Cabinet arrangement in a bathroom remodel
August 19, 2015 10:26 AM   Subscribe

We are about to have our master bathroom remodeled. I have picked tile and counters and fixtures and everything has gone great, but I am stuck on cabinets.

Our bathroom has a sort of unusual layout. The bathroom is a rectangle that is 82 inches on the short side and 164 inches on the long side. The bathroom sink is in the corner, with counter top extending on both sides -- all the way to the wall on the short side of the room (the left of the sink) and all the way to the shower enclosure on the other side. Because of the angle for the sink, there are 48 inches of cabinet width under the counters on each side of the sink (plus the cabinet under the sink which is irrelevant for this discussion).

Suggestions for ways to arrange cabinets in this space? I'm inclined to put in all drawers because that's what we have in our kitchen and I dearly love it that way. Right now half our cabinets open and then a drawer pulls out of the cabinet, so it seems like we should be able to just do drawers there instead. But try as I might to search online, I don't see any set ups like this, anywhere. Is this a bad idea? Is there some other good idea? I'd prefer standard cabinet sizes but I'm not unwilling to do custom if necessary. I'm just having a terrible time envisioning this part.

We aren't interested in adding a second sink or moving the sink out of the corner for other logistical reasons and because we have a dressing area with a separate sink.
posted by dpx.mfx to Home & Garden (7 answers total)
It's your house, so if you want drawers, do drawers. I think cost and tradition are the reason this isn't common, plus the fact that most vanity cabinets have plumbing in them. The only issue is that the drawers would bump into each other if both sides were opened at once, but that isn't a big deal.

I'm definitely doing the same in my house!
posted by ssg at 10:55 AM on August 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

In searching for cabinets, don't limit yourself to those intended for bathroom use. Kitchen cabinets are equally workable in a bathroom space. And IIRC, 48 inches is a pretty standard width so expanding your search to kitchen cabinets should increase your options.

One argument in favor of a cabinet space instead of all drawers is that some items stored and used in a bathroom (can of mousse, I'm looking at you) are too tall to fit into a drawer, even one that's pretty deep.
posted by DrGail at 11:02 AM on August 19, 2015

There's no reason you can't have all drawers, especially if that's what you like. If you're having trouble visualizing it, I would get in touch with one of the kitchen designers at your local Home Depot. They do bathroom cabinets too. Give them your dimensions and explain you want all drawers and a few emails later you should have some mock-ups to look at. There's no cost and no commitment required on your part, aside from the time spent with the designer. (Maybe call ahead and make an appointment. The better designers seem to only work during the week.)

Like ssg, the only problem I can see is if drawers run into each other when opened.

You might put some thought into a variety of depths of drawer depending on what you usually store in the bathroom.
posted by purple_bird at 11:04 AM on August 19, 2015

We have a 48" vanity with a center sink. There is a pair of doors under the sink, which is convenient because drawers don't work well around pipes, and a set of drawers on each side. The cabinet door area has some loose tall stuff (toilet brush, a few cleaning products) arranged around the pipes, and a plastic pan/bucket that holds more cleaning products on one side, and a pair of smaller plastic drawers that hold sponges and rags and other utility stuff on the other. Then everything else is in those drawers. We have a pantry-style cabinet in the corner, but if I had a long counter like you describe, all that stuff could easily be in drawers. We have a large medicine cabinet over the sink that has one shelf specifically spaced to hold the stupidly tall things (mouthwash, hair mousse, etc) - if I didn't have this, those items wouldn't go well in drawers, but I could imagine having a portion of the under-sink cabinet by the pipes for specifically tall things, and shifting some of the other traditionally under-sink items into a cleaning drawer. Do as you please, it's your house!
posted by aimedwander at 12:38 PM on August 19, 2015

We have drawers in the bathroom. Someone looking at them would see two drawers stacked on top of each other all along the counter but while the bottom drawer is nice and deep (easily holding cleaning bottles/hairspray/etc. standing up), the top drawer actually has a hidden drawer to it - we open the drawer and then there is a second drawer that can be pulled out. Kinda like this picture from houzz. Where the sink is, we still have this odd set up BUT they installed a drawer with a cut out in the middle for the piping. The cabinet workers were very, very familiar with this type of set up so ask some custom cabinet makers for quotes. It may not be as awful as one would expect. We've been happy with this set up.
posted by adorap0621 at 12:53 PM on August 19, 2015

Drawers would be fantastic in a bathroom. If your shampoo spills in the bottom of it, you can pull the whole thing out and give it a wash in the shower instead of trying to squeeze into a cabinet on your hands and knees with a bunch of paper towels. Do the drawers! Decide on the depth and dimensions that you need for what you will be using them for. Leave open shelving in between the drawers, if possible, for quick grab items and to break up the space. And then pull in a guy for a quote.
posted by myselfasme at 3:42 PM on August 19, 2015

I grew up with all drawers in the bathroom, except for cabinets under the sink. If you have wall space, more cabinets/drawers there are good.
posted by rhizome at 8:17 PM on August 19, 2015

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