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Making the clawfoot functional – where to hide the soap?

Master Bathroom

There’s one major “flaw”, if you will, in the design of clawfoot tubs. There is absolutely no good place for my aresenal of shampoos, conditioners, soaps, sponges, loofahs, and body washes. I swear, I’m really not high maintenance… but if you looked at my bathroom full o’ supplies, you’d think I spent 2 hours every morning prettying up.

I have lots and lots of “products”. It’s partly because I fall for those ridiculous commercials that promise smoother skin, shinier hair, and a lovesick husband after just 3 applications, but mostly it’s that I refuse to throw anything out until it’s absolutely 100% gone. Ask Teague – I even keep miniscule soap shards until they melt into nothingness, to his dismay.

So…. I’m having trouble deciding how best to keep these shower goods under control. Do I go for the traditional bath caddy (in the way?), a hanging shower caddy (notoriously annoying, since they always seem to slip and throw shampoo bottles in your face), a mesh organizer thingamajig, or some type of external shelf/bar type thing? Anyone have a system they’re particularly pleased with? Do share!

Mercer System

My heart is pitter-pattering over Pottery Barn’s Mercer Bath System – except for that ridiculous pricetag. I’ve looked for a cheaper version, but haven’t come up with much. I know IKEA carries something similar for kitchens, but we’re about 4.5 snowy hours away from the nearest store so that’s out. I may just make my own set. The bar could easily be replaced by a cheaper towel bar, I could round up some S-hooks, and cheap wire baskets are easy to come by. I’m crafty, I can figure it out. BUT – am I going to drip water and soapy gunk all over our floors and regret having it all outside the tub like that?

I’ve been mulling over this decision for weeks now. But seeing as we may just have the shower installed by the end of this weekend (I know! Excitement!), you better help me put an end to it.

Comments, Thoughts, and Feedback

amanda had this to say on 01.26.07:

Most of my friends who have clawfoot tubs as their primary bath/shower area have a few of those thick glass hotel shelves to put their assorted stuff on scattered throughout the bathroom. I have one friend who transfers stuff that will be “on display” (not hidden by the shower curtain) into prettier bottles. I will probably buy a wall cabinet for our downstairs bath if we ever get it done to hide this stuff in, since that will be where the baby gets his bath.

BrooklynRowHouse had this to say on 01.26.07:
Amy had this to say on 01.26.07:

For what it’s worth, we currently have the bath caddy in our pedestal tub. It is in the way because it won’t rest properly on the rounded end of the tub. It has to sit closer to the middle (where the sides run more parallel), which eats up a lot of standing room.

Greg had this to say on 01.26.07:

I have a vintage soap dish and loofah holder that clips on the side of the tub rim and hangs in to the tub. Any drips or runs drip inside the tub. I bought it on Ebay for about $12 with shipping. makes some that clamp on to the shower riser. This also hangs over the tub so you don’t have to worry about stuff dripping on the floor.

Leslie had this to say on 01.26.07:

What’s on the wall around the tub? If it’s not tile, then consider building some simple shelves into the wall between the studs in a couple of locations.

Also, do you have any friends who live close to an Ikea? I’m only about a 2 hour drive from the closest one but I just sent a friend on a mission of mercy, and for $8 shipping I got the baskets, bars and s-hooks that I needed, which I would have paid 3x more to order from anywhere else or buy locally (not that it was available locally…)

Poppy had this to say on 01.27.07:

I’m an oodles of lotions and potions gal myself. So I feel your pain. Where to put all the goodies when there’s really no place for them.

I personally don’t like the bath caddy or the hanging shower caddy. I’d opt for the cheaper mesh organizer to use in the interim until I found exactly what I was looking for. The glass shelving using pretty decorative bottles is a cute idea.

I saw this cool cabinet that looks like it could solve a lot of folks problems with storage in their bathrooms. I’ll go post the photo on my blog and you can take a peek.

I’ll keep my fingers crossed that the shower gets hooked up this weekend! I’ll be looking for photos!

Chelsea had this to say on 01.27.07:

I LOVE that Pottery Barn stuff, but how could someone spend that much on something like that? Is there a way you could ‘steal’ their idea, and try to make something like that yourself? It just looks like a couple of towel racks, with hooks and baskets. Maybe you could find shower curtain hooks that would work? I don’t know how well it would work, but I know it’s always worth a shot to get what you want one way or another :)

Laura D. had this to say on 01.28.07:

Another purely interim idea: find a shower curtain that has mesh pockets in it. Moms use these for tub toys, and it might work. Not as high class as your eventual solution, but a start.

You could also line the baskets you use, so the gunk doesn’t drip out. Of course, then it would be in the bottom of your basket instead.

colleen had this to say on 01.29.07:

i actually have some of the ikea stuff for my kit and trailer [galvanized and black] i think its terrific!!! ive ordered on line from them and had my daughter send me stuff. i will not have the thing that hangs on the shower never seems to work that well. the shelf in the stud idea is cool . maybe a combo of different things. What about s hooks with plastic baskets from them ??? cheap idea until you find just the right thing, mesh bag sounds like a pia to me.hey also im a big fan of hooks really cool ones with baskets from them could put several up at the desired hieght neat huh?

michelle had this to say on 02.02.07:

Take a look at Target, they have some very good looking fixtures that are nowhere near as expensive as Pottery Barn. They even have white porcelain accents.

colleen had this to say on 02.02.07:

i actually got some vintage robe hooks from target awhile back in porcelain, and ikea has some baskets made from woven plastic i think could go in washing machine. [coarse mine just went on the fritz damn sears stuff ] but i agreee target is great

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