8 Tips for Designing a Bathroom That’s Easy to Keep Organised
A professional home organiser shares her favourite design ideas to help keep your bathroom tidy and clutter-free
Here are 8 things to consider when planning a functional bathroom that’s easy to keep in order.
In general, most items in your bathroom can be placed into three categories: frequently used, moderately used and infrequently used.
Separate your items into these groups to get an idea of how much storage you’ll need for each type. This is a good time to eliminate expired products and items you aren’t likely to use again.
Items required for your daily and weekly routines should occupy primary spaces in your bathroom. I recommend measuring the heights of these items to make sure you order or design a vanity unit (or other storage space) that will allow them to be within easy reach. In general, a 25cm-deep drawer should fit your tallest items. If you have only a few tall items, a deep drawer may be overkill and result in wasted space.
If you have room for customisation, my favourite solution is to build a tiered sliding drawer. A cabinet-maker may be able to build a tiered sliding drawer on only one side of the drawer so the tall items can be stored on one side and shorter items can be stored on the two levels of the tiered side.
Alternatively, stackable trays in a deep drawer can achieve a similar outcome, albeit with slightly less convenience.
If you have more than one bathroom, your primary bathroom is probably the workhorse in your home and needs to be highly functional. A less frequently used one, such as the guest bathroom, may be more cosmetic in nature. Consider keeping your children’s bathroom design flexible, as they grow quickly and their needs change.
If storage is limited in other parts of your home, consider using your bathroom for crossover storage. For example, choose a guest bathroom vanity unit with storage (versus a pedestal basin) to house infrequently used items, such as holiday toiletries, special-occasion hair tools, guest linens and refills.
I recommend not straying too far from the purpose of a bathroom. In other words, if you decide to use crossover storage in a guest bathroom, store bathroom-related items or guest-related items in that space.
What goals do you want to achieve in your new bathroom? Do you want to have clutter-free worktops and floors? A space to sit down while you get ready? Prioritise your desires and incorporate them into your design.
- Ensure your drawers are deep enough so you won’t have to store anything on the counter if you want a clean and minimalist look.
- You might consider installing a slide-out base cabinet laundry hamper for an extra tidy look. It will eat up cabinet space, but you can make it work by moving items that would have occupied that hamper space to a different location or paring back more items if possible.
There are often hidden, usable spaces behind walls. The pro you’re working with on your bathroom project may be able to review the floor plans and identify hidden spaces that can be converted into extra square footage.
If this is something you’d like to pursue, be sure to work with a qualified professional. You don’t want to accidentally cut into structural walls or disturb electrical wires or plumbing pipes.
Find a bathroom designer on Houzz.
An ideal counter height allows for comfortable hand and face washing and an easy reach for items stored on the surface. A standard bathroom counter height is typically is 80cm to 90cm.
If the counter is too high, water may run down your arms while you’re washing your face and it may be harder for you to reach the mirror. However, if the counter is too low, you might have to stoop to use the basin, which could put a strain on your back.
You may want to consider a customised counter height if you’re very tall or very short. You could even add different counter heights if there’s a large enough height difference between you and your significant other. It’s worth noting, however, that a bathroom counter that falls too far outside the standard height range could affect your home’s resale value.
Functional hardware is a bonus upgrade with one of the greatest rewards. Your drawers can be pulled out completely with full-extension slides, allowing an entire view of and access to the drawer. Items in your drawer won’t be hidden, and the drawer may be easier to clean as well. Even if your makeover includes keeping your existing drawers and cabinets, most can easily be retrofitted with full-extension slides.
Soft-close slides and hinges prevent drawers and cabinet doors from slamming shut, instead closing them softly and silently. This not only reduces noise, it also minimises wear and tear on the drawers, doors and hinges and prevents contents from shifting too much. Additionally, soft-close slides can help keep children’s fingers from getting pinched by a fast-closing drawer.
For deep cabinets, items stored in the back may be awkward to retrieve and therefore become lost and forgotten. I recommend rollout shelves (with full-extension slides, of course) in these spaces, so you can see all the contents. Since access is much more convenient, you may be encouraged to put things away properly and more efficiently.
Consider carving out extra space wherever possible. Full-overlay cabinets leave very small gaps between cabinets and drawers. The cabinet boxes for full-overlay cabinets typically have a larger opening than that of standard cabinet boxes, meaning it may be easier to get things in and out of a full-overlay cabinet than a standard one.
If your vanity unit will go all the way to the floor (instead of being wall-hung), it will probably have a kick board. The space behind this is usually empty and could be converted into a low drawer.
Another pocket of space falls in front of the basin. Many people opt to have a false drawer front to keep the aesthetics consistent. Instead, consider installing a tip-out tray to hold small items such as sponges or combs.
It takes extra time and effort to think through the design factors that will make your bathroom genuinely work for you. The end result of your hard work should be a happy balance between style and function.
Which of these ideas would you use in your own bathroom makeover? Share your thoughts in the Comments.