Bathroom renovations: 10 tips for bathroom bliss

It's one of those little ironies of life. The room in which you tend to have the most stuff, all of which needs to be quickly and easily accessed when needed, is also generally the smallest room in your house: the bathroom. And when the design features pedestal sinks and framed mirrors (beautiful, perhaps, but useless from a storage standpoint), just finding a place to put all that stuff is a puzzle, let alone organizing it.

But don't despair; there are many products and tricks you can use to keep your bathroom clutter-free, functional and beautiful, no matter what its size, without major remodelling. Start by looking at every inch of the room for hidden spaces where you can add storage; visit your local home, bath or building store for clever containers and organizers, and you're well on your way. Here are some more ideas.

1 Install shelves wherever you can. The wall behind the toilet is an excellent alternative; the space above the door is another. Instead of plain boards with brackets, consider using crown mouldings, gingerbread brackets or cornices (all available at building supply stores) to finish the look.

2 Instead of a regular radiator box, build a larger radiator cabinet that encloses the radiator on one side, and adds an extra cupboard on the other. Add matching grille inserts on the door fronts of both the radiator and the cupboards.

3 Install a Lazy Susan on the inside of the vanity to keep things neat and at your fingertips. Alternatively, installpullout cabinets inside the doors; you can buy them at kitchen supply and organizing stores (another great source for storage ideas and products).

4 On a regular basis, clean out the medicine cabinet, vanity, and all those shelves you've just installed, and throw out old medicines, toiletries and makeup. In fact, consider storing medicines in a safe place outside the bathroom: humidity can cause them to deteriorate.

5 You can never have too many towel bars. Install at least one on the back of the door; consider doubling them up and draping the top row of towels decoratively over the lower one. Or use towel rings; place one on either side of a pedestal sink, and another just outside the shower.

6 Many bath stores offer a host of specially designed trays and organizers, in a range of styles. One popular type is a toilet tray, which fits on the back of the toilet and can be used to store tissues or breakable items without fear of them falling off.

7 Wicker baskets and trays are great for organizing small items on counters, another idea borrowed from hotels. Use them for everything from rolled-up washcloths to small soaps or toiletries, or even potpourri. Store toilet tissue in a larger basket on the floor.

8 Shower caddies can be pressed into use elsewhere in the bathroom. Screw a pair of matching ones on the wall on either side of the medicine cabinet, or place them on the insides of vanity doors.

9 Corner cupboards, if you have the room, are a useful alternative to regular shelves, and if you find an antique one, a beautiful option as well.

10 If your bathroom is truly miniscule, rethink what needs and does not need to be kept in there. Put a laundry hamper in each family member's bedroom; create a linen closet, perhaps in an armoire, outside the bathroom. And do you really need all those half-empty bottles of shampoo, cosmetic potions and beauty jars?

(Source: Style At Home) article written by;Martha Uniacke Breen (page consulted on May 14, 2012)