a peek inside the fishbowl

20 Oct, 2013

Fishbowl reno post #57 – a bit about bathroom organization

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Home/reno

We’ve been living in our renovated home for about a year now, and I have to say, one my favourite things about it is our big family bathroom. Regular readers may remember how much I agonized over it. Well, I’m happy to report that it’s worked out incredibly well for us.

I wanted a bathroom that the four of us could use at the same time… and it has totally worked out that way. If you look at our drawings you’ll see that the room is compartmentalized in order to separate the (a) main area from the (b) toilet/tub, and the (c) shower area… which is big enough to have a dry spot to hang towels and robes just inside the frosted door. (There are some photos of it here.)

As the only bathroom on the second floor, I knew it was going to be a high traffic area. One of the things I wanted very early on was a style of bathroom cabinet that had two sinks, two outlets, and a separate drawer for each member of the family.

Thankfully, our cabinet guy (Bob at BCR Woodworking) was able to accommodate my request:

Bathroom cabinet and sinks

The style of cabinetry is exactly the same as the one in our kitchen. The only difference is that the drawers have extra detail that the kitchen ones do not. This cabinet is about 63″ wide, just over 5′, so not that big really. It was actually a bit of a squeeze to get two sinks in there. (Undermount sinks are AWESOME, and they were very inexpensive. I just love them.)

The key here, for me, was having the four stacked drawers. Not only does it help keep the counter tidy (if I see something out on the counter I just sweep it into one of the drawers!) but it gives everyone a place for their stuff.

My drawer is the second one from the top, and it contains only the things that I use on a daily basis. This is what it looks like most of the time:

Inside my drawer

I should point out that all of our cabinetry uses smooth-glide/soft-close/self-close hinges and rails. You just give them a little push and they practically close themselves… without slamming shut too. And it may be a small thing, but I am quite happy with the shelf liner! It’s pretty AND it prevents things from sliding around in there too much.

Now that I’m looking in there, I realize that I could actually get away storing fewer items in my drawer. There are a few things that don’t need to be in there.

The rest of the bathroom-type things (cotton swabs, extra hair products, lotions, medicines, hair dryer etc.) are sorted in bins in the cabinets under the sinks. They’re shared anyway, so it works out pretty well.

Anyway, yes! I’ve been very pleased with our family bathroom. Now if only people could remember to replace the toilet paper rolls when they run out… !

5 Responses to "Fishbowl reno post #57 – a bit about bathroom organization"

1 | Javamom

October 21st, 2013 at 11:05 am


When/if we finally decide to renovate our place, I will have it so much easier since many of your recommendations are the ones that fall in line with my own view. So…thank you so much for all the visuals!! :) Your bathroom looks fab.

2 | Connie

October 21st, 2013 at 1:12 pm


I love the shelf liner! Where did you get it?

3 | Mary @ Parenthood

October 22nd, 2013 at 7:07 am


Where did you get your cabinets?

We did our kitchen and two bathrooms a few years ago and just used the Home Depot stuff (which has been fine and we like). But they meanwhile got rid of Mills Pride and we were just quoted a ridiculous price for equivalents. I am balking at paying $100 for a 13.5×15 door, if you know what I mean.

4 | andrea tomkins

October 24th, 2013 at 10:47 am


Thanks Javamom!

Connie: I an 99% sure the shelf liner was from Home Outfitters.

Mary: the cabinets are custom from BCR Woodworking. I don’t have the exact breakdown of cost of the bathroom cabinet doors because they were included in our kitchen and other bathroom…

5 | Javamom

January 26th, 2015 at 8:00 pm


So a year or more later my house has no interior walls. They came down today! :) I’m on the hunt for recommendations of shower/bath etc faucets and saw your flickr photos but no mention what you ended up going with. Can you recommend a brand? I am looking at a couple, and I like the bathtub/shower one to have that slider bar for the youngest who is only 7 and does not like showers much…that slider bar would be so helpful for her when there just isn’t time for a bath…

I will continue looking through your very eloquently written Home/reno posts. Thank you for taking the time to do that…now your girls will have a reference and I have a trusted source to get info from.


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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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