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A Quick Guide To Choosing The Right Storage Cabinet For Your Bathroom

No matter how big or small your bathroom, adding a storage cabinet is one of the simplest and most straightforward ways to get more usable storage space. Add-on cabinets come in all shapes, sizes, and configurations, so it’s easy to find one that will meet your needs, regardless of what they happen to be. That said, it’s important to take time to figure out exactly what you want and need out of a bathroom cabinet, and how much space you really have to dedicate to one.

Storage Cart/Half Height Cabinet

Dior 18" Modern Side Cabinet in Zebra Gray KSC-700-ZG from Virtu USA
Dior 18″ Modern Side Cabinet in Zebra Gray KSC-700-ZG from Virtu USA

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The most common types of bathroom storage cabinets are sort of like a smaller version of a standard vanity: they’re about the same height, but narrower and sit closer to the wall, and usually have shelves or drawers for more organized storage. These types of cabinets are pretty much a straight supplement to your bathroom vanity and can be purchased individually in a wide variety of colors and styles, or as part of a larger bathroom vanity collection. The biggest advantages of a half-height cabinets are that they also add usable counter space, which most cabinets don’t, and they don’t take up space on your upper walls, so they can be used for other forms of storage. Unfortunately, you’ll need to bend down to access most items stored inside these cabinets.

Full Sized Storage Cabinet

Brookfield Linen Cabinet in Country Oak 147-114-5076 from James Martin Furniture
Brookfield Linen Cabinet in Country Oak 147-114-5076 from James Martin Furniture

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Full height cabinets are basically two half height cabinets stacked one on top of the other (sometimes literally), and are usually between five and six feet tall. The obvious advantage here is that you get twice as much storage space in exactly the same amount of floor space. These storage cabinets typically offer a greater variety of types of storage, too. While half height cabinets are usually either cabinets or drawers, full height cabinets can (and do) have both. Ones sold in two pieces can sometimes be mixed and matched, too, so you can have almost any combination of drawers, shelves, cabinets, open shelves, and glass-walled cabinets to suit the needs of your space. Higher shelves can be more accessible than low-lying cabinets, but these storage towers don’t add counter space, and they can feel a bit looming in smaller bathrooms.

Full Sized Linen Cabinet

Savannah Linen Cabinets In Driftwood 238-107-5011 from James Martin Furniture
Savannah Linen Cabinets In Driftwood 238-107-5011 from James Martin Furniture

You can also find tall bathroom storage cabinets that are more like wardrobes or linen cabinets. Instead of having a top and bottom half, these usually have one or two tall doors that open onĀ  a closet-like space filled with shelves. These are usually about as wide as other full-height storage cabinets, but they can also be quite a bit wider. If you have a large bathroom but no dedicated linen closet, this can be a great option; they have lots of storage space that’s ideally suited for large-scale items, like towels, toilet paper, or cleaning products. That said, they aren’t great for smaller spaces, and generally aren’t the best for storing smaller items, as you have to open the entire cabinet to get at anything inside.

Multi-Function Storage Cabinet

Claire Rotating Wall Cabinet With Mirror WC-B802 from the Wyndham Collection
Claire Rotating Wall Cabinet With Mirror WC-B802 from the Wyndham Collection

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Some modern designers, like the Wyndham Collection, have come up with even more innovative cabinets that are specifically designed to do more while taking up less space. This Claire cabinet does triple duty, combining shelf storage, compact towel bars, and a full length mirror. Fixed on a pivoting axle, this cabinet can be spun around, making it possible to access different types of storage on multiple sides of the cabinet. This unique design makes it possible to cram much more functionality into the same amount of space, and it looks good doing it, too. Fully mounted, the cabinet only sticks out a little more than foot into the bathroom and has no doors or drawers to take up more space, which makes this a surprisingly viable option for a smaller bathroom.

Wall Mounted Storage Cabinet

Allier Gray Oak Bathroom Linen Side Cabinet FST8130GO from Fresca
Allier Gray Oak Bathroom Linen Side Cabinet FST8130GO from Fresca

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If you have a really small bathroom, though, a traditional floor-mounted storage cabinet is probably too large, no matter how well designed it happens to be. If you don’t have much (or any) floor space to spare, you’re going to want to look into wall mounted storage cabinets instead. Like medicine cabinets, wall mounted storage cabinets are hung on or recessed into the wall, and contain several small, narrow shelves that are ideal for storing small items like toiletries. But while medicine cabinets come in more or less one standard size and virtually always mount either directly above or adjacent to the vanity, wall mounted cabinets can be hung anywhere you have the wall space. These petite cabinets come in the widest range of sizes and shapes, from very small cubes to near full-sized cabinets. Larger models can attach to the side of a wall mounted vanity for added counter space, but the vast majority offer straight cabinet-style storage.

Overjohn Storage Cabinet

25" Wall Cabinet In White WCV8000WCWH from Wyndham Collection
25″ Wall Cabinet In White WCV8000WCWH from Wyndham Collection

Overjohn storage cabinets are a subset of wall mounted storage cabinets that are specifically designed to be mounted above the toilet. Usually consisting of a cabinet, a single open shelf, and sometimes an integrated towel bar, these are a nice option if you have a big mirror and not a lot of free wall space around it. Since many overjohn cabinets have built in towel bars, they’re a smart and straightforward replacement for plain-jane towel bars hung above the toilet, as they offer a lot more storage without sacrificing functionality. That said, these are usually taller and wider than most wall mounted cabinets, so they’re a lot less flexible in terms of where they can be installed.

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