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Penny-pinching solves powder room storage problem

Joan Fieldstone

August 20, 2014

By: Joan Fieldstone, Home Improv Advocate

In: Interior DesignBathroom Remodeling

Sometimes the best home improvement plans stall for any number of valid reasons. Lack of funds is usually number one with me, but my urge to feather the nest borders on an obsession. In times of need I do the next best thing -- I shop the discount stores for inexpensive décor, home goods, and storage solutions. Just a little something to get me by in the meantime.

Take, for example, the salad spinner that called to me from a shelf at one of my favorite places to treasure hunt for bargains -- Ross. I've wanted a salad spinner for years, but they take up so much room, Now that I've had a kitchen island with cabinets below for the last couple of years, I really have enough space to store one. There no longer was any excuse other than the question of whether I needed one enough to spend the money. So after years of rinsing the lettuce under running water and shaking it off in a colander, I finally broke down and spent $6.99 for a salad spinner at Ross.

Even if I couldn't justify the tiny expense of satisfying a long-denied convenience, I couldn't overlook the fact that summer is the best time of year to prepare salads instead of cooking. I don't have to heat up the whole house and make my central A/C work overtime. I'm also saving water during near-drought conditions by soaking the greens once in the spinner before spinning them dry. The ROI in energy-efficiency certainly seems well worth the miniscule investment.

Bargain hunt leads to home improv storage solution

While wandering Ross, I also came across a three-tier, elegant corner shelving unit, for which I had a plan, but knew if it didn't fit the space in my powder room, I could return it. It was only $5.99. The shelf further solved a problem created by my cats and their toilet paper capers, which I wrote about a few weeks ago. While the canister -- which I also found at Ross -- is doing a perfect job of hiding the toilet paper roll in plain sight in my downstairs powder room, I had no place to put the container except on a shelf that's across the room beside the pedestal sink. If I left it on the back of the toilet tank, it slid off or the cats knocked it down.

The only storage in the tiny powder room was a standing shelf at the sink that held necessary items: soap, lotion, and tissues. But that was too far from the commode to reach the toilet paper without getting off the toilet, so I needed a second shelf, one beside the toilet as well as one next to the sink. Here are visuals of the solution:

Bathroom standing shelf

sink with shelving

bathroom corner shelving

The corner shelf fits on the wall by the sink and just clears the oval mirror above it. It's now holding the soap, lotion and tissues. The bronze finish matches the bathroom accessories and the standing shelf -- now holding the TP canister plus other bathroom supplies right next to the toilet. If I can decide on paint colors and have the tiles I bought for the floor installed by my BFF, who, by the way installed the lovely shelf with appropriate wall anchors…

I love it when a plan comes together, even if only partially. Even better, I love it when a plan costs a minimum of time and money. That's the essence of home improv.

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