ISSUE 69  |  Clean Sweep

Design Sleuth: Recessed Toilet Roll Holder from a Surprising Source

April 23, 2013 3:30 PM

BY Christine Chang Hanway

After spotting this recessed toilet roll holder at Bouchon Bakery in Napa, San Francisco-based architect Neal Schwartz convinced himself that it must have been a utensil holder set into the wall. Imagine his surprise (and ours) when he discovered the real source.

Out of desperation, the founding partner of Schwartz and Architecture (a member of the Remodelista Architect/Designer Directory) finally typed Recessed Toilet Paper Holder into Google and there it was–on a website called Jail and Prison Equipment, specially designed to prevent the hiding of contraband. Who knew?

Above: Schwartz installed two recessed toilet roll holders in his Hydeaway House in Sonoma (see more in The Architect is In: Beyond Prefab in a Sonoma Weekend Retreat). “It is intended for prisons and other secure environments and it is easily ordered online,” Schwartz says. “I love it because it is also great for lazy people like me who can’t be bothered with fiddling with those spring-loaded holders.” Photograph by Matthew Millman.

Above: Installation tips from the architect: “It is best to have the holder on site before you sheetrock the walls so that the contractor can put in the appropriate blocking and determine exactly where the holder should go,” Schwartz says. “It should fit in a 2 x 4 stud wall, but a 2 x 6 wall will give you more flexibility. If it is a retrofit into an existing wall, check to make sure that the depth will work. You will also need to make sure the holder fits in between the two studs.” Photograph by Neal Schwartz.

See 5 Quick Fixes: Inventive Toilet Paper Storage for more ingenious ways to solve the loo paper conundrum or Steal This Look: A Modern Bathroom in Sonoma to see more unusual bathroom details from Neal Schwartz.