Published on January 1st, 2012 | by Jules Yap


GRUNDTAL Beauty Bar (and laptop table!)

Materials: GRUNDTAL rail, S-hooks, spice jars, cutlery caddies; NORBERG drop leaf table; SPONTAN magnet board; LOTS mirror; FRANKLIN bar stool; HEMMA lamps with RENATE shades

I’m a mess in the morning. I have ADHD, which makes digging through drawers, baskets, and piles a nightmare, and I have to compete for one of two bathroom vanities: my husband shaves in the en suite bath while my daughter primps in the other. Our condo is tiny and our bathrooms are tinier… no room to share!

I often forgo ‘beauty’ altogether instead of digging through random shoe boxes for cosmetics while looking at myself in the next-best mirror (which is in the kitchen).

[I do have a proper dressing table. It was repurposed into a aquarium stand for our turtle long ago. Heh. It's not IKEA or I'd tell you more.]

My ADHD coach/organizer has been encouraging me to use vertical storage wherever possible. I tend to only use regularly the things I can actually see; vertical organization prevents the piling-up that makes my needed items go out-of-sight-out-of-mind. Every object needs a specific home. A home that I can *see* into. No doors, drawers, boxes, baskets, or cabinets.

But how can vertical organization work for a dressing table?

IKEA to the rescue! I decided to use GRUNDTAL as the solution. I had already tried some BYGEL rails and buckets for the wall just above the commode and it’s really cut down on the bathroom clutter. GRUNDTAL is nicer, and this wall is visible from my bed.

I had intended to buy a picture shelf to set items currently in use, but I saw the NORBERG table in the IKEA showroom and instantly knew that I could give it a dual purpose on a currently wasted bedroom wall, conveniently near the en suite bath.

My husband hung the NORBERG at “pub/bar table level” (get “molly” bolts if you can’t attach to at least two studs). Then he hung the GRUNDTAL rail high enough to allow for the stored items to hang underneath.

I used the double-sided tape that was supplied with the LOTS mirrors to affix a LOTS tile to the SPONTAN board. I suggest marking the placement of the mirror on the board and of the board on the wall before making the mirror permanent!

I prefer to apply make-up standing up and very close to the mirror (yay, myopia!) so I have it placed pretty highly on the wall. One could easily lower the whole shebang and use a stool or chair of regular height. I actually decided on my mirror height by using a dry erase marker to draw a 12 X 12 square (LOTS size) around my face in my full length mirror and then measuring from the floor to the square.

I used GRUNDTAL doo-dads to finish it out:

I used one S-hook and a large binder clip to hang the hairdryer, curling iron, and straightening iron by their cords. (By the way, I also looped the cords through the NORBERG assembly to keep them out of sight. I had to momentarily un-assemble the arm, pull the cords through, and pop it back in. It was well worth the 90 seconds it took.)

S-hooks are also holding my brush, elastics, rings, and earrings. I hung my necklaces, bracelets, and my watch directly to the rail.

The cutlery buckets are holding skin care products and make-up brushes/pencils. I love this because I can see what I’ve got quite easily and there isn’t a risk of knocking over a cup of brushes in my pre-caffeinated stupor.

The magnetic spice jars are fabulous. I can see what’s in there without any digging and I’ve got my cosmetics organized by the order in which I apply them. I have make-up on one side and skin/hair on the other. Brilliant.

The bonus feature might be my favorite… when the table leaf is up, I’ve got a nice place to pull up the barstool and set my laptop. Dual use of furniture in a tiny condo is always an epic win.

Thoughts after completion: I wish I had used the longer GRUNDTAL rail. I used the 30.5″ length which lines up nearly exactly with the NORBERG. Overhang on either side would have been nice. I need another cutlery caddy or two. A reason for a trip back…

~ Shannon, Austin, Texas

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The Author

Jules Yap

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

12 Responses to GRUNDTAL Beauty Bar (and laptop table!)

  1. karen says:

    What a great hack! Thanks for posting – I’m inspired! They have all kinds of things you can hang from those bars – maybe I’ll get to post my own organizational hack! I’ve been looking for ways to organize my small bathroom which are clever and attractive without hanging a cupboard on the wall, this inspires me! Thanks!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Really cool… can we see the rest of your ‘see-through house’? It looks like organisational heaven!

  3. Anonymous says:





    (and so is your hack)

  4. Anonymous says:

    Great idea! IKEA should steal this thought and sell the whole kit as a set…or at least merchandise it all together this way in the store. Just think how much more they’d sell! A great idea for anybody with limited time and frequent fights over access to the bathroom.

  5. Alexandra says:

    awesome idea dude!excellent! like it!

  6. Milja says:

    A good combinations! I would just add some light to the side to make it even better for doing your make-up.

  7. DeeDee @ Decoding Dress says:

    Shannon, this is BRILLIANT. So many great ideas here for me to steal! =) Thanks for the post and for all the details.

  8. Beate says:

    Shannon, well done! If you like some informations from good old Germany about ADHD/ADHS write my a mail. My gild (now happy 16!) has ADHD and we found out some very helpfull things… If you’r interested, I’ll try to translate in english as good as posible…
    you find me on facebook. Beate Eberstein

  9. Anonymous says:

    wow! I would love to hear more organizational ideas from your coach!

  10. Kiri says:

    Those are a lot of good ideas! I especially like the idea about putting the makeup in the order that you use it. Brilliant!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Well done, my dear, ADHD or not. It’s a usable plan for any working woman with almost no morning time. Again, well done.

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