Making clever use of the space between wall studs, the designer of this bath created shelves on both sides of the vanity. One keeps towels handy, the other holds a television and linen-covered storage boxes.
Making clever use of the space between wall studs, the designer of this bath created shelves on both sides of the vanity. One keeps towels handy, the other holds a television and linen-covered storage boxes.

In the bathroom, you don't have to stow all your stuff behind closed doors. In fact, it's convenient to have some items, such as towels and soaps, up for grabs when you need them. That's where open shelves come in handy. They are economical, practical, and if used imaginatively to show off pretty perfume bottles, graceful jars of lotions, or stacks of colorful towels, they can be decorative, too.

The flexibility of open shelves lets you use every square inch of the bath to create new storage, including places that a standard cabinet won't fit. For example, convert the space between wall studs into shallow sets of shelves for toiletries and small bottles. Nooks such as these can be created anywhere in the room, but they are particularly handy near the sink. Install a couple of shelves above the tub for extra towels. To compensate for the lack of a vanity, put a little shelf above a pedestal sink.

This is an excerpt from Design Ideas for Bathrooms by Susan Boyle Hillstrom, published by Creative Homeowner. The book presents ideas and solutions for creating an up-to-date bathroom. It includes coverage of the latest master baths, family baths, powder rooms, accessible designs, fixtures, and spa amenities. It will help homeowners make design decisions and product choices based on lifestyle need.

Susan Boyle Hillstrom is the former editor-in-chief of House Beautiful Special Interest Publications. She frequently writes about home design and remodeling for national publications from her home in the western Catskill Mountains in New York. For purchasing information, visit www.creativehomeowner.com.