20 November 2012

Bathroom storage wars: victory!

The holidays approach, you guys! It’s almost time for food and family! I’m excited. Maybe a little too excited, which is why on Sunday I spontaneously volunteered to host and cook dinner for nine people this week, the day before we leave for Thanksgiving. We didn’t even own nine chairs. But we bought more! Because FOOD AND FAMILY, THAT’S WHY!

The upcoming holidays, and the fact that Mr. P and I live right in the middle of the country, means that we’ve been frequently opening our home as a sort of traveler’s rest lately. Are you driving from Wisconsin to Memphis? Nashville to Kansas? Connecticut to Oklahoma, Denver to New Jersey, Houston to Illinois (wishful thinking, am I right, dear friends)? Guess what! We have a guest bedroom for you!

The influx of guests to Casa P – which I love and consider a blessing, don’t get me wrong – has really served as motivation to tackle a few items on my to-do list. And if there’s one room that needs attention when you’re hosting guests, it’s the bathroom. It’s the place people have quiet, private time by themselves to notice the dusty baseboards, the scummy surfaces, the cluttered piles. So while I’ve generally tried to keep the whole apartment in good shape for guests, I really wanted to finish up the main objectives on my bathroom idea board:

I’d had my eye on that Target cabinet for months, waiting for some sort of modern miracle in which the cabinet was both on sale and in stock. At the same time, I also hoped that I could find something second-hand to refinish, but nothing was the right dimensions or the right price. I finally gave up and just bought the Target cabinet full-price, which, at $150, was more than I wanted to spend.

But I was happy to have it; at least I didn’t have to keep my eye on it anymore, and I did use a gift card that covered most of the cost. It’s not a bathroom-specific item of furniture – it could totally be repurposed as a bookcase in an office or a china cabinet in a dining room. And importantly, it was the only thing I found that fit the space:

The ugly, ugly space. The cluttered over-the-door caddy served its purpose, but it also kept the door from closing (decidedly not guest friendly). And while the new DIY counter skirt hid most of our bathroom sundries from guests’ eyes, it was still sort of a disaster of piles under the counter, which made it hard to access key items.

So this was, indeed, a welcome addition to the space!

Even more welcome after I loaded it up and minimally “styled” it:

“Style” in quotes because I totally went for function over form. I just reused the baskets I spraypainted from the last time I organized our bathroom cabinets, and filled it with frequently used items front and center:

On the other side: medicine, a few bottles that didn’t fit with the others, fancy makeup stored in a Victoria’s Secret strapless bra box because I’m klassy like that, and nail care and polish.

I wanted to make sure I could effortlessly get to those items I need every day, even though this cabinet is behind a door. Fortunately, the cabinet could be positioned perfectly for easy access:

And as for the door, I made sure both it and the cabinet wouldn’t get dinged up by adding little sticky pads that I got from IKEA when I was refinishing our cabinets. I just checked where the door would bang the cabinet (the upper surface and the cabinet knob) and stuck the on the door:

The long, narrow bathroom makes it hard to get a good photo of the cabinet, but hopefully you can see how much I appreciate it! The only downside was some absolutely awful off-gassing (seriously, the worst I’ve ever experienced) for several days that perhaps gave Mr. P and I lung cancer or somesuch. That is perhaps not trivial if you have kids, so heads up if you are interested in this cabinet. Otherwise I’m pleased with it! Maybe someday I’ll think about frosting or covering the glass doors, or putting a bit more effort into the décor on the top. But for now, I’m just happy to have a stylish place to store our goods.

It even makes me happy when I’m not in the bathroom. Before you could see the door caddy on the back of the door and the weird empty space behind the door from the entryway, even. But now, it’s just a pretty, stylish cabinet!

So yeah! No door-stopping caddy, no plunger on display, no digging through the piles under the counter! Phase one of bathroom storage beautification, complete! Guests: welcome!


Tina said...

It does look reel-ly nice. =)

Miles said...

Klassy.. U make me laugh!