Ample storage space has a calming effect

Clean lines work beautifully in a bathroom. A room free of clutter provides a calm, restful environment with space to breathe and freedom to move about safely and easily.

However, as we know all too well, you need plenty of stuff to stock a bathroom — soaps, creams, cosmetics, hair products, a stack of towels, the list goes on. To start clean and keep it tidy is not so easy for some of us. I can trash a bathroom in 10 minutes. But I do know that the only way to manage the chaos is with plenty of storage.

I discovered a magnificent bathroom at a recent interior design show and loved the look. The solid-surface sink and tub had a modern cube shape with gently rounded edges. And I recognized in a moment that behind the beautifully matched wood cabinet doors, there would be plenty of storage space. These cabinets, from WetStyle’s M Collection, are designed to be wall-mounted, a style that adds a feeling of space, as they float over the floor, and this feature makes a more comfortable approach for bare feet.

There is an Asian aesthetic to the simplicity of form and function in all WetStyle’s products, custom-made with fine finishing details inside and out. Cabinet finishes are available in light and dark wood veneer, as well as white and black lacquer. You will notice that wood grain is a popular design element in today’s bathroom and kitchen cabinetry. The wood is cut so that the graining matches or repeats exactly on the doors and drawers. Several coats of matte or gloss urethane highlight the wood’s color and pattern, and seal it for necessary durability.

Solid-surface materials are growing in popularity. Good quality composites are stain-resistant, and you can choose a variety of colors and seamless shapes that fit your dimensions.

Check out the many storage solutions for bathrooms at your local home store or on the Internet. Allow yourself ample space to tuck away the plastic bottles and makeup. Then choose one or two items to display, such as a plush stack of hand towels, a vase with a single flower or scented candle. This is luxury.

DEAR DEBBIE: I have a very small, square kitchen with doorways at each end. The appliances are white and black, with a white tile backsplash and floor; the upper cabinets are white, the lower black. The counter is blue with gold, black and white specks. What color should I paint the walls? — Paulette

DEAR PAULETTE: There is classic beauty in any white-and-black combination for a kitchen or bath. By adding a color, you will give the room a more modern feel, and the color will warm up the overall impact. I would choose a light shade of aqua for the walls. But don’t match it up with the counter’s blue specks. Once you have painted on the color, you will notice that everything looks better.

Debbie Travis is a columnist for King Features Syndicate. E-mail questions to her at You can follow her on Twitter at and visit her Web site at

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