Shopping for Medicine Cabinets – The New York Times

If your bathroom looks more like a cluttered pharmacy than a peaceful retreat, a generously sized medicine cabinet could help clean things up.

“It provides a lot of extra storage,” said Winston Kong, a partner at Champalimaud Design in New York. And it also elevates and conceals potentially embarrassing or dangerous items, like medications and razors, “not only from guests, but also from kids.”

To choose a cabinet, consider how it will complement other fixtures in the bathroom. “One of the most beautiful parts of the bathroom is usually the vanity,” he said, “so it has to integrate with that design.”

A traditional or rustic vanity could be paired with a wood-framed medicine cabinet, for instance, while a modern, minimalist vanity might benefit from a recessed, mirrored cabinet that almost disappears.

“Keeping it discreet allows the vanity to really shine,” Mr. Kong said. Or you could go in a different direction and make the medicine cabinet a statement piece, “like jewelry or a necktie.”

  • Does every bathroom need a medicine cabinet? “We try to place them in all bathrooms, with the exception of the powder room,” Mr. Kong said.

  • Is a single mirror on the outside enough? Probably not. “I love when they have multiple mirrors on the inside,” he said. “On the back of the door, on the panel behind the shelves and maybe even an integrated circular magnifying mirror.”

  • What other features should you look for? “One of the best things is the integration of power outlets, so you can charge your electric toothbrush or razor,” said Mr. Kong, who also likes models with built-in lighting.

Cabinet with integrated lights, outlets and magnifying mirror

About $769 at 800-375-3403 or

Wood medicine cabinet for recessed installation

$599 at Rejuvenation: 866-786-0002 or

Stainless-steel medicine cabinet with beveled mirror

From $650 at Restoration Hardware: 209-834-1044 or

Surface-mount sliding-door cabinet with whitewash finish

$449 at Signature Hardware: 866-855-2284 or

Cabinet with curved brass door and three shelves

$300 at West Elm: 888-922-4119 or

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