Article by: Natasha Saroca
Seemingly standard cupboards with smart, unique or high-tech elements and accessories behind their doors can make a world of difference when it comes to making a bath zone more organized and user friendly.Cases in point: The 10 bathroom cabinet ideas you’ll find here. While they may look fairly basic upon first glance, take a closer look and you’ll find that the beauty (and benefits) of these bathroom storage units go well beyond the surface.
1. Bright lighting ideas. Do you often struggle to find items in your bathroom cabinet because it’s so dark inside? Built-in cabinet lighting will solve that problem. Opt for recessed downlights (use glass shelves in your cabinet or open shelving unit, rather than ones made from solid materials like wood or stainless steel, as this will allow the light to filter through to the bottom of the cabinet), or try a backlit panel that will illuminate the entire storage space, like the one shown here.
For added functionality, rather than a switch-operated light, select a sensor light that automatically turns on and off when the cabinet door is opened or closed.
If you wish to enhance the mood of your bathroom, line the base of your vanity or medicine cabinet with LED strip lighting, which can also double as a nightlight when you need to use your bathroom late at night or early in the morning, but don’t want to turn on your bright overhead lights in case they jolt you wide awake from your sleepy state.
2. A cubby for your gadgets. Want your hair dryer, straightener, electric toothbrush or shaver to be easily accessible but don’t want them cluttering the top of your vanity? A compact nook with a lift-up door (like the one pictured) or pocket doors where you can stash your grooming gadgets may be just what you need. Position the compact cabinet on top of your vanity so that it sits at a comfortable and convenient height, and in front of an electrical outlet so the devices can remain plugged in, charged and ready to go at all times.
Alternatively, if countertop space is at a premium, you might consider incorporating a drawer with a built-in electrical outlet into your vanity or bathroom cupboard instead.
3. A slide-out step. Do you have youngsters who struggle to reach the basin — or everyday items that sit on top of the vanity, in high shelves or in tall cupboards — in your family bathroom? A pullout or fold-down step is a nifty addition for any family bathroom. (Notice how the step in this transitional space is disguised as a run-of-the-mill drawer.) Position it at the base of your vanity or other cabinetry in your bathroom that your little ones may need to access.
It may also prove useful when cleaning, as it will allow you to dust and wipe down hard-to-reach spots, like the top of your mirror or medicine cabinet.
4. Drawer organizers. Bring order to messy drawers with inserts that divide the storage space into separate, easy-to-manage (and easy-to-navigate) sections for different bath-time and grooming essentials, like razors, brushes, combs and skincare products. This clever, clutter-free setup shows how it’s done. A deep, roomy drawer conceals two smaller drawers, each of which boasts removable organizers that can be taken out when in use and reconfigured when the need arises.
5. Innovative drawer runners and door hinges. It’s not pleasant waking up to the sound of someone slamming bathroom drawers and cupboard doors early in the morning while hurriedly trying to get ready and race out the door. Nor is the sharp, shooting pain you feel after slamming your fingers in these cabinet fronts. That’s why innovative drawer systems and door hinges (like push-touch drawers and soft-close drawer runners and doors) are a solid investment for any bathroom, especially one for families with young kids or people with motor or mobility challenges. Not only do they offer smooth and silent function, but they’re also safer, extremely durable and ergonomic.
6. Mirrors inside and out. While mirrored doors are a standard inclusion on most medicine cabinets, when you’re shopping around for one for your bath zone or talking custom bathroom storage options with your designer, we suggest opting for one that boasts a mirrored interior, too. Why? As you can see looking at this sleek cabinet, a mirrored back panel will allow you to see items that are hidden at the back of your cabinet, which means you’ll be able to find and access whatever you’re looking for quickly and with ease. This particular design also features an adjustable built-in magnifying mirror that slides up or down for users of different heights.
7. Hidden washer-dryer. When closed, this vanity appears to have six roomy drawers, but pull on any handle on the right hand side and that side’s “trio of drawers” (actually a cleverly disguised cupboard door made from three drawer fronts that have been attached together) opens to reveal a washer-dryer inside. Genius!
8. Cabinet doors that stay out of the way. Hands up if you’ve almost taken yourself out when opening a medicine cabinet door that opens outward (or is it just me?). Or perhaps you simply find side-swinging cabinet doors annoying because they block your view and get in your way when open? Either way, whether your bathroom storage woes are centered around safety or convenience, you may like to reconsider regular doors in favor of ones that lift or slide up, like the lift-up mirrored panel pictured here. Some pull-up door systems are also semiautomatic for added functionality and user-friendly appeal.
9. Space makers. In bathrooms where space is at a premium, it’s important that the storage solutions you incorporate are smart and use every last inch of room available. Take this clever bathroom cabinet, for example. Rather than the tall, deep, narrow cupboard’s being fitted with basic shelving, a pullout storage system has been used instead to maximize space and ensure that the cabinet’s contents are always visible and easy to access.
Corner drawers, rotating carousels for awkward nooks and built-in compartments on the backs of cupboard doors are other crafty storage solutions you might like to consider.
A hideaway hamper that looks like an ordinary drawer or cupboard is another neat idea that will enhance the look and functionality of your bathroom, as it will free up floor space and hide your dirty laundry.
10. Go high tech. For those who wish they could watch the news while getting ready in the bathroom every morning, or an episode of a favorite TV show while soaking in the tub at night, you might be keen to get a medicine cabinet that features a mirrored door with an integrated LCD TV screen. Alternatively, you might like to kit out your cabinetry with built-in speakers so you can listen to the radio or mood-enhancing music while preparing for the day or night ahead.
If your style is more practical, consider incorporating a mirrored medicine cabinet with built-in dimmable lights or an electric defogger.