When I started planning our main bathroom refresh a few months ago, one of the first requirements in my plans was that I needed a way to de-clutter our countertop. This bathroom is where all four members of our family shower, brush our teeth, and do all of that daily bathroom business.
Needless to say, the countertop was always filled with toothbrushes as different kinds of toothpaste for the kids and the adults. I’m certainly not a neat freak, but this tooth gear mayhem bothered me.
I knew it wouldn’t be realistic to store our toothbrushes under the sink. I’m the first to admit that I’m a bit lazy at keeping things tidy, so bending down, opening the childproof cabinet door, and putting away my toothbrush and toothpaste just wasn’t a realistic option. And if I couldn’t even train myself to do this, there was no way I was going to be consistent enough to train my kids either.
Instead, I decided to cut right into my wall instead, and build a recessed storage shelf right between the studs! I chose to put it on the wall right next to the door, so you can’t actually see it unless you are in the bathroom.
I started by sawing right through the drywall with a jab saw. I’ve cut through my fair share of drywall, but I’ll admit that I never did it correctly until using this type of saw. Steak knives just don’t work as well as this puppy. When I cut, I made sure to saw right along the edges of the studs, so I could get the most possible amount of space between the studs for my shelf.
Then, I used some 1 x 4 pieces of wood from my scrap pile to make the bottom and top of the shelf. I just measured the distance between the studs and cut the boards down to that measurement. To attach the boards to the studs, I used my Kreg Jig K4 Pocket Hole System to drill the recessed holes and then screwed the self drilling Kreg screws into those holes and into the stud.
I used pine bead board panels to line the inside of the shelf, because they were the perfect width to fit inside the opening. You could also rip down some pieces of 1/4″ plywood to the depth of your opening.
I attached all of the panels with an air nail gun. The back panels are just nailed into the plywood of the other wall (but of course they aren’t long enough to stick out through the other side). The side, bottom, and top panels are nailed into the studs and wood.
I built a frame out of some old cedar barn wood and cut the ends at 45 degree angles with a miter saw. Then, I nailed it into the studs.
I found these glass jars at a thrift store awhile back and liked the measurements on the side, but didn’t actually have a plan for them. These metal plumbing braces fit around the jars perfectly.
The vintage cheese crate holds our tubes of toothpaste, and now our countertop is clutter free!
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