Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Form over Function?

With the bathroom nearing completion, and my mind needing a bit of a break from the math of measuring and cutting corners for the ton of custom woodwork that we're doing - I found myself day dreaming of bathroom accessories. Not art, nor towels, nor mirrors - but the day to day things you might otherwise conceal in a closet or medicine cabinet: mouthwash, cotton balls, qtips, bath salts, sea sponges, soaps.

Where and how can they be displayed artfully? Of course there's not much that looks awful in an expensive glass apothecary like the Sarah Richardson bathroom above. And that's a great thought. Those large mouthed apothecary jars make for easy access of cotton balls and the whole set up actually looks quite lovely on the counter. If you have counter space - it's a great idea, but what if you went with a console sink like I did, or a pedestal, or a vessel on an open leg table?

Sure, you could purchase an oversized apothecary and put it on the floor under the sink, but what are the chances you'll curse bending over to access the contents within each morning? For me, very high! Now, we're actually quite lucky to have a large closet with built in shelves in our bathroom. A closet, which will be getting quite a beautiful makeover in a post coming very soon! So, I'm not thinking of needing the storage space near, by, or on the sink - but rather a way to display things in the bathroom that actually belong there in a beautiful, yet functional way.

This of course means that I'll need to find a spot to display things since the sink lacks that space, so, in comes a table at the edge of the tub. I'm doing this for two reasons; 1) to have space for things I'll constantly want to grab, and 2) to bring in the much needed woodtones the room will be crying out for once it's finished.

With all of the cold, hard, white in the room: tub, tile, sink, toilet, walls - the bathroom will miss the warmth of wood, and the soft flowing texture of its knots and lines. Having this table opens a large set of options, on unfortunately a narrow platform. The surface of the table has to be smaller than 16inches square.
With that in mind, the base of any object has to be small as well, and that got me thinking about a novel idea Brooke Gianetti of Velvet & Linen had when she was at the market one morning months ago:

Brooke found these old beakers and bought all the vendor had. Now, if you keep up with her blog at all - you might want to take the time to find these on ebay before they skyrocket in price. Brooke and her husband have a knack on picking out the next big "thing". What I love about these as bathroom utilitarian pieces is the "science experiment look" Brooke mentions. They're functional and beautiful, don't you think? Check out the glass stoppers on the mouthwash vessels - the perfect touch!

Of course, there's always ironstone bowls as shown above. Glass bowls, wooden bowls, pottery, ginger jars, temple jars - the possibilities are endless I suppose. What about you? How do you display your daily use bathroom goods? Are they sealed up tight behind closet or cabinet doors, or are they on display in beautiful and functional pieces? I'd love to hear all about it and see pictures! Leave a comment or email, and I'll see you all tomorrow.


  1. Hmmm, we have a combination of all the above, actually. Covered depression glass candy bowl holds cotton swabs, apothecary jar (much smaller than the one Sarah uses) holds cotton balls and makeup squares, an antique bowl holds whatever jewelry I'm taking off or putting on, and I found a vintage bronze lipstick holder in my Mom's about to be thrown out trash that I scoffed up for my counter. We're fortunate to have a fairly large space and I have a chaise next to a large window where the sill holds silver frames, an antique silver tray with a vintage linen comb and brush bag, and a few little doo dads. Next project- new mirrors

  2. We too have a pedastal sink which holds soap and lotion -- and although the bath is large, we have a big wooden piece in there which holds cleaning supplies and such. I have a few things on top of the loo (but I'm not happy about that and will move them soon). The rest are behind the closed doors of the medicine chest. Our bathroom is big but the configuration makes it seem small as far as placing that odd chair or table goes.

    I do like those beakers! They are great!

  3. I can see a great dark vintage bamboo table in your place. I have an old dark wooden bench I use next to the tub...holds towels...a candle when I am in the bath. We have a huge real shell that holds soap, and an ironstone tray that holds a few things.Oh and the old 2 foot tall balinese fertility god that holds necklaces. The rest are away in the closet and medicine cabinets.

  4. I would like to brag for a minute: I've been using beakers to hold our q-tips and whatnot since BEFORE Brooke posted about it. :)

    And, yes, I would like a cookie for that.

  5. Mine is neat, but not pretty like these. I see another project in my future.

  6. My stuff tends to be thrown all over the counter or smooshed into drawers. LOL!

    Okay, sorry, but I HATE the beakers! Hate them!

    Glass apothecary jars are always gorgeous, but so fragile. When you're groggy and grabbing for that cotton ball, you've gotta be careful with the lid, especially with all that tile for it to land on.

    Justine :o )

  7. These are fantastic! It’s time to do makeover of your bathroom with the help of modern Bathroom Sinks from Spacify.com.

  8. I love the last photo Artie, it is so simple and just perfect! Go with that concept. : } k

  9. I JUST filled the qtips yesterday, and my sons bath has a simple glass jar from Target with a stainless steel top. Love it. I don't use cotton balls or much more day to day. I have plenty of storage with two medicine cabs but somehow the saline solution, hair gel, toothpaste/brushes (have a holder) end up on the counter day to day, and put away about weekly on cleaning day.
    Carol in Chicago

  10. Hmm that's amazing but honestly i have a hard time determining it... wonder what others have to say..