Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Topping off the tank: Shelving above the toilet

I have been sitting here, trying very hard to think of a funny little story to open this post. But since this entry is about the area in your bathroom immediately above and around your toilet, it's a little difficult to come up with something that isn't completely gross. "Floating shelves above your floaters?" ... No. "The #1 thing for your #2s." C'mon. "Wipe away your storage worries?" Nope nope nope. So I decided against making those awful, awful jokes. You can thank me in the comments.

Instead, I'm just going to be straightforward: in a room as small as a bathroom, especially in a tiny apartment, storage space is precious. And for some reason, it's one of the rooms where "thinking up" is the most overlooked. The convenience of tons of shelves is sadly underutilized, and if there's useable wall space, many opt for a closed cabinet instead. Yet in a small space, open shelving can be the better choice. Rather than a heavy wooden cabinet, floating shelves can keep the room feeling airy, while leaving your necessities at your fingertips. There's also no reason to hide away your bathroom supplies: stacked toilet paper rolls and rolled towels can be artfully staged so it looks as good as it is functional. (You can always find a pretty box for all those tampons, 'cause not everything looks good out and in front.) The result also lends itself to a spa-like feel -- it's a nice way to class up a room where shit goes down.

Dammit, I'm sorry. That one slipped out.

I really dig the green, dark brown, and white palette of this bathroom by Kate Malo, a graphic designer for Kitchen and Bath Ideas. Via Better Homes and Gardens.

Powder blue fits this powder room -- even the stack of white toilet paper looks like a cloud. From Tell'er All About It via DIY Showoff.

The white shelves on the white walls make these shelves feel like a seamless part of the wall, creating tons of storage without taking up visual space. From The Order Obsessed, via Arianna Belle.

Wicker baskets coralling muted-green and white towels gives this bathroom a shabby chic sensibility. From Grace Brooke.

In stark contrast to the previous room, this bathroom, a project for Jordan Furniture by architect Shiraz Solomon, is sleek and modern. The wooden shelves and the pop of orange on the shelf keep the bathroom from being too sterile and stark. From Houzz.

IKEA does it again with a truly tiny bathroom. The white accessories keep the dark-tiled walls from closing in, and both the open shelves and the drawers go all the way to the ceiling. Via Emmas Design Blogg.

If you look at the rest of this bathroom on fixture manufacturer Kohler's blog, you'll see that it's about the size of my entire first apartment. Seriously. There's a goddamn couch in there. But those wire baskets and awesome accessories have won me over, despite my jealousy. From Kohler.

Shelves that stretch from wall to wall of this powder room maximizes storage in an otherwise miniscule space. From Rate My Space.

This Hudson Hotel bathroom has room to hold the toiletries they provide, as well as some room for guests to spread out their stuff and feel right at home. From Opalescent Minx.


  1. Love it! We are planning to reno our bathroom this year and floaters above our...great, now you're rubbing off on me...is just what we had in mind! Will post pics once the job is done. :)

  2. I enjoyed your potty humor. :) That first photo is all kinds of gorgeous!!

  3. Just yesterday I was thinking about ways to get storage in the only area of OUR tiny apt bathroom that could possibly be used: above the toilet. Unfortunately the entire wall is tiled and we are renting, and the floor is stepped back there so there we are extremely limited. I'm thinking of getting a few very lightweight shower organizers and using stick-on hooks to stick them to the wall. It's been working really well in the shower; two hooks hold up the organizer plus several bottles of shampoo, soap, etc. I put stuff into smaller bottles than what it was purchased in, so it puts less stress on the hooks. I'm thinking of putting two right next to each other behind the toilet to store TP, cotton swabs, and other lightweight stuff. Renting a tiny apartment sure can be challenging, but a little creativity goes a long way!

  4. Glad to see you're back again! Had been missing your posts. And this one is awesome--I couldn't agree more on the green, brown, and white bathroom--so modern and sleek!


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