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How We’re Maximizing Storage In a Small Bathroom

How we maximized storage in a small bathroom | small bathroom storage solutions | via Yellow Brick Home and Lowe's Home Improvement

This post is in partnership with Lowe’s.

How ‘large’ or ‘small’ a bathroom feels to an individual is all relative, for sure. To some, our current bathroom renovation may feel like a tight space, whereas others may see it as somewhat spacious! To us? While we call this our small bath, we find it to be pretty sizable, especially since we made the choice to widen the floor plan. (Best decision.) But looping this back around – relatively speaking, you might say! – this room is smaller than our master bath, hence, small bath.

So where am I going with this? Regardless of a room’s footprint – large, small, just right – we’re never not thinking about storage, especially in a bathroom. Although a vanity, even a single sink, offers up the space to stash extra shampoo, we knew we could make it work harder for us with a cute pull-out caddy. (Because no one enjoys digging around in the dark recesses of a cabinet!) Better yet, we implemented a few tricks to maximize our storage options in other areas, too. We teamed up with Lowe’s to break it all down, so let’s get into it!

Pull-Out Storage Caddy | Tools + Supplies

  • 2′ x 2′ sheet of 3/4″ MDF
  • 2 pack of 18″ drawer slides
  • table saw or circular saw
  • jigsaw (optional)
  • wood glue
  • Valspar paint
  • nail gun / brad nailer
  • drill
  • measuring tape
  • pencil

What We Did

Our marble top vanity was a perfect fit – both physically and aesthetically – for our bathroom, but we knew it had the potential to be even better with a few additional items from Lowe’s. The idea for a pull-out caddy was an idea born from a necessity, a storage solution to prevent items from getting lost in the back of our vanity cabinet. To start, we measured the width between the hinges:

How we maximized storage in a small bathroom | small bathroom storage solutions | via Yellow Brick Home and Lowe's Home Improvement

We recorded the max depth and width of the cabinet interior, and we subtracted 1/2″ from that (which would give us 1/4″ wiggle room on all sides) to come up with our final size. We used our table saw to cut 3/4″ MDF down to size, and Scott traced a mug and used a jigsaw to cut out the half-circle detail for the front piece that you see below – a sweet little detail that I love. Here’s an exploded view of all the pieces, including the drawer slides:

How we maximized storage in a small bathroom | small bathroom storage solutions | via Yellow Brick Home and Lowe's Home Improvement

Putting it together was a cinch. After applying a thin bead of wood glue, we used our nail gun to secure the sides to the base. The wood glue would probably be strong enough on its own, but the nails (popped into each corner and every 8″ or so in-between the longer lengths) keep it secure as it dries.

How we maximized storage in a small bathroom | small bathroom storage solutions | via Yellow Brick Home and Lowe's Home Improvement

We gave the entire caddy two coats of Valspar Ultra White paint in a semi-gloss finish, the same color we used for the walls in the bathroom.

How we maximized storage in a small bathroom | small bathroom storage solutions | via Yellow Brick Home and Lowe's Home Improvement

We selected 18″ drawer slides that were about 3/4″ smaller than the overall depth of our finished caddy, giving us the ability to pull it out completely! The glides were attached to the bottom of the caddy first, then we full extended them, marked where they would go in the vanity cabinet, and secured them into place.

How we maximized storage in a small bathroom | small bathroom storage solutions | via Yellow Brick Home and Lowe's Home Improvement
How we maximized storage in a small bathroom | small bathroom storage solutions | via Yellow Brick Home and Lowe's Home Improvement

I’m not sure what part makes me smile the most – the front panel detail, the soft close(!) slides or these pretty linen baskets! I’ve stashed a stack of hand towels in one and extra soap in the other. There’s still plenty of room to grow, which makes me happy.

How we maximized storage in a small bathroom | small bathroom storage solutions | via Yellow Brick Home and Lowe's Home Improvement

A quick note on our vanity: It came with an optional shelf, which we wanted to utilize. In order for it to fit around our plumbing, Scott used his jigsaw to cut an extra tall mouse door around the p trap. This would allow the shelf to fit snugly into place, giving us vertical storage that most cabinet vanities commonly lack.

How we maximized storage in a small bathroom | small bathroom storage solutions | via Yellow Brick Home and Lowe's Home Improvement
How we maximized storage in a small bathroom | small bathroom storage solutions | via Yellow Brick Home and Lowe's Home Improvement

I’ve pulled together a handful of bathroom cleaning supplies, because I’ve found that if the products are in the room they’re needed, they’re more likely to be used! If you’ve ever wondered what my cleaning secret is, there it is, friends.

How we maximized storage in a small bathroom | small bathroom storage solutions | via Yellow Brick Home and Lowe's Home Improvement

Other Storage Solutions

When designing our shower, we were sure to include a niche for the necessities, but also a ledge that would span the length of the room! Our thought was that while a recessed niche is a nice-to-have in a shower, an additional ledge would be an unexpected bonus.

How we maximized storage in a small bathroom | small bathroom storage solutions | via Yellow Brick Home and Lowe's Home Improvement
How we maximized storage in a small bathroom | small bathroom storage solutions | via Yellow Brick Home and Lowe's Home Improvement

While the ledge would be a great place to rest hand lotion, toothbrushes and the like, we’re opting to use it as purely decorative – until Lucy’s a teenager, I’m sure! Down the road when this does become Lucy’s bathroom, we like knowing that we’ve future-proofed it with this additional storage option. In the meantime, we’ll be using it for a handful of greenery and a framed art print.

How we maximized storage in a small bathroom | small bathroom storage solutions | via Yellow Brick Home and Lowe's Home Improvement

Finally, we incorporated this recessed medicine cabinet, which, okay, is my favorite thing in this bathroom. (Maybe? Or maybe it’s the floor tile. Or the board and batten?!) With so many vintage details in this space, we knew a recessed cabinet would be a just the thing to keep clutter off the vanity top. I’ve always loved them, and although we had to work around the main plumbing stack directly behind it (grumble, grumble), we made it work, and we’re thrilled. The soft arches are adorable, and the additional mirror on the back is a big bonus.

How we maximized storage in a small bathroom | small bathroom storage solutions | via Yellow Brick Home and Lowe's Home Improvement
How we maximized storage in a small bathroom | small bathroom storage solutions | via Yellow Brick Home and Lowe's Home Improvement

Finding ways to incorporate storage solutions into any room brings me a ridiculous amount of joy. If you’re the same, we encourage you to think outside the box (see what I did there?) and make it work for you, your home and your lifestyle! Lowe’s has a wide selection of customizable and durable options, from shelves to bins to baskets – plus the tools to get it all done, of course!

My biggest tip? Don’t limit yourself to the bathroom aisle for the bath (or the kitchen aisle for the kitchen, and so on). Browse the aisles and think creatively!

Our Lowe’s Bathroom Sources:

recessed medicine cabinet | marble top vanity | widespread faucet | vanity hardwareblack hexagon tile | white hexagon tile | Cloe subway tile | linen storage boxes | rain shower head + arm | handheld shower | Jaxson sconce | one-piece toilet

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  • Rebecca6.13.19 - 8:32 AM

    Can you post how to install a recessed medicine cabinet? We’re doing our master bath rightnow and your posts are helping so much!!ReplyCancel

    • Kim6.13.19 - 8:44 AM

      Yay, we love hearing that! We actually had our contractor install the recessed cabinet, because we wanted to have an outlet put in there as well. For us, that was a job better left to the pros. That said, I would definitely have a contractor take a look at where you’d like the recessed cabinet to go. There are going to be a few factors on how to handle the job – anywhere from if it’s a load bearing wall, to where your plumbing stack is, etc. Don’t let that scare you though – a medicine cabinet is a pretty small and relatively simple job for them!ReplyCancel

  • SG6.13.19 - 10:53 AM

    Do I spy Public Goods in that medicine cabinet?? I’ve been thinking about using them – which products do you use and like from them?ReplyCancel

    • Kim6.13.19 - 11:13 AM

      It is! We’ve been using the toothpaste and LOVE it. We’re trying the shampoo and conditioner next! We basically loaded up on all the toiletries to stock this room. :)ReplyCancel

  • HomeDecorAZ6.13.19 - 11:26 AM

    You have made putting together a pull-out caddy look so easy! We can’t wait to try it. It’s definitely going on our list of suggestions to clients with small bathrooms.ReplyCancel

    • Kim6.13.19 - 11:46 AM

      Thank you! It’s a project that can be completed in an afternoon. :DReplyCancel

  • Shauna Mooney6.13.19 - 11:48 AM

    …I just need your whole bathroom. Truly. Our toilet kicked the bucket and now I’m in that “if you give a mouse a cookie” phase where I’m thinking, why not just replace the vanity while we’re in there? And our shower curtain is NOT working for the small/tall space. Do you find that a lot of water splashes out, using just the half glass? ReplyCancel

    • Kim6.14.19 - 9:12 AM

      Oh, boy, we have been there before, haha! And the glass covers the whole wall. :)ReplyCancel

  • Shauna Mooney6.13.19 - 11:50 AM

    PS: If you’re ever looking for a house crash/makeover partner in Atlanta…pick me pick me! I live in a historic home just south of the city, where Walking Dead is filmed. :) ReplyCancel

  • Elissa6.13.19 - 12:40 PM

    Oh my goodness, the mirror on the back of the medicine cabinet is GENIUS. Not sure how I’ve never seen that before, but it is a constant struggle in our house – I open my cabinet to use the things inside, but then end up standing in front of my husband’s side to use the mirror, which drives him crazy. I think we might need to do a bit of a DIY update….ReplyCancel

    • Kim6.13.19 - 12:54 PM

      I know, it was such a pleasant surprise!ReplyCancel

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