My ‘I have no room for a vanity’ vanity
I will freely admit that I’m a little obsessed with pretty interior design. Not to say my home is magazine-worthy or anything – I love my 140lb puppy, but white-on-white interiors aren’t really an option with him – but I do enjoy poring over pretty pictures. The one little corner I do try to keep pretty is my vanity, because that’s my ‘me time’ part of the house. The only difficulty? I really don’t have anywhere great to put it. I’m totally envious of all these pinterest photos I see with an entire wall of storage, loads of natural light streaming in, etc. That’s just not a thing here. The bedroom unfortunately doesn’t face the right direction to get good light in the morning, and I have to get up for work earlier than the husband does anyway. If the light didn’t wake him up, the sound of me swearing every time I drop something or slosh my coffee surely would (can you tell I’m not a morning person?). The other spare rooms had already been claimed as the home office and workout room, with no space left over for my beauty stash.
“Why not just do your makeup in the bathroom?” you might ask. One – I’m lazy and I don’t want to stand up to do it! Bad vision also means I need to be right up on the mirror, and I’m just short enough that leaning over the counter is pretty uncomfortable. Plus, storing my things in the dampest, most humid room in the house seems like a recipe for mold and bacteria (ewwwww). So the question is, where in my house can I squeeze in a small table? My answer: the walk-in master closet.
Yup, it turns out that’s the perfect spot for it. After shuffling some clothes around – and doing a much-needed wardrobe purge – I had just enough space to put my desk and storage drawers in there, and it turned out there are lots of ways to take advantage of a small space, such as utilizing options, like storage units with low cost storage services, in order to store away unnecessary belongings.
Minimize the floor space you need
My old vanity table had legs that angled outward, which it turned out wasn’t very efficient, space-wise. When I picked out a new one I decided to go with the Ikea Linnmon tabletop with the Adils legs. Even though the tabletop is a little bigger, it ends up still taking about the same amount of room since the legs are straight up and down. I opted to put my Alex drawers beside the table so I’d have a little more tabletop storage, but the great thing about Ikea furniture is it’s modular – if I ever need to, I can take two legs off the table and use the drawer set as a support. As it is, it takes up about five feet by three feet.
Use that wall space (and windows not required)
Here’s another angle of my setup – as you can see, it’s got just enough room for me to comfortably pull my chair out, and that’s really all I need. The wall space definitely isn’t going to waste though. Above my vanity I’ve got the built-in closet shelving, where I keep purses, shoes and photo equipment. Lash curlers take up lots of drawer space, so they get their very own wall hanger (aka key hooks). I’ve also got a couple of floating shelves on the wall behind the table to hold odds & ends, and another key hook where I hang my necklaces.
For lighting – psh, who needs windows? My ‘sconces’ (as an instagram friend called them) aren’t fancy – garage work lights from the hardware store – but pop a couple of Ottlite CFLs in there and they’re even better than a window. You can aim the light anywhere you want and it’ll be there any time of the day. It’s a great money-saving setup too – it’s just as good as my Ottlite mirror (which I took to work) but about twenty bucks cheaper by the time you factor in a new non-lighted mirror (mine is a simple $10 job from TJ Maxx). And it definitely beats all the other lighted mirrors I’ve tried. Even the super-pricey Simplehuman mirror didn’t come close to my DIY Ottlite sconces in terms of lighting quality.
Vertical storage for the win
Never underestimate the power of stackable containers. My favorites are the Muji 5-drawer acrylic cases, since they fit a surprising amount of stuff and I can easily see what all is there. That’s a major plus, since it helps me make sure I don’t neglect stuff that’s out of sight. There are a couple sets of InterDesign acrylic drawers mixed in there too to hold the more bulky things, but I honestly don’t recommend them. They’re starting to show scratches and several of the handles are loose, so I’m planning to replace them with some of the large Muji drawers in the near future. Some wall shelving would add even more storage, but that wouldn’t necessarily be a great idea for me – if I had more room, I’d definitely fill it up!
Surprisingly enough, even though my setup is in a relatively tiny area it still feels pretty spacious and has plenty of room to keep all my stuff. What tricks do you use to make the most of your small spaces?