...because home doesn't happen overnight.
08.19.11 / Off the Top

There’s no question in my mind that selling our previous home was the right decision for us.  That doesn’t mean I don’t miss little things about it though.  One thing being the smart setup we had under Handy Hubby’s side of the double vanity in our master bathroom.  From the outside all closed up, it was average enough.

I never did get around to painting the mismatched, orange-y stained oak.  See how the doors were more of a golden brown and the cabinet frame was more orange tinted?  That’s how the kitchen cabinets looked before we painted them too.  If only we had lived there another month or so, I think I would have worked my magic on that vanity.  Anyhow, the vanity itself is not what I’m missing these days {far from it} but what was inside.  Don’t judge a book by its cover…

Do you see what I see?  Look past the manly toiletries to the electrical outlet on the upper left hand side of the cabinet.

That outlet came about after I complained for months to Handy Hubby how much I disliked seeing and cleaning around his electric razor and electric toothbrush that he displayed on the sink countertop.  {My razor and toothbrush are manual and tuck away nicely into drawers.}  I can’t blame him too much.  The nearest electrical outlet for charging the personal hygiene machines was located right above the vanity next to HH’s sink.  I don’t know if it was my endless nagging or HH’s engineering mind that finally turned the tables, but eventually HH came up with this neat little charging setup for his razor and toothbrush.  It was a win-win project.  I got the unsightly devices off the top of the vanity and HH had fun rigging up his own charging station.  He simply added the outlet and tied it into the existing one.  It worked great for us.  And I miss it more than I ever thought I would.  I’m sorry I took you for granted little under-cabinet electrical outlet.

Because now I am greeted by this getup every morning in our apartment bathroom.

Behold.  The electric razor and toothbrush have made another countertop appearance.  I’m not crazy about it.  To make things look a little tidier, I placed HH’s razor and toothbrush in a wooden Goodwill tray that I primed and painted white. Yes, that’s my pot o’ cosmetics but, in my defense, it’s just there to disguise all the manly devices.  It’s not doing a very good job, is it?  Oh well.  It’s temporary.  Because when we get to taking on the master bathroom at the Underdog I fully expect us to come up with another creatively functional way to stow HH’s electric razor and toothbrush. It’ll be a challenge.  The Underdog’s master bathroom is not master-ish at all.


A teeny single vanity is all there will be room for.  But I’m confident we’ll think of something.

Think, think, think…

images:  Dana Miller for House*Tweaking



I just got a Lowes catalog/magazine thingy and they had a bathroom makeover in it and to the side of the vanity they did wall niches – if you had an outlet on the side of the wall in the niche it could be your solution, maybe?


Wow! You just solved my “I’m scared of this straightener/hair dryer cord running over the sick because that’s where my outlets are” problem. It has a complex name but a simple solution with an outlet in the side of the vanity.


Maybe you could have your Handy Hubby do a similar situation, but install a shelf on the back or side of the inside of the vanity, to utilize the upper space? If there’s room there, of course.

I feel your pain about the electric shaver…I hate those things, but at least Im sure your hubby doesn’t decide to shave at 1:30 am, therefore interrupting precious sleeping time with the loud sound that the thing makes;)


Oh my gosh, how brilliant is that? I am going to have the man install one for me. I’ve been trying for months to figure out how I want my hairdryer/straightener/curling iron to hang on the wall without the cords all over the place. (Right now I tie the cords in a knot and hang the appliances from the door handle. Not so nice if you’re trying to close the door.)


Always amazed at IKEA displays & use of wall cabinets in every room, including the bathroom. Can use one of those with an upper wall outlet.


Our master bath isn’t very master-ish either. We have one little vanity plus a medicine cabinet. The mirror medicine cabinet gives me hives. The *only* wall is at a slant part way up so you can’t hang anything on it. I have to admit though… it’s kinda fun to figure out how to make things work with what you have!


My girlfriend has an outlet built into the back of her shallow medicine cabinet. I watched her open it up one day and pull down her flat iron (which was already plugged in) then turn it off and set it right back on the bottom shelf! I bet it would be a cinch for your husband to build a cabinet with an outlet in the back.


I feel your pain! I have planned, in our upcoming remodel, to install an outlet or two in the medicine cabinet that we are building.


My sister has a wide shallow drawer under the sink in her vanity. The drawer is cut out on the left side & there is an outlet on the side of the wall. She keeps her hair dryer & straightener permanently plugged in there. No messy cords or clutter-I’m so jealous!


Wow…I’d still be marvelling at how wonderful it was to get rid of that green, dirty carpeting! *LOL*


Brilliant idea to put an outlet under the vanity! We’re re-doing our bathroom next spring, so we’re in the planning stages right now. We’ll be using this idea for sure!


I, too, will be redoing my bathroom at some point in the (hopefully very near) future and it is equally small. My plan: wall niches and cubbies, and some will certainly have to have outlets for electric toothbrushes and hairdryers.

But, the REAL reason I am posting is that plumbing access panel in your bedroom. What are you going to do with it? I have one too and am stumped. I breathlessly await your post devoted to dealing with that mini not-quite-door.

And I wanted to say hello. I am new-ish to your blog. I had seen it back when you did the toilet paper roll wall treatment in your powder room and really enjoyed it but I admit I did not stick around. But now that you have taken on the Underdog, I am all in! I love older houses in need of the kind of love only a sledgehammer can provide and I am equally enthusiastic about small space living. I am cheering for you and LOVING all the remodeling pictures. Very inspiring!)


When I designed our house I put outlets inside the MB linen closet for those types of things. I also put an outlet inside the closet in the guest room so my sewing machine could be tucked in there and always ready to use but also out of sight easily.


Ang – Outlets in closets?! I like!


I am so jealous of Erin’s outlet in the medicine cabinet! We had a pink bathroom in our home. We finally took down the pink and put up white bead board. Good luck!


What a clever idea to have an outlet inside the cabinet.


First – I’m so happy to see another man uses an electric razor like me and it looks like he has had the rotary vs. foil debate like me as well! Also the Sonicare, love mine, but it’s another thing to charge!

The vanity idea is great, in my bathroom I just had an outlet added to the wall, since there was none and the lower half of the wall is all tile, but still could be a good idea to put an outlet in the vanity – any hole in the tile would be covered by said vanity, but it would be right around the plumbing, so I’m not sure. My vanity isn’t up against a side wall only the back wall where plumbing is.

Anyway – what I was going to say is I’ve also seen medicine cabinets with an outlet inside, I didn’t get one, but something to consider or to hack into your own!


Our house now has that setup in the linen cabinet next to the master vanity–at first I thought it was weird and then I saw the brilliance of stashing–you guessed it–the electric toothbrush and razor in there. Yay! I’m sure you’ll figure out something equally brilliant to inspire us!


eek! All of that old carpeting gives me the gags……..I am looking forward to your magical transformations!

I love the plug under the sink…Like you I hate seeing the cords on the counter…


On the subject of electric razors, I’ve gone back and forth between various rotary and foil shavers for sure. I had a Braun foil razor that I really liked, but last year I switched to the Panasonic and haven’t looked back since. I love it.


Having a handy husband myself:) in any house we have lived I have always had him add an outlet to either the cabinets under the sink or one in our medicine cabinet. It was a win win I got to hide the manly clutter and he didn’t complain about his razor not being charged!:)


btw, definitely taking the outlet INSIDE the vanity cabinet idea too, thanks.


We have this in both my husband’s and my bathroom. Absolutely love it!