Avoid wasted space with these neat solutions that make for a better bathroom
Houzz UK Contributor. Freelance journalist and interiors obsessive, renovating a… More
When planning a bathroom refurb or revision, time must be taken to consider the tricky topic of toilets. Close-coupled or high-level? Floor- or wall-mounted? If you opt for a concealed cistern – where the interior gubbins are hidden in the body of the wall, leaving only the bowl of the toilet on show – then it’s essential to suss out what you’ll do with the surrounding space. Smart planning will mean a useful slice of storage for all of those not-so-fancy lotions and potions, and maybe even somewhere to hide the loo brush. These ten interiors show how best to find the right balance of storage and style.
Take it to the max
For sleek style and a wipeable finish, make a tiled cistern storage area part of your bathroom plans. Deft designs allow access to the inner workings via a detachable flush plate – worth bearing in mind in case anything goes awry. This herringbone tiled niche, created courtesy of the extended cistern storage and mirrored cabinet above, is handy for accessorising, while the cabinet creates sizeable storage capacity for items that are less display-friendly.
Be creative with concrete
Want a becoming bathroom with an urban edge? Then metro tiles and poured concrete might be your materials of choice when it comes to storing the cistern away. Here, the cistern storage has been topped with a concrete shelf, which transitions seamlessly into the sink surround and basin itself. The effect is sophisticated, yet subtle. Grey marble tiles on the floor and door frame echo the sooty shade of the floating sink unit.
If your wash space falls short in the storage stakes, a wall-mounted cupboard is a simple way to get more without costly alterations.
Pimp your panelling
Boost the usefulness of tongue-and-groove panelling by building in a hidden cupboard. This cubbyhole positioned alongside the concealed cistern could be used to access the internal system, as well as for a bit of sneaky storage. It’s worth investing in quality timber for bathrooms, as moisture and heat are likely to cause warping. Solid timbers with a tight grain are less likely to be affected by moisture, but whichever type you choose it needs to be properly sealed.
Create stacks of storage by framing out multiple cupboard-ready recesses that are level with the front of the cistern storage. These cabinets are most-likely made of freestanding MDF boxes, which have been slotted into pre-prepared timber frames. Concealed hinges and magnet closures allow for a sleek, handleless exterior. One paint colour used throughout unifies the new additions.
Get ready for recess
Here, above the cistern storage, the mirrored cabinet is centrally positioned and recessed, rather than wall-to-wall. A minimalist design like this is the perfect pick for a small bathroom with lots going on. The two different tile types are the stars of the show, and the clean lines and mirrored finish of the cabinet magnify the effect beautifully.
Discover more tiny bathrooms with a huge wow factor
Reveal, don’t conceal
For a simple statement in an all-white bathroom, try making a fun feature out of a boxed-in cistern. This wash space uses charcoal grey paint to create contrast against floor-to-ceiling white tiling. The standout concealed cistern has been given a long and lean shape to improve proportions in the slim space. Wire-frame shelves above the WC provide a place to put a few essentials.
Take a side of style
Rather than eke out the small sliver of space above the WC, this shell-pink bathroom features an ultra-useful floor-to-ceiling shelving area alongside. Appropriating the extra wall depth created by concealing the toilet cistern, these floating shelves are an elegant solution to common storage woes – and the marble finish is pretty magical as well.
Check out these reasons to love a pink bathroom
Reeded glass sliding doors reveal a hint of this cabinet’s interior without giving the game away. Techniques such as this – and the metal-framed basin stand – are dainty design choices for bathrooms short on space, creating visual interest without adding bulk.
This tranquil turquoise scheme uses large niches to provide space for neatly-folded towels, making a feature of the recess needed to conceal the cistern. If you’re considering a similar design, and want a tiled finish, plan carefully to ensure immaculate edges. External corners require either careful mitring to create a bevel (impossible on tiny tiles) or attaching strips of matching or metallic tile trim (as here).
Get the best of both worlds
If you value a mirror above the basin, but also need more storage, this slick setup could be the answer. Here, the concealed cistern has been incorporated into a framed-out wall, along with pipework for the other fixtures. Creating a cabinet above the bath frees up the inset behind the basin to allow the addition of a mirrored back and wooden ledge.
What do you think of these ideas for working in concealed cistern storage? Share your thoughts in the Comments below.