg jig for pockets holes and some wood glue. If you have any questions, shoot me an email. I built our kitchen cabinets in our last house and love helping friends with projects like this.

  • Brandi @ His Shabby Her Chic

    All I have is a hideous and teeny medicine cabinet (I’d like to replace it with just a mirror during our big bathroom reno) and under cabinet storage that is a M.E.S.S. I need to find some sort of cabinet myself. I definitely want to hear all about what you decide on!

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