DIY Mini Bathroom Makeover

Storage can be a challenge in any bathroom, but ours is especially limiting. The only storage we have is a small under-sink cabinet. No linen closet to speak of. Trying to cram all of our towels, the hair dryer and clippers, first aid supplies, travel toiletries, extra toiletries and whatnot into that space is next to impossible. And adding in the baby supplies we’ve started to accumulate sent me into a mild organizational panic. That’s why I’ve been wanting to get an over-toilet etagere cabinet. The first aid items, extra cosmetics and most of the extra toiletries could be stored there, freeing up the bottom cabinet for the towels, appliances, a few larger spare toiletries and some baby things. My husband’s parents came to the rescue, in gifting us the cabinet I’ve had my eye on as an early anniversary present. Here’s a shot of it after it first got set up, with some basic things just thrown on the shelves –

Because it has glass doors, I didn’t want to just shove things in it. That wouldn’t be organized and it would look awful. I also didn’t want to go out and spend money on a bunch of baskets or containers to use on the shelves. From browsing online, I wasn’t really finding anything to my taste that would actually fit in the cabinet, and the prices were a little out of control ($25 for a small basket!?). So I started thinking about containers I own already. Most of our basket-type containers are in use already. But then I thought of the perfect solution – the larger than life collection of milk glass I own. I’ve got a small army of milk glass compotes, mixing bowls and planters, just sitting on the top shelves of my kitchen cabinet waiting for a use. Would any of those work? I pulled them down, washed them up and tried it out –

So far, so good. The arrangement is esthetically pleasing, they all fit into the cabinet, and they’re all of a functional enough size to hold supplies. But there’s definitely something lacking – the white milk glass in the white cabinet is too sterile, and the milk glass just gets lost in the cabinet. It needs contrast in there, to make the milk glass really pop – after all, I want my storage to look good. And as with any collection, I really want to be sure I’m featuring the milk glass in the space. So I thought up a simple solution to that problem as well –

How about that shot of robin’s egg blue in the background? The milk glass really stands out against it, and the color really brightens the entire cabinet. Most of our towels are this color, and we have a few watercolors of Paris up that feature a soft color palette, so the blue coordinates perfectly. And you want to know what that blue is made of? A piece of $2.50 poster board, affixed to the back wall of the cabinet with poster putty! I didn’t want to do anything permanent like painting the back in case we ever change our decor – I like the flexibility of just taking out the paper and putting in a different color. Or, if we get bored of the flat panel of color, we can switch it out with something with a little more interest. At the art store, I briefly considered getting a map of Paris or a bird/postmark print on a blue background but I went with the simple solid blue because I didn’t want the cabinet to look too busy with my milk glass in it.

The above picture is with everything put away in the containers. The tray on the bottom holds the jewelry I wear the most often for now, but I want to work on a better solution for that as well – it’s so easy for things to become tangled and mismatched on a tray. Everything fits pretty well. The cabinet under the sink is now nicely arranged with a plastic tote that holds our appliances, travel toiletries and a few larger toiletries that won’t fit in the etagere, a wicker basket of baby items and neat stacks of towels. And a little side plus of using my milk glass is I now have an entire shelf in my kitchen free for storing something else. And just for fun, one more snapshot of my bathroom –

It’s not anything new to the bathroom since I’ve had it set up like this since we moved in, just a little vignette that I like and thought I’d share. Notice the milk glass? I really do it have it everywhere in my house. I use these small glasses to hold tealight candles.

I’m really pleased how the etagere turned out. Not only do we have a lot more storage, but it looks really good, if I do say so myself. If you’ve got a similar situation in your bathroom, why not try sprucing things up with a simple shot of color? Who knew posterboard would be just the trick?

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