Finding Room For More Storage (A Hallway Bathroom Planned Change)

This past Wednesday as I was having lunch with my mom, she mentioned that I need more storage in my house. A few weeks back, I went to a women’s retreat, and my mom stayed with Matt while I was gone. (If you’re new around here, Matt is my husband who has M.S. and needs full-time care.) And anytime my mom is left to her own devices in my house, she’s going to clean, do laundry, put things away, etc. 😀 It’s just what she does, and I’m always thankful for her help.

But she’s right. I need more storage. Of course, I have plans for more storage. I’ve already shared my tentative plan for adding more storage to the breakfast room. Right now, the walls on either side of the entrance to the pantry look like this (and the doors to the pantry have been removed since this picture was taken)…

While I like the color that adds to the room, that’s a lot of space dedicated to decorative stuff when it could be so much more useful to me as storage space since it’s right there between the kitchen and the pantry. So I’d love to add cabinets right there. Of course, the cabinets would actually match the cabinets in the kitchen, and they would look like an extension of my kitchen cabinets, but here’s the general idea.

Even if I just do lower cabinets and leave the upper wall space free for artwork, it would still add quite a bit of useful storage to that space.

Right now, since we don’t have our addition built yet, I don’t really have other spaces where I can add storage. I do have areas where I can optimize storage, though. I have a cabinet in the hallway that is in desperate need of organization.

I got one drawer organized a few month ago, but I still need to do the other drawer and the upper cabinets. The lower cabinet is my cat’s litter box, so that can’t be used for storage.

But as my mom and I were talking, I realized that I had been overlooking a great opportunity for added (closed) storage in the hallway bathroom. If we go way back to when Matt and I bought this house, the hallway bathroom had this closet in the corner, but it was hidden when the bathroom door was open. So in order to access the closet, I had to come into the bathroom, close the bathroom door, and then open the closet.

When I remodeled the bathroom, I changed the configuration completely. I moved and widened the bathroom door, and then added double doors that swing out into the hallway so that this area wouldn’t be covered up by the open door. And then I removed the closet completely, added a lower cabinet on the bottom…

And then added open shelves on the top…

Here’s how that looks from the hallway…

I love open shelves. I think they’re very pretty, they make the room look and feel bigger and more open, and I love any opportunity to add pretty, decorative things to a room. But most of the time, I don’t think that open shelves are practical for storage purposes.

As soon as I’m finished with the studio and the studio bathroom, I’ve been planning on making changes to this bathroom. I’ve already purchased the wallpaper…

I’m pretty excited about it, so don’t rain on my parade. 😀 I do plan to remove the tile accent around the room and bring the wallpaper down to the wainscoting, and I think it’s going to look amazing.

I have other plans, like new sconces (which I already have) and a new mirror (which I’ve already picked out). But I had been undecided on what to do with the open shelf area. From a purely decorative standpoint, what I really wanted to do was to remove everything above the countertop, and then wrap the wallpaper around in that area to balance out the color. And then, once that inset area was wallpapered, I planned to add something like floating shelves. But that would mean completely redoing the boards on the ceiling (which don’t extend past the crown molding) as well as redoing the crown molding.

But from a purely practical standpoint, I think what I need to do is extend the closed storage up to the ceiling, completely doing away with the open shelves altogether. So for now, that’s my plan. I need to think through all of the little details before fully committing to this plan. For example, what the heck do I do with this little sliver of wall?

Right now, with the walls painted a very light and neutral color, that sliver of wall kind of disappears. But when I wallpaper the walls with the dark floral wallpaper, that silver of wall is going to scream for attention if I put wallpaper on it. I think it’ll look silly, but I don’t know what else to do with it to make it look intentional.

So I’m going to think through this plan. I think I like it for the most part, and I definitely like the idea of having more usable closed storage in the house.



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  1. Could you just add a door to the upper part of the cabinet? That would give you storage without having to mess with the ceiling.

    1. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. If I’m keeping a countertop in that area, it needs to match the other countertop. This wood countertop looks so out of place in there right now. And I don’t know how to get the current countertop out without removing the upper part.

      1. I’d just paint that wood counter the same color as the cabinet and trim, stick a door on the open shelves, and call it a day! 😁

        1. I was just thinking the same exact thing. It’s a corner cabinet in a hall bathroom–don’t stress the details. 🙂 Paint the counter and be done with it and paint that sliver of wall white as well.

      2. Could you not just paint the worktop the same colour as the rest of the cupboard so it’s just one piece of furniture rather than a top and a bottom cupboard?

  2. Just spitballing here, you could close the wall in the bathroom and enter the closet from the hallway? Hidden door with stripes like the hall walls? And add deep pullouts for easier access. It is just my nature to add storage rather than decor.

      1. That’s what I was going to suggest! When we built our house, there ended up being more space in the hall bath than we expected due to a smaller tub, so we opted to add a linen closet. I regret not having it open into the hallway, and not the bathroom. I really didn’t need it for linens, so I use it as my decor closet. It holds things like flower vases, seasonal artificial flowers, extra candles, etc. It would involve moving wiring now if I want to change it, so I just live with it.

  3. That new wall paper is stunning! And the open shelves are so pretty – but a door on that upper cabinet sounds more useful. For the “sliver of wall”, I would consider adding a white panel to match the base in the rest of the room. I know it would be the only upper area with a panel, but seems like it would blend in better than dark wallpaper in that area. Your ideas are always inspiring!

  4. I personally would leave the open shelving. When you get your addition built you are going to have LOTS of storage. Your hall bathroom will be for guests and you will have all the closet space in the bedroom you are currently using. I totally get the need for storage but sometimes you just got to do pretty.

  5. You might just pain it white to match the trim. It would blend in to look like part of the shower. Easy to change if you don’t like it since it’s just paint.

  6. If you extend the lower cabinet and the upper shelves all out as far as you can, you won’t have that sliver of wall. It will be enclosed by the extension. You won’t have open shelves, but you will have more storage. You don’t HAVE to have open shelves. Yes, The they are pretty if everything is placed nice and neat, but when you need more storage, take advantage of this needed space. The wallpaper will not come past the wall of the other side of the bathtub. That is just my idea of getting more useful use from that space. The shelves outside your kitchen sounds/looks like a good idea. Another idea, like I am doing, is going through everything, shelves, drawers, boxes, closets, to get rid of all the stuff I will never, ever use. It is a refreshing feeling to do this. I have had one Free-For-All day and I’ planning another. Everything is free. You just have to come and get it. My first day was so much fun so I have cleaned out more for another one.
    You are almost finished with the Studio, but you have time to think about the bathroom.

  7. My first thought was — what do you need storage FOR? i.e. what needs to be stored? That would tell me WHERE I need the storage, as I try to store things as close to where I’ll need to use them.
    May some things can be re-arranged from where they are now?

  8. I don’t think that sliver of wall will look silly if wallpapered the same as the rest of the room; I think it will look intentional. It would be another area to add a slender vertical piece of artwork, imho. Something simple with a lot of white space perhaps. How are your work table bases and desk base coming in the studio? What else is on your punch list left to do? Onward and Upward!

  9. The sliver of wall needs the same box trim as below to make it look like part of the shower surround. Love the wallpaper!

  10. I love the wallpaper and think your increase in storage is wise! I suggest adding painted millwork to the one weird little sliver so it blends with the wainscoting, tub surround, and adjacent cabinetry. It will make more sense than a tiny strip of wallpaper.

  11. I really love that wallpaper, so nothing bad to say here! I always love more storage, but of course it DOES cause me to save more sometimes…lots of places to hide extras. Since that is just a guest bathroom (soon) do you really need more room? Just wondering. I’m still in the Studio area, and looking forward to seeing that. I love everything you have been doing in there. What an awesome Studio!

  12. I have been a professional organizer for years. The best results come by following sequential steps. This is a “cart before the horse” exercise in planning, which is fun mulling on because it is the creative part. I realize you can’t and don’t want to shut that down in your mind. But, while the following is not on your immediate agenda, several folks wisely suggested first appraising what you have, especially stuff you have too much of, and getting rid of it one way or the other. Then you will know what storage space you need to add. Your Mom’s observation is based on what you own now.

    As we saw in the sunroom you allowed us to view, which is loaded with so much, and no further report has said it is in order now, that organizing task does not appear to be your favorite thing. But, it bothers you. It’s just easier to shut the door. Putting it in order would help to do the same in every cabinet and drawer in every room. You did a great job in the master bathroom, especially in the white cabinet in the loo. As you have said, once you get it the way you want it maintenance is easy.

    As for the bathroom: I assume you will have guests who use it but perhaps you don’t have many who will be staying over. Ultimately you will have a lot of storage in the house, given the plans you are making for the future. (Reality check: make a list of what you need to access and where it needs to be.) Store essential things. That list might not be long. If you organize what you need to store and take the time to arrange it well and maintain that degree of order, you should be fine.

    The wallpaper is beautiful. Painting that portion of the counter would look fine. Then the decorative goodies will finish the room perfectly. As for that strip of wall, wait. Not to wallpaper though. Once you do everything else, you will know exactly what you want.

  13. I agree with the suggestion of just adding a door to the top shelves to make a cabinet. White paint on the counter will make it look intentional. Also, for that slip of a wall, I would just add some trim and paint it white, to make it look like a structural pillar wrapped in trim. Again, this is just a small cabinet in a bathroom. No need to overthink it.

  14. I don’t knew how deep that space us but it is pretty with the open shelves. Could you make the cabinet in the bathroom not very deep and bring it out even with the wall, eliminating the sliver of wall, and then put another closet kinda of behind it but open from the other side like a previous poster suggested?

  15. I’m wondering the same thing as someone above. Once you get your new master bedroom in place with all that storage, the hall bathroom will go back to just being a guest bathroom, and your now bedroom will go back to being a guest bedroom and all the storage will be available in there. Do you really need to convert the open shelves in the hall bath to closed storage? I think it would be lovely to keep them and style them.

  16. I’ll fly your Mom to Az if she’d help me organize my house!
    I’m not going to rain on your parade other than to say I’d kill for your gorgeous bathroom in its current beautiful state.

  17. Dear Kristi,
    My first question would be, what do you need to store in that bathroom? As a guest bath, it seems to have plenty of storage (a big vanity and the bonus bottom cabinet). I think it’s really beautiful with the open shelving and lights. It’d be a shame to change that.
    I believe your lack of storage will shortly be remedied when you do the addition.
    You might also add some shelving or cabinets to your furnace/AC room.
    What is it that you need to store? If it’s things that your future master closet, laundry room, bonus closet and kitchen/dining cabinets along the pantry wall will accommodate…please consider leaving your lovely guest bath as is.
    Enjoy your day!
    YHWH Bless You : )