Basement Bathrooms

Bathroom Shelving Misjudgment

I made the trip out to IKEA on Saturday with August, specifically to buy the Ekby Shelves for the basement bathroom. They’re only seven inches deep (vs. 12″ for the west elm bookcase I had been considering), so I figured that was the way to go.

Clearly a lack of sleep is getting to me. What was I thinking? It might be all right for a lady, but you know, a man needs room to stand in front of a toilet. That’s not going to happen with shelves on the opposite wall, even if they are only 7″ deep.

This half-bath is tiny. And short — I’m 5’5″, and you can see how close the ceiling is even for me. So… I guess I’ll be cutting back on the tchotchkes? On a positive note though, the eyesore vents have been painted to match the walls and ceiling. Much better.

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  • Jess H
    March 7, 2011 at 11:33 am

    That is very snug… But on a side note you look great for just having had a baby!

  • Riley
    March 7, 2011 at 11:34 am

    at least you look great

  • Jess H
    March 7, 2011 at 11:34 am

    And that didn’t sound right when I re read it… You look great always, but you look especially wonderful for just having had a baby. :)

  • Amy
    March 7, 2011 at 11:34 am

    Bummer….but on the bright side, you look fabulous!

  • Katrina
    March 7, 2011 at 11:39 am

    I love the flooring you chose w/that shade of green

  • Funnelcloud Rachel
    March 7, 2011 at 11:40 am

    You do look great – but what boggles my mind is that you’re wearing stockings around the house to install shelves! I wouldn’t wear stockings for ANY reason (perhaps I’m crazy, but they suffocate my legs!) and I can’t imagine wearing them by choice at home!

    • Making it Lovely
      March 7, 2011 at 11:47 am

      I get cold easily! I throw on a pair of tights with a skirt or dress even if I’m just home for the day.

      • Nicole
        March 7, 2011 at 1:03 pm

        Note to self: buy skirts. xo

  • Ivy
    March 7, 2011 at 11:43 am

    That stinks, but what about above the toilet?? No matter it looks great so far!:)

  • Lauren @ chezerbey
    March 7, 2011 at 11:45 am

    What about going with a few picture rails? We bought some from West Elm (though I think CB2 and R&B have them too)and they’re really functional and only a few inches deep. We use them in our kitchen (for spices and coffee accessories) and in our living area for pictures, small vases, our Eames bird, etc. The ones we have are metal but I think I’ve seen wood versions too.

    • Danielle
      March 7, 2011 at 12:19 pm

      I was going to suggest this also! Picture ledges would be super cute! I know Ikea has some of those.

  • jbhat
    March 7, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    Hmm. Lauren has a good idea. I’ll be interested to see what you come up with.


  • patty
    March 7, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    What about putting some kind of shallow shelving (I like the picture rail suggestion!) above the toilet instead of on the opposite wall?

    I hope you feel as great as you look!

  • chrissy
    March 7, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    you could try a small corner shelf maybe? i love the flooring!

  • m @ random musings
    March 7, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    hehe – it was totally an alice in wonderland/ willy wonka and the chocolate factory moment looking at the pic…either that or you’ve morphed into an amazon…

    I’m with Ivy – above the toilet would work. Either above the tank or on the right sight of the far wall (as you enter) would keep bruises to a min and still look cute. Maybe framed art for the orig location?

  • dana
    March 7, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    I second hanging the shelf over the toilet. We have a (12in. deep!) cabinet over our toilet. There is still plenty of room for “standing” in front of the toilet and I’ve never bonked my head on it when standing up.

  • Susan/Project Balancing Act
    March 7, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    Picture ledges would work there.

  • Joy
    March 7, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    Wow, that bathroom IS tiny! I get claustrophobic in tiny rooms w/o windows, I would probably have put up as big a mirror as could fit in there! I agree w/ previous posters…a shelf or two above the toilet?

  • Felicity @ Our Little Beehive
    March 7, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    Not to create more work, but I think some chest-height wainscoting with a thick ledge on it painted bright white would look lovely and provide a small display space.

  • Melissa @ HOUSEography
    March 7, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    Agree that the picture ledge or the shelves over the toilet would work just fine, but maybe the room is too small to accommodate too many tchochkes?

  • Nate
    March 7, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    Another possibilty would be to create a little niche in the wall with a shelf or two. The shelf fronts could partially extend past the wall if you like. Of course you may not be eager to start cutting into that nice new drywall.

    March 7, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    your floor looks wonderful. i’m doing a white hex tile in my basement bath, did you have a problem with the dark grout? i’ve heard some nightmares, but yours looks too good, i have to do it!

  • Down Comforter
    March 7, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    What about just hanging some pictures on the wall. That way you don’t have to worry about how deep the ledge is? maybe I’m missing something cause I’m sure you would have thought of that!

  • katie
    March 7, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    Perhaps Brandon can learn to sit down to wee? HA! You look great cousin, and I like the choice of color.


  • Kristen
    March 7, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    Bummer! At least you discovered the slight flaw before hanging them on the wall! Can you put the shelves on the wall next to the toilet…I can’t tell how much space is between the toilet and that wall. Good luck!

  • Natalie
    March 7, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    Fun! LOVE that floor. :)

  • Natalie
    March 7, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    Oh and could you put the shelves on the far wall and some art where the shelves were originally going to go?

  • Paula
    March 7, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    I was also going to recommend shelves over the toilet and pictures opposite.

    I wish I could get into skirts and tights! You look so pretty – much better than my knee socks under my jeans and my layers of sweaters!

  • Lindsay Dryver
    March 7, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    Hey Nicole,

    Congrats on the little bean and the new reno! I wanted to let you know that when I hit Next to go to your older posts I get a page that says: syndicated content powered by FeedBurner and it’s in a completely different format than your normal page. I wanted to make sure you knew!

    Thanks and good luck in all that you do!

  • Christine
    March 8, 2011 at 12:42 am

    I’m thinking triangular shelves for the corner – they’re small, and rarely in the way. :)

  • Meera @ firstsense
    March 8, 2011 at 2:55 am

    Snug bathroom, but very cute! Love the paint and the floor. How about putting up a small shelf above the WC and a mirror cabinet above the sink, and maybe just hanging up some pictures on the wall opposite the toilet?

    Meera xx

  • MIMI
    March 8, 2011 at 6:26 am

    I could hardly focus on the shelf before thinking didnt she just have a baby…you look great! Oh umm yeah I think a picture rail would work.

  • stephanie
    March 8, 2011 at 7:31 am

    I’ve had the same shelving problem with my past couple NYC (tiny!) bathrooms. But try this- cheap, slim, and totally perfect for a few small accessories!

  • Ang.
    March 8, 2011 at 11:38 am

    Actually, I think a bathroom that snug is better off without tchotchkes. The color gives it personality, and unless you NEED storage, why clutter it up?

    March 8, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    you’re just adorable. you do ‘geeky chic’ so well!

  • Alison
    March 8, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    What about a shelf along the back wall? I realize you might not want to infringe on “standing space”, but if you put it up a bit higher, someone could comfortably stand and there’d still be some visual interest.

  • Doorknobs And Daiquiris
    March 8, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    Wow. This is coming along just beautifully. You have such a great eye!

  • urbanblonde
    March 8, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    Bathroom what bathroom?



    PS And on second glance the bathroom is adorable, no need for those shelves! Now off to wash my mouth out with soap.

  • Bre
    March 8, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    What about this little shelf?? I LOVE it!!

  • Claire
    March 9, 2011 at 8:13 am

    I’m on the “I cannot believe she just had a baby!” train. You look amazing!
    Also, I’d go with a picture ledge in white to break up the green a bit without taking up too much space

  • Mandi
    March 9, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    Hee, I would totally make that female-POV-centric mistake too.

    You do look wonderful!

  • Ness at Drovers Run
    March 11, 2011 at 9:35 am

    Perhaps on the wall behind you?

  • Christina Winters
    March 11, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    scanning through the comments, i didn’t see anyone ask where you got that amazing cardigan? also just want to echo the sentiment that you look super cute as always!

  • Art
    March 15, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    If they were real men, they could make that shot while standing in the doorway!