Renovations, The Buffalo BurrowAdding Function in the Master Bath October 27, 2020 This is a sponsored post by Lowe’s Home Improvement. All opinions are 100% my own. Photos in this post (other than a few inside vanity shots), are courtesy of Emily Bolt Photography. Working with Lowe’s on this bathroom design was a dream, but I was determined to design it exactly as our family needed it to function. I absolutely love designing pretty spaces. But over the years, I’ve learned the hard way that compromising on function for aesthetic is never a win. I’ve done it, y’all. On our first few houses, time and time again, I chose a design idea over what functionally worked for our family and our home. Each time, I told myself, “But it’s so pretty! It’s worth it.” And y’all, it’s just not. I still remember our living room four houses ago. It was TINY. We added character with a wall of built-ins and made it work. But I’d read an article about how you had to have a large light fixture in a small space to make a statement and in turn, make the room feel larger. I got this giant lantern, despite our shockingly low ceilings, and basically bribed Chris to put it up. “It’ll be fine,” I said. “It’s over the coffee table! No one will ever walk under it!” You guys. Every single person….and I do mean every single one…who got up off our couch hit their head on that dang light fixture. I probably apologized for it two hundred times in our two years there. Each time, I said we really should change it. Do you think I ever did? No. Because I was still holding onto the pretty. That’s just one example of the hard ways I learned that designing for pretty without function is losing every single time. If it doesn’t make the function of your life better, if it doesn’t make your life easier, you won’t even notice how pretty it is. Because then it just becomes something else you have to manage and spend mental energy or time on. And how many of us have excess time and energy piled up? Our master bath in each house is probably the worst example of this. I spent elsewhere in the renovations, so the vanity had to be cheap. I also wanted it pretty, so that usually meant making a found piece of furniture work, which always left us with too little storage. Again, our daily life in our bathroom was hindered by the quest for pretty. We were determined that function would come first in this bath and you know what? The pretty followed right along with it. In this post, I’m going to break down how we prioritized function in this bath for our needs. I put that in italics because that’s the key. All of our needs are unique and what works for someone else may not work for you. I hope this post inspires you to take a good look at your own needs and then crafting storage and a room that works well for you. Before I get in to the five ways we added function to this space, I have to touch on something I talk about a lot around here: STREAMLINE & SIMPLIFY. While it is an ongoing process, this is a priority of ours. Because of that journey, we needed less storage than we would have five years ago. Clearly, the vanity is where most of our storage in this space comes in. We wanted to maximize the storage we had and we wanted a his and hers section. We were hoping for drawers for daily things and then the doors and under-sink area for overflow areas. I can’t say it enough: the custom vanity is worth it if it’s in your budget. Ours from the Diamond Intrigue Line exceeded all of my expectations. I’ve gone the other way plenty of times and have never had as good of quality or storage as we do in this piece. It maximizes the space and fills this entire nook with as much storage as possible. But it also works well. All the vintage pieces I’ve used in the past haven’t had smooth drawers and I’m not going to tell you how many times that frustrated me. When you use something many times a day, it needs to work well. To take a look inside this vanity, I’ll talk about the two areas of “stuff” we planned for. First, THE DAILY. What do we use daily? Those things are going to get prime real estate. I started by thinking through what things will we use everyday that I would actually store on the counter. While I don’t want my counter filled with things, it is a great surface to keep a few things handy. In here, two glass containers with Q-tips and cotton balls are pretty, but so functional. We don’t have very many “daily” things, so the three drawers down the center work perfectly for that. Chris gets the top, smaller drawer for his few daily necessities. I hold the second drawer for my make-up and skincare. One of my best tips for organizing drawers is to use baskets, jars, and bowls to corral all the things! Without doing that, all of this just becomes a pile super fast. But once it’s organized and everything has a place, it’s easier to see what I have and find what I need fast. And the third drawer that’s deeper is for my hair products. The drawers are the most accessible type of storage in this vanity vs. having to squat down to open the doors and access what’s under each sink. OVERFLOW refers to any products we need semi-handy, but don’t use everyday. Towels, toilet paper rolls, extra toiletries… Chris, my minimalist husband, doesn’t have any overflow other than his small travel toiletry bag. So, his side gets the stack of towels and extra toilet paper rolls. My side gets the extra toiletries. We usually have one extra of most toiletries, so that gets a spot here. There are also things I use occasionally like ingredients for my face serums. I don’t need all the ingredients handy. I just want access when I mix it once a month or so. There are also extra cotton balls to refill the canisters, my toiletry travel bags, nail polish, and the like. Again, using baskets and containers to corral like things is such a game-changer! I take extra vases, baskets, and containers from around the house that are extra. Or head to your local thrift store and stock up on a few mis-matched bowls and baskets and you’re ready to organize. Because we’ve really streamlined our toiletry products (you guys should’ve seen the TWO caboodles I used to have overflowing with nail polish!), pretty much all of our stuff fits in the vanity. Beyond that, there are two small ways we added a bit more function. I realize my love affair with these pegs has been more than covered, but I can’t talk about function without mentioning them. I love having a spot to drop all the things. Hats, hand towels, a robe, there are so many possibilities of what can be stored here. And last, but certainly not least, my baskets. I love displaying pretty functional things. But baskets are such an awesome way to prettily store the things you don’t want on display. For example, that hanging basket holds my small collection of bandanas and knotted headbands. They fit perfectly and don’t have to be scattered in a drawer creating mess and taking up valuable space. This bench area is so useful. It gets used multiple times a day to sit and put on shoes, etc. But that ledge below is so useful! That basket has already stored a slew of different things and I’m on the hunt for a longer one to really fill the space. It could hold out of season shoes, toilet paper rolls, the options are truly limitless! There’s a look at how we planned this bathroom to function well for us and how we’re actually using it. Any questions on function or anything I missed that you’re curious about? Pop it in the comments below! For all sources and other details about this room, make sure you check out our Reveal post!