Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Out with the tub... In with the Storage.

What is it about a new year that tends to bring about the urge to organize and de-clutter? As soon as the holiday dust settles it's as if an organizational cloud comes over us all, insisting we get our lives in order. I don't know about you but I feel better, literally happier, when everything is in it's place. In homes with limited "extra space" up for grabs (like mine!) it seems being organized is that much more crucial.

So, in the spirit of organizing and really working with the space you've got, I thought I'd share a fun before and after project that I completed before the holidays.

The story starts with a client who had a bath tub against her will.  I'm sure a lot of you can relate to this. Basically there was a bath tub that was never used but removing it was discouraged because of resale. This couple had recently moved into a high-rise in Atlanta. While the views from their new home were amazing the storage space, not so much. The Misses jumped right on having her closet done, but like so many of us ladies, she had an abundance of purses and shoes and needed additional storage.  One day the light-bulb went off and this savvy lady had a genius idea - why not cover the bathtub with cabinetry?

I was skeptical at first but after seeing the space and talking over the details it became apparent this was a really good idea.

Below are a few before shots of the space:

The plan was to cover the bath tub with plywood. This plywood would serve several functions. First it would protect the tub from damage as cabinets were installed and second it would give the cabinetry a good base to sit atop. 

All plumbing trim was removed, but rough-ins (plumbing guts) remain intact. The overall goal was to modify the tub niche' by covering up the tub so the current homeowners could enjoy additional storage. The key to this project was to ensure the next owners could utilize the tub if they wanted to.  To do this we fashioned the cabinets so that they could be removed and the tub, tile and plumbing would remain unharmed and ready for use. 

When it came to the design of the cabinets, storage was the name of the game. Well, actually the design had a hyphenated name storage-pretty. As important as additional storage was, I knew these cabinets brought with them the opportunity to have some creative fun and make the bathroom feel bigger and wow. 

Speaking of wow....take a look at these afters shots:

Hard to believe there's a tub under there, eh? The cabinets are Bell Custom Cabinets from Bell Kitchen & Bath Studios The custom mullions were designed for each door by me and engineered by my mullion-making partner in crime, Richard. I really love how the mullions add an elegant vibe to the space, while the mirror adds depth. Plus the mirror gives you a place to check out your whole ensemble when walking by! 

The drawers you see at the bottom are false. Because we wanted to keep the tub intact we didn't want to attach any cabinetry directly onto the tub, so these false drawers act as a sort of skirt for the tub front. 

The space was divided into three cabinets with fixed roll outs at the bottom of each cabinet and adjustable shelving above. This set up offers flexibility which is important when it comes to storage. Sometimes we don't know the height of our next pair of boots we haven't even purchased yet. Having adjustable shelving allows you to move the shelves to create the desired height of the moment. 


And this is what genius looks like. Is it weird that this project makes me equal parts proud and happy? This bathroom modification is a testament to making your space work for you and your needs. Doesn't organization just make you feel warm and fuzzy inside? Yeah, me too...

Photography by me - Courtney Foster Shearer. The space is so yummy the pictures practically took themselves, but I pushed the button. 

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