The bathroom is a room where storage is crucial. There are so many items that need to be stored in the space that maximising storage should always be a priority when it comes to picking out fixtures and fittings.
Today I wanted to talk a little bit about bathroom storage – namely under sink storage. I have recently changed two of the sinks in my house with the specific need to do this due to the lack of storage in each room, and what I found out along the way may give you some ideas if you are updating yours in the future.
Whether you are talking about a small or large room, a main bathroom or a downstairs cloakroom – storage is vital.
You want to be able to hide all the bits away that you need in the room (spare toilet rolls, toiletries, cleaning products etc….) rather than have clutter on show, and under the sink is one of those places that can be wasted space when it could be made really useful by adding that all important storage to it.
It’s also one of the only spaces that you have available for storage if you have a particularly small room to work with.
Good design is as much about practicality as aesthetics
Bathrooms come in all shapes and sizes, as can downstairs toilets and ensuites – and usually in these rooms space is at a premium.
As soon as you add in all the bits and pieces that you want to keep in there into the equation, things get cluttered very quickly.
The trick is to make every part of the room work hard for you – while still creating a sense of space.
I want to show you the befores and afters of two rooms in my house that we recently changed the sinks in – namely the ensuite to our master bedroom and the downstairs toilet.
Master Ensuite before
Downstairs Toilet before
As you can see, both of these spaces are relatively small, and both had absolutely no storage in them – which caused lots of clutter and mess to naturally form (the before pictures were taken when they were pretty empty!).
Even with myself knowing storage is crucial in these rooms, we actually put these sinks in would you believe! – You see, when we moved into this house we refurbished the whole thing and did an extension, and with that came a lot of expense – so we basically ran out of money at the time and bought sinks that fit the budget we had (the other option we had was to add in all the plumbing and not finish the rooms but we felt that this wasn’t an option really with a toddler who would be potty training pretty soon!).
It was always the aim to change them going forward, and I am actually really glad that we did it this way because we got to use the rooms and see what we really needed.
TIP – Live with the space you have for a few months if possible before you start to change things, as you will start to understand how you want to change them and what will work best for you and your family.
I started therefore by writing down what we needed in each space, and working out the dimensions that we had to stick to. This helped me massively when it came to shopping for the new sinks and storage because I could easily discount most I saw and really focus the search which saved time.
Some things that we had to look at were as follows:-
- The pipework under the downstairs sink looked really messy and was the first thing you saw in the room – so this needed to be hidden with under sink storage.
- I prefer storage that was closed rather than open so that you can hide things away – it gives a much less cluttered look to a bathroom. We had been using baskets and open shelves and this just didn’t work for these rooms.
- As the rooms were both pretty small, I didn’t want to close them off even more by adding in bulky storage or storage that went right to the floor – a great tip is to try and have storage that is either wall mounted or on legs so that you can see the floor underneath because the room looks bigger as a result.
- I wanted a dark wood look to the storage if possible
- The downstairs toilet sink had to be very narrow as it was a tight fit – so I knew this would be tricky to find and measuring accurately was crucial.
- The master ensuite had to have much more capacity for storage under the sink, but still had to fit between the toilet and the shower. In the end I actually sat on the toilet and measured the maximum depth and width possible for a unit so that it wouldn’t hit me in the leg each time I used the toilet! – think practicality at all times!
Having looked around for options, and still having a budget in mind, I found the answer at IKEA in their Lillangen series of washbasins:-
This set was a perfect fit for the downstairs cloakroom and fit all my criteria for a great price – so was snapped up!
And here’s how it looked when changed:-
A marked improvement I’m sure you’ll agree. Everything is now out of sight, and the sink works well in the look of the rest of the house (we kept the tap as there was nothing wrong with that, I’m all for saving money!).
I particularly liked the style of this and the large sink area (useful with a little one as more room to wash hands etc…) – so I chose the same range for the ensuite upstairs.
Again there’s loads of storage, but I also like the open parts on the left hand side, as these allow for items to display, or to grab quickly. There are two columns of these open parts (one at the front and one behind at the back hidden from view), so I used the front ones as display for perfumes etc.. and the back part for items I needed to hand quickly but didn’t want or need to display – things like makeup and toiletries.
Another bonus of this sink is that it has quite a large area at the back on each side of the tap which can house things like toothbrush etc… which we didn’t have before.
I’m really happy with the changes to both rooms, and the added storage has been amazing in terms of keeping things tidier and to hand.
What do you think?
So – if you are looking to add storage to your bathroom, then look at your sink as a great option. My top tips when you are considering adding in under sink storage in your bathroom are as follows:-
- Ensure you get the correct size, shape and style for the room – think about moving around the room and access to everything else.
- Make sure the storage that you are adding in is enough for what you need (check height of shelves etc…)
- Check that your sink change won’t affect the walls by making the new sink slightly larger than the old one to hide any marks left by the old one
- Make a smaller space feel bigger by keeping the storage off the floor so you can see right to the wall