Adding Storage In A Tiny Bathroom

The most-used bathroom in our house is also the smallest.  I would say the size of our half-bath is comparable to that of a coat closet!  Since we spend most of our time on the main floor, this bathroom sees a lot of traffic & needs a lot of storage.  We needed space to store extra toilet paper, toothpaste & toothbrushes (It's just easier if the kids brush their teeth downstairs after breakfast.), hairbrushes, & more!  With no room for a sink vanity, we decided to use the vertical space to fulfill our storage needs.

{Built-In Floating Shelves}

We decided to build these shelves in a recessed area above the toilet tank.  After deciding how many shelves we wanted, the amount of space between each shelf, the thickness of the shelves, & the amount of space needed above the toilet, my husband nailed a half-inch strip of wood along the three sides of wall to act as bracing for the shelves.  (If you are attempting this project, don't forget to make sure the braces are all level!)

{Shelf Braces}

Next, Mark cut the wood for the shelves.  We wanted our shelves to be 1 1/2 inches think, so we bought 1/2 inch thick sanded plywood.  He cut the top & bottom of each shelf to size & then cut & routed a molding strip for the front with a 1/2 inch bit.  

{Top, Bottom, & Front of Shelf}

After I stained (Minwax Early American) & applied polyurethane to each piece of wood, they were ready to be installed.  Mark nailed in the top & bottom of each shelf to the braces.

{Shelves Before Front Molding}

Finally, Mark added the front strip of molding to complete our custom shelves.

{Finished Floating Shelves}

Here is another view of the recessed area:

{Floating Shelves}

Here is what the room looked like before the shelves:


I'm so glad to finally have space to store all the bathroom essentials!  Friday I should be back to show you the finished room!  I've been having a good time styling the shelves!  See you then!


  1. That's a great idea and is going to provide you a ton of storage space.

  2. your husband's handiness just amazes me! i love how that looks!

  3. What a great idea for a small half bath. I just might copy cat your project for my own half bath. You and your husband did a great job! Wanda

  4. I LOVE LOVE LOVE your floating shelves!!!

  5. These look really great! Thanks for the tutorial :)

  6. what did he use to make that front molding the picture is a bit fuzzy

  7. He cut a piece of plywood & then used his router on the edges. If you don’t have a router, you could always just stick another brace in the front & then attach a lattice strip to finish off the front. (Hope that makes sense!)

  8. Do you have the AFTER picture yet. Would love to see it all turned out. Thanks for this GREAT idea... Do you also have a ballpark of the Project Cost..?
    Thinking of doing this idea next to our Fireplace, but not sure if we can secure the fireplace side to brick? Any suggestions??

  9. Thanks for the step by step guide. I think taking advantage of the walls is indeed a very smart idea. This is because the walls are often under utilized and it is such a waste if we just leave the amount of space like that. Thus, building shelves to maximize storage is a very functional solution.

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