Friday, July 22, 2011

Sneak Peek: Studio Apartment Bathroom

In keeping with the sneak peek of my new studio apartment, I thought I'd show you the bathroom next. The best part about having a small 650 square foot bathroom is that there is only one to clean! Yay! If you are downsizing, perhaps the best tip I can give you is to embrace it. I happen to love small space living however there will always be two ways to look at everything in a small space; the glass is either half full or half empty. If you stay focused on what you are giving up, in terms of space, you will be miserable. Instead, keep the focus on what you are gaining....more time, less to care for, less cleaning, etc. Once you embrace it, you will find yourself never wanting to go back.




That being said, you do need to look at things differently. As a reminder, here is the floor plan. It's a reverse floor plan so my layout would be flipped over.
While I still have a fair amount of projects to do in here, most of the problems with the bathroom are solved. It's pretty much looked like this since day 1. I used most of what I already had. I wanted the space to look elegant, feminine and simple. I think I succeeded.



Here is what the space looked like before.



One advantage was the circular shower curtain. This design gives you more elbow room when you shower but does take up a bit more floor space. I've used it for a month now and love it. I never liked shower doors.



That doesn't mean the bathroom was without problems. There were several in fact. Perhaps the most glaring issue was the toilet paper holder that was located behind the toilet and about six inches from the floor. This would be great if you were 12 inches tall. Not so great to reach behind and below you. Also, paper would then fall onto the floor. Another big issue was the lack of space...no linen closet, no space for a wastebasket, no place for a bathroom scale. These are things you notice once you move in. And no, there wasn't a linen closet outside the bathroom either. And what about all of those mirrors. Do you like wall to wall mirrors in the bathroom?



The first thing I did was to contact the apartment complex and had them put knobs on the cabinet. Next, I went about solving all of these issues. I leaned a picture against the mirror to block part of the mirror. It also gives a pretty focal point when you look into the bathroom.



Next, I installed a new toilet paper holder across from the toilet. There wasn't a lot of room next to the toilet and I thought locating it across from the toilet, would be a bit nicer. I had this nickel toilet paper holder so I decided to use it. You can see it in the photo below.



Moving around the bathroom, I placed this pretty crystal vase with some white silk roses in there. It mimics the roses in the photo. I added a little glass flower vase. The glass and crystal in the room add elegance but visually do not take up much space.





I purchased a glass lotion dispenser for my liquid soap. It holds more soap and because it's built for lotion, it's a bit sturdier.

I added some vinyl letters in a script pattern to add some elegance to the room.




Here is another view. You can see the curved shower curtain, the picture and if you look close, the toilet paper holder near the floor. I keep toilet paper on it just because the white paper draws less attention to it than if it were bare. Because it's an apartment and not my home, I left it there. If I owned this place, I would have removed it and touched up the wall.

Here's a close up of my toilet paper holder. It's by Phylrich. Phylrich makes really nice hardware. It's easy to install, sturdy and beautiful.

One of my projects is to paint this bathroom. Once that is done, I'll line the drawers. For now, let's take a closer look inside the cabinets and drawers to see how I've solved the space problems of no linen closet, no storage space, etc. Here is my medicine cabinet. I tend to keep it fairly simple. In addition, I pay attention to the toxins in health and beauty products so less is more in my opinion. I try to use the Cosmetics Database to research the toxins in each product. I still have some work to do.









Underneath the sink, I kept it simple again. I don't like a lot of stuff. I stored only the products that I need and use every day in here.

On the left side, I store my hair dryer, curlers and hair spray. As a general rule, I try to stay away from plastic storage containers, first because of concerns about BPA and second because plastic is not very "green". In some instances, it works. I like pull out storage bins in the bathroom. If I owned this place, I would put in pull out drawers and not use plastic storage bins. Also, to line the cabinets, I used hand towels. I had recently purchased some hand towels and had a dozen of them. Since I live in a small space, I really only need to use six at any given time so I took the extra ones and used it to line the bottom of the cabinet. When you move you have to make certain all of your cabinets and drawers are totally clean or you are charged for it so I was certain to put something down right away. Once I paint the place, I'll line it properly.





The top bin is for my velcro rollers and the lower bin for my hair dryer.



The hair dryer...



My rollers and hair spray....




On the right side, I store my toilet paper and a sponge and some baking soda for cleaning the sink. I think the sponge looks pretty in my crystal dish, don't you? It makes everything look a bit more elegant. It looks better when I have more toilet paper stored in here but this is how it looked today.



Here's a closer look.










A look at the drawers....the top left drawer holds my coconut oil. I use Now Foods Organic Coconut Oil. It's great as an eye make up remover, a moisturizer, an anti-aging cream (better than anything else you'll ever buy). I also have a few hair bands and other hair supplies like bobby pins and clips for putting my hair up.




In the drawer on the right side, I store my combs and brushes. I use all of these. I got rid of anything I didn't use. I still need to line the drawes but like I said, I'll do that once I select a paint color.



Since there wasn't a linen closet, I used part of the bedroom closet as a linen closet. This one closet has many functions: it's part linen closet, stores my clothes, Dear Son's clothes, Dear Son's supplies, his slings for the hoyer lift and anything else we need. I'll show you the entire closet when I reveal my glamourous bedroom but until then, I'll just focus on the bathroom storage.




Once I moved to this small space, I had to change the way I organized things. In my former apartment, I had my make up organized differently: eye shadow, mascara, lipstick, etc. Due to the space constraints, I only have one bin for make up. There just isn't space to do things differently. I keep the nail polish remover and a nail vase (full of nail implements) in here as well. The tall crystal dish stores q-tips and the smaller crystal dish stores cotton balls. I used to have these on display in my former bathroom but could not display them in this bathroom due to a lack of space. This works fine though.



Beneath that shelf, I have a few other bins. I store Dear Son's battery for his hydraulic bath lift, some first aid products, feminine care products and some sewing/crafts bin. I had to combine all first aid products to save space. Ditto for sewing and crafts. I also have a three drawer pull out bin for nail implements, razors and a travel drawer with items used for travel. I can't say I was wild about combining all of our first aid into one bin however I needed to save space. Prior to moving, I had separated the supplies into various categories.





One tip I can give you regarding small spaces and stuff in general is this. While it's great to get rid of things you don't use, moving to a small space does not mean you need to get rid of everything. Also, while it's great to maximize storage space in a small space, there will also be limits to that storage. You can maximize the storage space but at some point, you may simply need more space. You need to decide how you want to live. I can tell you after living in this small space for almost two months (it's 650 square feet) that I really like it. I definitely think the 850 square feet I had previously was nice and a bit easier to live in since I could separate things like first aid products etc. however I can also tell you that I am so relaxed in this new space. Everything is so easy and takes such little time. I can vacuum the entire apartment in under 4 minutes and it's under 6 minutes by the time I clean the filter and put the vacuum away. You can't beat that. The other thing that is important to remember is why you are moving to a smaller space. They increased my rent in my previous apartment and while I could have moved to a different apartment complex and had the same amount of space, if not more, I chose to downsize to a studio at the same complex, since our complex is so nice. It has walking trails, a gorgeous pool and beautiful landscaping. It's a luxury apartment complex and for me, I enjoy coming home to a pretty space. People tend to associate downsizing with negative connotations...like job loss, etc. Downsizing should be viewed as freedom and easy living. It's important to remember too, that small spaces don't need to be minimalistic. They can be luxurious and glamourous too.


The next shelf is Dear Son's bath supplies. Dad gives him a bath and takes his supplies into the bathroom in this bin. I also bought him a kneezie (it's a sponge that you kneel on when you garden to make it easier to kneel) to use in the bathroom since he has to get on his knees in order to bathe Dear Son due to Dear Son's disabilities. The hydraulic bath lift lowers Dear Son in/out of the water however Dad still has to transfer him from the wheelchair to the bath chair and back again. The black box is haircutting supplies. Dad cuts Dear Son's hair since it's easier than lifting him and taking him to a barber shop.




Since I don't have a formal linen closet, I placed a hand painted three drawer chest outside of my bathroom and use it for towel storage. This used to be in my living room at my former apartment. The second drawer stores my bath towels. Since I live in 650 square feet, you don't need a ton of towels. Six is plenty. You'll find when you downsize, that six is all you need of most anything...anything from dishes to glasses, etc.



I used my label maker to add labels to the drawers. I am the only one that uses the drawers, but still. I like things to look nice and it's so much nicer to open a beautiful chest of drawers to reach for a bath towel. I also like having white towels.




The top drawer stores hand towels and wash clothes. It also stores kitchen towels but that's another day's sneak peek.




And the wash cloths...



Everything is labeled. So much prettier than a standard linen closet, don't you think?




So in summary, I still have a few projects to do:


1) Paint the bathroom.


2) Line the drawers.


3) Re-label bins.


4) Replace hardware with glass knobs.


5) Replace plastic bins in the drawers with glass dishes.





Until then, it's simple, organized....




and beautiful. I hope you enjoyed the sneak peek of my new studio apartment bathroom.




Coming soon....my glamourous bedroom!


5 comments:

Emily said...

Wow! It's nice you can do this in your apartment! I'm not allowed to paint and it makes me sad. :( I've used a trunk for a linen closet, too, and I've loved the way it works.

Debbie said...

You are an inspiration. I love your positive thinking and this morning I think God led me to your post as I was filling a little overwhelmed and in the dumpers. I have a very small house, I work many,many hours at my job and try to keep up with my house, yard and garden and sometimes I just feel like things are closing in. Your post - lightened my heart. Thanks!

Ladybug said...

I never would have thought to use a picture to block part of the mirror! And I love white towels too. And seeing your organizing has given me the itch to do some of my own. Can't wait to see what color you paint!

Kas said...

Your decorating style is so pretty! My husband likes darker, bigger furniture and less florals, so I have to compromise, but I really admire your style and organization.

Dream Mom said...

Thanks everyone for the compliments! I really enjoy reading them.

KAS-I do understand the whole compromise part; men aren't in love with florals, lol. Since I am divorced, I can indulge my feminine side.

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