Rookie Mistake: Over The Toilet Storage + Art
Rookie Mistakes: a series of common decor mistakes made by a design and DIY rookie…me! And no, I’m not judging because I have made, and continue to make, these mistakes too!
Here are the top five Rookie Mistake posts from the series. You can catch the rest right here.
- Matching Furniture – A Big No-No
- Hanging Wall Art Way Too High
- Buying the Wrong Size Rug
- How Not to Display Throw Blankets
- Coffee and Wine Decor – Sometimes It’s Just Too Much
Remember, the Rookie Mistakes series is a NO JUDGEMENT ZONE. I’ve made ALL of these mistakes in my home and I simply want you to learn from me so you can make your home look amazing.
Rookie Mistake – Over The Toilet Storage & Art
I’m a little scared to chat about today’s rookie mistake because I know a lot of bathrooms may look like this, and you’re not doing something “wrong.” Instead, I want to open your eyes to the possibility of an upgrade. So bear with me…
Image via Wayfair
We’re all familiar with these over the toilet storage units, right? They straddle a toilet and provide extra cabinet space and storage. While I love the secret storage aspect of these furniture pieces (it’s always good to hide toiletries and clutter), I’m not a fan of them beyond that. They look a little dangerous… like they might topple over on top of you!
Image via Wayfair
Plus, they look temporary and like they were an afterthought to the overall bathroom design. When you’re designing a space, you want pieces to feel like they belong. That’s why I love built-ins so much, they are custom and built right into your room. Yes, I understand that some bathrooms lack storage and these beauties provide them. But I do think there are better alternatives to these cheap-looking furniture pieces.
Let’s chat about some of those…
Above Toilet Storage Alternatives
Image via The Merry Thought
So if you have the toilet straddle situation happening, then it’s likely you need a place to store toilet paper, towels, etc. I would suggest going with shelves, a cabinet, or a towel rack over the toilet instead. These will still provide a bit of storage and will look much more intentional because they’re attached to the wall. Here’s a tutorial for incredibly easy DIY wood shelves.
Image via Studio McGee
While I’ve never used a towel rack in my home before (it’s also called a “train rack”…who knew?), I do love the simple look of them.
A few things to note before you go buying and installing. If you’re going with the train rack, it should probably just be devoted towards displaying clean towels and toilet paper. Displaying toiletries and bathroom supplies on here could look messy fast! Also, don’t install too high! Just as we discussed in this rookie mistake post, you want to make sure you’re hanging shelves at the appropriate height.
Another option is to add shelves over your toilet. This provides storage and also makes things look a bit more interesting. I installed IKEA shelves in our master bathroom and filled the shelves with both decorative items and functional ones (on there I hide matches, extra toilet paper, bobby pins, tampons, and more!).
Wood Shelving Unit from My Mom’s Guest Bathroom
1, 2, or 3 shelves can work over a toilet. Just hang them at the right height and make sure that your display looks curated (or again, it may start to look messy!). Or opt for a shelving unit like this one.
This last storage idea is adorable. I love this antique cabinet over the toilet in our first floor bathroom. It adds some charm, personality, and storage to the bathroom. This is another great idea if you need storage in a small space.
If you have the room, I also love antique cabinets or tall linen cabinets to put in your bathroom (not over the toilet though!). This is a good one, as is this one!
Over the Toilet Art
If you don’t necessarily need extra storage, then artwork over the toilet can definitely work. A few things to avoid though…
- Framed Pictures of People: It can be a little strange to have guests stare at family pictures when they’re doing their business (especially guys who have to stand, gross, but true!). I’d avoid pictures of people and either display artwork or travel photos.
- Teeny Tiny Frames: This is a rookie mistake I see often…the too small frame. You can’t hang a 5×7 frame over your toilet and call it a day. It’s going to be way too tiny and will be floating on the large wall by itself.
I know I shared this picture in last month’s rookie mistake where we talked about scale, but it certainly applies to today’s topic too. The artwork over the toilet is way too small! That particular piece could maybe work if it was combined with another larger piece of artwork, but by itself, it looks lonely and strange.
Bridget’s bathroom in her first house shows the right way to display artwork over the toilet. Two larger frames stacked take up enough visual space over the toilet, plus they’re hung at the correct height.
Image via Room For Tuesday
Sarah’s artwork over the toilet in her bathroom is also an amazing example of doing it the right way! The 3 frames work together to create a big visual impact and the end result is gorgeous!
My Favorite Over The Toilet Storage
White Cabinet // Marble Shelf // Wood & Brass Shelf // Black Glass Shelves // Double Wood Shelves // Gray Cabinet
So there you have it…the controversial rookie mistake I was a little hesitant to publish today. I hope it was helpful and it encourages you to take your bathroom design to the next level!
I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.