I love my ensuite, but I'm not in love with the vanity space.
What's not to like about an ensuite?
Hate is such a strong word so I'm not going to use it here.
You know that feeling when you've been putting up with things that annoy you? At some point you realize there has to be an easy solution, and that you need to implement that solution RIGHT NOW?
I'd been in my new abode for about a year when I decided it was time to address some of the things that I found a bit annoying. For me, it started with my en-suite bathroom and its complete lack of usable bench space.
We all know 3 inches Just Won't Do
Don't get me wrong, I know I'm very lucky (and I remain immensely grateful) to have an ensuite bathroom. Even more so, given that I share a 3 bedroom unit with my 2 teenage boys.
The trouble is that when these housing units were built, the developers went for what looks decent and fits, over what is practical.
The top of my vanity is mainly taken up by the sink. There's only about 3 inches of bench top on each side, which leaves very little space when it comes to trying to manage my daily makeup routine.
Making the best of what you've got
I tried to improve the situation in the en-suite with over-the-door racks that are hanging over the shower screen. This eased the space problem somewhat, but it still wasn't enough.
I looked into skinny shelves (the official name is slimline apparently), that could fit into the gap between the glass of the shower and the vanity, but the only ones I could find were too deep for my space. As the shower door opens outwards, something too deep would've stopped me being able to open the shower. Not ideal, I know.
Note: Do not judge me on my fake indoor plants. I'll have you know that over the years, various house-sitters and pet sitters have dutifully and lovingly watered in my absence.
Then it came to me.
I could set up a narrow little desk with a stool and mirror in the decently sized space I have in my adjoining bedroom.
As I only wanted something narrow, I started by researching the local furniture stores websites for something that wasn't too deep.
When the best laid plans come unstuck
Off I trotted to Walmart only to discover that thanks to Covid restrictions, the shop shelves were relatively bare. No one could tell me when stock may arrive, but I was told very nicely to not hold my breath as it could be a while. This threw my want and need to FIX THIS RIGHT NOW, into disarray.
I wandered aimlessly around the empty shelves for a while before heading with little hope to the bathroom section to see what was around.
Initially, all I could see from my vantage point in the furniture area was a lot of clothes airers and low level storage boxes. Nothing was fitting into the image I had of a little narrow desk and wall mirror.
It sucks when things don't go to plan, but then...
You know how it is when you have an idea in your head and you visualize how great it's all going to be? Then something goes wrong. Disappointment is hard and underestimated - I totally feel your pain when this happens.
The crazy thing is, you put on your big girl underwear and then something better seems to present itself. Often even better than your original idea.
After seeing this unit and imagining all the little bamboo drawer organizers being repurposed to accommodate my makeup, I did get excited. Oh okay, so I wouldn't be sitting down on some plush velvet stool, but hey, I already stand at the basin to put my makeup on as it is.
This is positioned directly opposite my big bedroom window and I was worried the light would be all wrong and I'd be in shadows. With this in mind, I was prepared to buy a little lamp to attach to the shelves, but so far I haven't needed it. The lighting in the bedroom is easier to work with than the overhead bathroom fluro.
I still need to wet my foundation sponge and wash my hands after applying, so I do this in the bathroom, but this is manageable and no biggie at all. The rest of my makeup is done in the bedroom and I'm really enjoying the easy access to all the things I need.
It may sound dumb, but it feels like a bit of daily pampering and definitely a luxury.
This shelving unit was $30 and I knew all I had to do was get some of the cute little bamboo drawer organizers at between $2 to $7, and I would have something really usable.
Ok, that wasn't all I had to do... it was a flat-pack, but that's a whole other story.
Bamboo Drawer Organizers - Thinking outside the box
I also have a problem with my kitchen that totally confounds me. I just don't have enough storage even though I have plenty of cupboards. Anyway, I was storing my Spices on top of my range hood.
After my trip on the weekend, I also now have a solution for my spice jars. This is 3 bamboo drawer organizers on top of each other. They are stable at this height, plus placing the honey on top may help. I wouldn't put 4 on top of each other without going to extra distance and gluing them together.
These were $3 each so this cute improvised bamboo spice rack cost me $9 in total. A nice little bargain that tidies up the kitchen and looks great.