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You can never have enough storage and the bathroom is no exception to this! In this article, I’ll take you on a journey of how I added space to my bathroom vanity that was otherwise useless, dead space! I’ll show you how I was able to maximize each drawer!

The Layout

My master ensuite bathroom has 2 vanities – rather than his-and-hers sinks, the vanities are split. I don’t know who loves it more – me or my husband (no need to double check if a curling iron is still hot!). Recently I felt like we were in a space crunch in our bathroom and that despite having 2 vanities each measuring at 48″ wide, items were difficult to find or things were just play untidy. Each vanity originally had two large drawers, a deep cupboard and a false front above them (where the sink is). Our home also has a large 2nd floor linen closet that provides space for things like towels, toilet paper and more.

Adding More Physical Space

1. The Cupboards:

I started by adding simple shelves from IKEA inside each cupboard. I felt like such a tall space was just wasted and stacking too many things wasn’t working. Our cabinets have maple interior, so I opted for shelves of the same tone with easy to install brackets that also didn’t take up additional space. The shelves are approximately half the depth of the cupboard, that way I don’t lose anything way at the back and I still have some space to store those extra tall bottles (hairspray anyone?!).

Shop This Photo: shelf: EKBY JÄRPEN in birch veneer (IKEA), brackets: EKBY BJÄRNUM (IKEA). 

2. Adding New Drawers:

The more I looked in magazines, on Pinterest and in bathroom showrooms, the more I noticed that people were utilizing the additional space around their sinks. I knew adding drawers there wouldn’t grant us a ton of new space, but for things like makeup, toothpaste and other every day items, the idea seemed like a winner. I enlisted the help of a finishing carpenter to turn those false-fronts into actual fronts.

He took the false fronts, turned them into drawer fronts for the new drawers and crafted custom drawer boxes that went around our sinks and plumbing. For a fairly small investment, we are able to gain so much more functionality out of our vanities!

I found a few different drawer divider systems at The Container Store. I used clear dividers to keep things looking clean and fresh and to not take away from the wood-grain interior of the drawers. I, of course, required more dividers than my husband did (I just have a lot more stuff). See how I used them below!




Shop Gallery Here or Click Images Above: Makeup Stax Vanity Trays (The Container Store), Acrylic Edge Stackable Boxes (The Container Store), 5-Section Acrylic Divided Tray (The Container Store), Acrylic Lipstick Risers (The Container Store).

Vanity Layouts – His & Hers

HIS Countertop & Vanity:

My husband requires fewer toiletry items so on his counter you’ll find things like his electric toothbrush + charger, hand soap, and containers that hold dixie cups and Q-Tips. We hung a double towel bar on the side of this vanity. It allows us to hang a hand towel and a facecloth to dry.

Shop This Photo: towel bar: GRUNDTAL towel bar (IKEA).

HER Countertop & Vanity:

I keep my makeup brushes on the counter because I use them everyday and I didn’t really have space for them in any of the drawers. I got this container from HomeSense! You’ll also find a bowl of current samples that I’m trying, lip balm, my contact case and any other bits and bobs. Also shown are my electric toothbrush + charger, my PinkMat for my hot tools, a multi-plug and hand soap. I hung three 3M Command Hooks on the side of my vanity to hang my hair dryer and hot tools. This keeps them tidy and out of the way with easy access.

Shop This Photo: makeup brush jar: TJMaxx, bowl: DINERA bowl (IKEA), pink mat (Chatters), 3M Command Hooks (Target).

Sink-Surround Drawers

HIS Sink-Surround Drawer:

This handy, shallow drawer is where my husband keeps his everyday grooming items as well as our stockpile of dental floss!

HER Sink-Surround Drawer:

This is where I keep the majority of my makeup, a few hair accessories and skincare items and tools. I wanted as many dividers as possible so that I could sort my makeup out to see everything that I have. It’s not hoarding if it’s makeup, right?!

Shop This Photo: Makeup Stax Vanity Trays (The Container Store), Acrylic Edge Stackable Boxes (The Container Store), 5-Section Acrylic Divided Tray (The Container Store), Acrylic Lipstick Risers (The Container Store).

Large Vanity Drawers

HIS Top Drawer:

This drawer is where my husband stores his travel-sized items, extra toothpaste for the family and other items like that.

HER Top Drawer:

The top deep drawer of my vanity is where I keep every day skincare items, cleansers, contact solution, hair clips, etc. I keep everything tidy and compartmentalized with acrylic dividers.

HIS Bottom Drawer:

In this drawer, I’ve divided all of our First Aid items up so they are easy to access. The drawer is deep enough that I am able to stack the containers two-high. I opted for clear containers so you can see what is inside as well as labeling them using a label maker.

Shop This Photo: GODMORGON box with lid, set of 5 (IKEA). 

HER Bottom Drawer:

This is where I keep all of my travel-sized items and a few extras (like contact lenses, razor blades, etc.). I often get sample sizes of my favorite items with my Sephora Beauty Insider points and I needed a way to store them neatly so I could see what I had for personal stock. This drawer was deep enough that I could stack the clear acrylic containers double-high (this also let me use all of the available space in the drawer). Now packing toiletries is a breeze!

Shop This Photo: GODMORGON box with lid, set of 5 (IKEA). 

Cupboard Space

HIS Cupboard:

This cupboard is where we store bathroom cleaning supplies, his shaving bag and any of his toiletry overstock (body wash, etc.) as well as tall bottles of items like mouthwash. It is also where we store extra bottles of rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide (again, the curse of buying things at Costco!). See original photo above.
Shop Photo: shelf: EKBY JÄRPEN in birch veneer (IKEA), brackets: EKBY BJÄRNUM (IKEA). 

HER Cupboard:

Having the additional shelf in this cupboard has allowed me to store so much more. On the shelf, I store overstock of things like shampoo, body wash and hair products. Beneath the shelf, I store things I don’t access very often like a box of nail polish, a basket of travel cases (for things like my Clarisonic and electric toothbrush), and containers that house hair masks, costume makeup (you never know when you’re going to need that green eyeshadow to dress up like a mermaid!), velcro rollers and other items like these. This is also where you’ll find my toiletries that come in bottles too tall for my every-day drawer (contact solution, hair spray) and a basket where I store all of my hairbrushes for easy access.

Move to Linen Closet

I opted to move things like extra cotton pads and q-tips to a labeled box inside our hallway linen closet. When you buy these things in a Costco-pack, you need to store the extras somewhere and fitting them under the sink in the vanity wasn’t working anymore. I now store these items in labeled boxes next to things like extra toilet paper and facial tissue:

  • Extra Cotton Pads & Cotton Balls
  • Extra Q-Tips
  • Sunscreen

If you are able to move additional towels, extra stock of items, etc. to a linen closet or other storage area, DO IT. It is totally worth it for the daily functionality of your space.

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