by Christy Heitger-Ewing| photos by The Home Aesthetic

In small spaces, every inch counts.

“Functionality trumps aesthetics,” says Keianna Rae Harrison-Williams, Executive Director of Design & Remodeling Operations at HER Home Design.

A hall bathroom, for example, is typically used by children, guests, and additional family members so the goal is to make this traditionally small room as functional as possible. Harrison recommends installing a 60-inch vs. a 72-inch vanity as a first start in creating space. Both can accommodate two sinks, but the 60-inch vanity provides the same functionality while providing an additional 12 inches or so on the side for storage like a linen tower or a floor-to-ceiling tall cabinet.

“Most standard vanities come with doors, but adding a bank of drawers down the middle of the cabinetry provides additional vertical storage space,” says Harrison. Even more space can be garnered by adding pull out organizers inside cabinets for items like cleaning products.

Need space for medicines, medical supplies and skin care items? Consider adding a mirrored recessed medicine or storage cabinet into the wall. It may even be possible to access wasted space that’s behind a wall of a hall bath and make it into a linen closet for storing towels, soaps, and toilet paper.

Hall bathrooms usually have tub/ shower combos so Harrison suggests two options: 1) If there’s an acrylic tub surround, replace it with one that looks like tile and has storage niches already built inside it, and 2) If there’s a tiled tub/shower combo, consider installing niches to add storage for bottles and such.

“I’m not talking about those dinky 8- or 12-inch niches,” says Harrison. “Go for the gusto and do the length of the wall for the niche so you have plenty of space for your bottled soaps, shampoo bottles and even kids’ toys. Then you don’t have to set them on the tub ledge where they fall over and make a mess.”

Kitchen pantries are another traditionally small space.

Pantries are great areas to incorporate both space saving and organization tips to get the most bang for your buck. One of the quickest ways to gain space in a pantry is by utilizing the full height of the pantry area.

“Often we make do with shelving arrangement and space we’re given, but we can control the height of our shelves,” says Harrison. It’s simple to remove and readjust the shelving in the pantry to the heights that best suit you. Harrison suggests moving the top shelf close to the ceiling and keeping items like small appliances you only use occasionally up there.

Another way to get space in the pantry is to remove wire shelving and replace with solid shelves, pull-out drawers, pullout shelves and door racks. These quick solutions optimize space and are easy to install. Storage baskets on the floor are the perfect place to put cans and water bottles so they don’t roll around.

Adding storage items like clear acrylic Lazy Susans allow you to store more on the shelf and access it easily. “You can spin it around instead of spreading it out,” says Harrison. In addition, clear acrylic storage bins enable you to see exactly how much of a product you have left (e.g., cereal, rice, snacks).

“This isn’t only space-saving but money saving. Seeing what you have in stock keeps you from overbuying items you don’t need,” says Harrison.

To get some help making the most out of your bathroom or kitchen space, call the designers at HER or visit to book a consultation appointment.