The ‘unfitted’ bathroom: make it functional

The Associated Press
Saturday June 29, 2002

Functional rooms like kitchens and baths typically are fitted with wall-hung cupboards and storage areas. 

Still, there’s plenty to be said for junking the wood-veneer boxes attached to your walls. The rewards of starting from scratch with a few attractive, functional dressers, tables and freestanding cabinets are worth it. 

Space you didn’t know you had is the most notable benefit of this design concept. According to British interior designer Johnny Grey, who focuses mainly on kitchen design, “An illusion of spaciousness (is) achieved by leaving space around each piece of furniture, rather than fitting cupboards from wall to wall.” This now-exposed wall area can host well-placed shelves and hooks for extra storage and display. Your room will be tailored to your specific needs and tastes in a way rooms full of factory-made storage spaces can’t. 

Home designers and those in the cabinet industry have gotten wise to this idea and have begun designing and manufacturing storage units that have the look of furniture and the ease of predesigned cabinets. The bath shown here features attractive vanity cupboards; dresser legs replace the flat-front toe space usually seen where the storage units meet the floors in baths and kitchens. Atop a matching set of drawers and cabinets is a tall, open-faced shelf secured to the wall, which reveals its contents — towels, photos and art — without shame.