Whether your sanctuary is teeny-tiny or large and luxurious, you'll find these storage ideas refreshing.

By Lacey N. Howard
September 03, 2002
Courtesy Restoration Hardware

We all have those days. Days when we need to let the stress ofthe workplace or the needs of weekend guests float away in a tubbrimming with suds. But if your fluffy towels and cozy robe awaitin a closet down the hall--instead of within arm's reach--yourbathroom needs more storage space. Here, in these inviting roomswhere scented soap meets clever decor, you're sure to findinspiration.

Jim and Joan Reiher dreamed of having a large master bath whenthey built their new home near the shore in Quogue, New York. "Wehad such a tiny master bathroom before," Joan says. "It was thesize of our (new) shower, literally." So the couple worked with anarchitect to incorporate a cathedral ceiling, space for anold-fashioned tub, and plenty of room for bath essentials.

Joan chose an armoire to complete the look of a welcomingsitting room. The Reihers hang their robes in the long cabinet,keep colorful towels in the glass-front drawers, and use the soliddrawers for toiletries. The family painted the walls a calmingsea-green hue to link their spacious bath with the water.

Laguna Beach, California, designer Barclay Butera added colorand light to his bath by putting a window over the sink. A viewinto the garden visually opened up his tight powder room, but thebath still lacked storage. "The room is only 4 by 8 feet--verytiny. The only place to put things was under the sink," he says.Barclay responded by using canisters to hold essentials on thecountertop. "The clear glass canisters make everything feel soclean," he says.

Frank and Carol Stout of Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, hadthe opposite problem: Their master bath had plenty of squarefootage, but windows surrounded most of the room, making storageplacement tricky. The Stouts and interior designer Jack Fhillipssolved it by adding 8-foot-tall, glass-front apothecary cabinetsabove both sinks. "They were a great way to tie in the height ofthe room, plus add much-needed storage," Jack explains.

Limited surface area was an issue for architect Lewin Wertheimerin a client's California home. He placed the tub where the bluemarble surface around its edge could be large enough to holdtowels, washcloths, soaps, bottles, and candles. Lewin chose themarble "to connect the room to the ocean."

Georgia artist Maureen Kriegh worked with color in a differentway in her St. Simons Island bath. With a few shades of paint,Maureen created a colorful centerpiece for the room. First, "Ifound a fish sink at a MacKenzie-Childs store," she says. "Ithought it was really fun." Later, Maureen found a $150 sideboardthat fit the long wall in the room. A carpenter cut holes in thepiece, and Maureen inserted the sink and plumbing. After days ofcleaning, sanding, and coating the piece with white sealant, shespent 12 hours painting it with a design to match the sink. She nowuses both side cabinets as storage. "On one side, I keep TP andsundries for guests--soap, shampoo, lotion," she says. "I leave theother side open for the stuff they bring."

Tori Kittredge also improvised storage in her 1910 Boca Grande,Florida, cottage. She tucked baskets with towels and washclothsunderneath the four-legged console sink. She added a wardrobe(opposite the sink) to serve as a medicine cabinet and hidenot-so-decorative items.

Joan Reiher speaks for all of these homeowners when she says, "Ilove this room. It's a dream."