This Old-School Staple Belongs in Your Bathroom for Storage, and Here’s Why

published Jul 14, 2023
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entryway seating area with gray sofa, gray rug, metal coffee table, blue/gray door, tall locker-style cabinets, gallery wall

Just about any piece of furniture with shelves can be used for storage. And bonus points if it has a set of doors — particularly if you’re the type of person who doesn’t want to stare at your stuff all day long. For that reason, school lockers are a great option for stashing away anything you need close by but don’t want to leave out in the open. They’re tall and thin, which means they’re great at working vertical space wherever you put them.

One room you never thought you might put one, though, is the bathroom. A mudroom? Sure. A bedroom? Perhaps, as they’re typically used for stashing coats and other clothing items. The home of renter Rory Rockmore, though, will have you rethinking where lockers belong. 

A cosmetics exec by day and a celeb jewelry designer by night, Rockmore lives in a chic 1400-square-foot loft in downtown Los Angeles with his partner, Jamison Karon. While the apartment doesn’t exactly qualify as a small space, the unit still didn’t offer much storage. So the couple had to get a bit creative. “The uniqueness of our apartment is how we’ve customized it to maximize efficiency,” Rockmore says in his house tour.

Leaning into an energetic mix of maximalism and ‘90s-inspired design that features funky patterns, art, and neon lights, Rockmore deftly weaves bold elements in with the practical. “I really try to strike a delicate balance between functional and ornamental, always leaning on the side of efficiency,” he says. “And I started this apartment by first maximizing the storage.” One cool example of how Rockmore married form and function? The aforementioned locker he placed in the bathroom for smart-meets-stylish storage.

“Living in a loft or more raw space provides a certain level of aesthetic freedom that allows you to install a locker in your bathroom to hold your toilet paper,” Rockmore says, and this unconventional design move makes perfect sense in his home. Lockers have grown in popularity as storage alternatives to items like dressers or consoles, and that’s likely because their relatively small footprint makes them easy to tuck into empty corners without overwhelming already tight quarters (as Rockmore did with his, right next to the toilet).

Moreover, in general, lockers’ dimensions offer at least double the storage a typical wall-mounted bathroom cabinet would; the exact black locker Rockmore sourced from Target is just over six feet tall but just over 15 inches wide and deep, which means it has plenty of room for odds and ends. Add to that the fact that the door actually closes and can be locked — which is particularly great in a bathroom, where you might have toiletries, medications, and more intimate items — and I’m starting to wonder why more home bathrooms don’t have lockers for storage. 

When asked about his secret to designing gorgeous spaces, Rockmore’s key piece of advice is to do what makes you happiest, regardless of anyone else’s opinion. “If there is ever a place where you can literally do whatever you want, it’s your home,” he says. “Pick something you like and put it in your house so you can continue to like it.” I’m thinking this principle definitely applies to his bathroom locker. 

Buy: RealRooms Shadwick Single Metal Locker Storage Cabinet, $194.99 (normally $224.99)