Transform a linen closet in or near a small bath into a double-duty grooming station.


Turn a few shelves into an efficient place to store necessities and start the day in style. In a hard-working and mostly white room, a soothing lavender hue brings a sweet, cheerful vibe to this all-business space. Deep magenta accents provide enough contrast to keep the color scheme lively.


Whether in a small bath or a narrow hallway, a closet door just gets in the way. Solve that problem by removing the obstructing door and replace it with a natural linen curtain hung from a tension rod. The draping fabric panel brings a soft element to a space filled with hard surfaces and fixtures. While you’re accessing the shelves, tuck the curtain out of the way with a simple tie-back mounted high on the door frame.


A pedestal sink in front of a window leaves no place to primp so turning to a shelf in the closet solves that problem. Appropriate a counter-height shelf for a sturdy surface on which to keep your grooming aids. Hang a mirror at shoulder height and include a flattering light source, too. Make the area even prettier with a leafy amethyst wallpaper.


Make a display of your favorite jewelry pieces and create a pretty focal point on your grooming shelf. A two-tier candy dish in pretty purple provides a pretty place to lay out your chunkier accessories and hang earrings. Limit items in the bowls to gems that won’t get tangled.


With your closet contents on view, it’s important to maintain order. Keep the items you need daily or frequently within easy reach on open trays or in jars, clear drawers, and glass canisters. See-through and labeled containers make it obvious what’s inside for even hard-to-reach stuff. Things that you need only occasionally are plainly marked but tucked out of the way.


Place a first-aid kit for minor emergencies on a high shelf out of the reach of children. Divide the box into sections depending on the medical condition to make things easy to find quickly: bandages and anti-bacterial creams in one section, medications in another, heat wraps and braces in another. The striped tin holds info cards for each family member listing any allergies, medications, and other medical info for emergency situations. A sticker listing emergency phone numbers is attached to the backside of the tin.


Pretty paper labels add color and much-needed pattern. Eschew standard office-supply or shipping tags in favor of gift tags or tags cut from scrapbook papers with a tag-shaped punch. With add-on labeling, you’ll be able to change container contents with ease and style.


Tie a labeled tag with ribbon around a basket body or handle. Employ contrasting colors and solid backgrounds to make labels stand out.


You don’t want everything in the closet on display when the curtain is drawn, so find attractive boxes for the sundries you need but want to hide. Label the contents so you don’t have to search and place them so that colorful containers disperse your palette around the shelves. Put eye-candy contents like colorful soaps in glass jars or canisters.


Use the floor of the closet for bulky or heavy items you don’t want to be lifting down from overhead. Totes, bins, and baskets of different materials corral necessities such as tissues, cleaning supplies, and laundry while providing a lively visual variety. If you have kids, though, place the cleaning supply tote out of reach.


Use wood tones to warm up a space that’s often primarily hard shiny surfaces such as porcelain and tile. Maple shelving works but an old wood box adds character, too. The vintage container holds a supply of bath tissue, clearly labeled with a tag attached with a colorful binder clip.

We know we’re not the only ones cursed with small, narrow bathrooms (and worse—shared ones at that). Tell us how you cope with a small bath that falls short on amenities.

Produced and styled by Jodi Harris
Photographed by Steven McDonald

© Caruth Studio

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