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Bathroom Storage Solutions

Sunday, 15th August 2010

Bathrooms today are all about indulgence: beautiful spaces with a relaxing feel, and minimal clutter. To achieve this look you'll need to have good bathroom storage to store towels, shampoos and other bathing essentials away. One of the key trends right now is for floating bathroom furniture that attaches to the wall, giving the impression of more floor space. We're also seeing vanities with well-organised drawers replacing traditional cupboards, and more wall-mounted storage, all of which make the bathroom easier to clean and move around in.

Work out what you need to storage
Bathroom products can generally be divided into three categories - those you use every day; those you use once or twice a week; and those used less frequently. When you're planning your bathroom storage, ensure that the things you use most often, such as shampoos and lotions, are within easy reach, and those used less frequently, such as guest towels, are stored at the highest or lowest points in the room.

Carefully assess the layout of your room to make sure that any additional storage is not going to block traffic coming through, and that it's sufficient for everything you need to store.

Then, plan a visit to some bathroom showrooms to see what's available in storage and how it can help you make the most of your bathroom space.

The latest bathroom furniture
Bathroom cabinetry is experiencing something of a revolution right now. Gone are the traditional under-sink cupboards, which tended to swallow your bathroom products and make them impossible to find, and instead we have deep drawers with intelligent inserts to organise your things, and smooth-closing mechanisms that resemble high-tech kitchen cabinetry. Other features include pull-out shelves, tilting drawers and towel rails. Two of the market leaders are Reece, with their contemporary bathroom furniture range, and Hettich for their revolutionary drawer systems.
 
Floating vanities are big news right now, as they not only look smart, but the empty space beneath them creates a sense of space in the room.

The clinical look that has dominated bathroom design for so many years is making way for something more individual, with interesting tiling and an eclectic mixture of freestanding furniture. Domayne's glass-fronted Summa cabinet, for example, is perfect for storing towels and electrical items, and has something of a quirky shopfront feel, while Reece's Sonia Atic vanity unit has a stunning, printed glass front that wouldn't look out of place in a hallway or dining room.

Look to walls for extra storage opportunities
To make a small bathroom appear larger, aim to keep as much as possible off the floor. When adding extra storage, look to walls and often-overlooked areas such as behind doors and recessed into walls, but make sure that any everyday essentials are still within easy reach.

A recessed storage nook in the wall is a great spot to store items you use every day, and won't add bulk to your bathroom. If it's located next to the bath, ensure that it slopes gently down towards the outer edge so that moisture can drain out of it.

Shelves and hooks on the wall will provide additional space for robes, bottles and lotions, and a hairdryer. Visit Ikea for some of the most affordable options, or Schots Home Emporium for a range of traditonal pewter- and brass-finished hooks and rails.

Add a shallow, mirror-fronted shaving cupboard to store smaller items that you don't want to keep out on display, and look for long, narrow spots where you could install a floor-to-ceiling linen cupboard for bulkier items such as towels. Again, these cupboards could be floating off the floor to enhance the feeling of floor space (Cibo Design sells great linen cabinets).

The walls at either end of the bath and the one above the toilet are often two overlooked storage spots - why not add a floating shelf above them for things such as bath oils, face washers or extra loo rolls. Ensure that any wooden shelves are properly oiled so that they can tolerate wet conditions.

Display smaller items in decorative vessels
Pretty glass jars and stackable boxes are ideal for storing cotton balls, makeup and other everyday essentials - they're attractive enough to keep out on display, and will give you easy access.

Other everyday items, such as tissue boxes, toothpaste and lotions can be stored in chic ceramic containers from Domayne or Ikea.

Mobile units add storage
There are a number of mobile products on the market that will provide extra storage, and can easily be moved out of the way when not in use. Howards Storage World sells bathroom trolleys with three or four shelves on castors, and Freedom sells freestanding towel rails - perfect when you have guests coming to stay and need that little bit of extra storage.

By

Georgia Madden

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