Thursday, February 3, 2011

Creation of Closet Space

Feb2 010As I mentioned in my new year's resolution post, I'm a bit short on closet space at the present Chez Hedgehog. Generally speaking, this isn't all that bad, as it does make one clean out, but the loss of a linen closet has been deeply felt. I can turn yarn stash into decoration but I have challenges when it comes to finding attractive ways to have extra rolls of toilet paper and such.  Also, having my towels in a laundry hamper that was over the closet and therefore not particularly reachable without a chair wasn't really working.

So I started looking about for over-toilet storage and something that I could put into my bathroom to make up for this.

I have a very nice bathroom. Certainly all of my guests have approved of the shower--which is large and mostly glass.

Feb2 011
And the red, while not my first choice of bathroom color, is suprisingly enjoyable. It's not a fire engine red, it's much warmer. Balanced with white on the lower half of the walls, and the white vanity, toilet and shower, it's elegant rather than making one feel as though you're inside someone's lipstick tube. At least, that's my story.

Feb2 017

The only storage in the bathroom is under the sink. This would be more acceptable if there was a linen closet somewhere but as it was, that under sink looked like this.

Feb2 012The bathroom has an interesting 19" nook from some modifications regarding the water heater that my landlord made just before I moved in. That has made a perfect location for Gypsy's litter box. There's not really a better spot in the apartment for a litter box, so I was pleased by that.  However, I still needed some kind of bathroom storage space. My landlord had intended to put shelving there but hadn't found something he liked. And so it was up to me.

May I just say, the options for shelving units that fit in 19" spaces that have a space at the bottom that one can leave open for a cat box that don't need to be attached to walls one of which is glass and another of which I'm pretty sure doesn't have studs are FEW AND FAR BETWEEN.

Feb2 018Fortunately, I spent too much time in La Crosse watching Style Network, specifically the television show Clean House.  Trish loved to extol the virtues of the Container Store and there I found a solution.

Elfa storage! It comes in 18" drawer widths!!! A friend of mine originally helped put it together but as neither of us read the directions and I had left the hammer swinging to him, I ended up having to take it back apart and purchasing a rubber mallet to put it back together correctly. Also fortunately, it comes apart not easily but more reconstructably than wooden storage units from IKEA or other big box stores.

Here's the empty shelving once done. As you can see, I left a couple drawers out at the bottom so we have somewhere still for her furriness to use the box in peace.

Feb2 020

And me next to it. I can reach the extra drawers that are on the top but I'm trying very hard to leave them empty. I'm 5'4" without shoes on, in case you're trying to figure out height.

Feb2 021

Chuffed at my own building success (and finally managing to convince UPS to deliver my Bed, Bath, and Beyond order), I sorted things into drawers, liberated the towels from my bedroom, and lay down new bathroom rugs. It should be considered a great sign of personal growth that I did not buy all new brown bath towels for my bathroom. I resisted most valiantly by getting only a couple of hand towels, despite a known love of new bath towels.*

Feb2 027

Feb2 028Those shelves, my bathroom linen closet, make me so happy. I can find things. My nail polish is actually accessible. Toilet paper has an appropriate home, as does my straightening iron. Since everything is white, it works nicely in the bathroom and while it doesn't quite hide things--as you can see right through the mesh--it still feels put away and tidied. Things aren't out but none of my guests will need to look too far should they need something.

Under the sink has become cleaning supplies so that out in the kitchen under the sink could be small appliances. I'm so pleased. Cat litter gets stored here too but I changed her box right before I took this picture and I'm not hauling out to the car to get the other 20 lb bag right at the moment.

Feb2 030

I am remarkably pleased by all of this. One space at a time!!  

*There used to be a BB&B across the street from the place where I got all of my car repairs/oil changes done in NY. Every 3K miles or so I would drop in, hand over my keys, make small talk, and head across the street to shop. It was easier on them, they didn't really have a place for me to wait, and it meant I got a new bath towel about every 3K. I have a very nice collection of towels as a result.


  1. Brilliant. I used to be a fan of This Small Space on HGTV. They would have really liked your cleverness.

  2. Oh, the Container Store! That's one of the places I miss - I could always find a solution to my storage needs there!

    BTW - I love your red bathroom!


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