Title:
Bathroom caddy
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A bathroom fixture that provides a convenient way to store wipes, toilet paper, and other supplies efficiently in the bathroom while adding elegance to the decor. The Bathroom Caddy has a modular structure, consisting of at least one shelf and a detachable toilet paper roll holder, that allows the consumer to choose appropriate attachable accessories and compartments for his/her individual needs. The consumer can detach the accessories, which will be attached to the main body of the caddy using one or more of several attachment means, e.g., a dovetailing “key latch” system or “tab latch” system, and pack or carry them during travel for possible use in another facility that has the same caddy device.



Inventors:
Jenkins, Beverly Ann (Anchorage, AK, US)
Application Number:
11/264438
Publication Date:
05/03/2007
Filing Date:
11/01/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
211/87.01
International Classes:
A47G29/087
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20050011842Storage rack for bottles and jarsJanuary, 2005Gideon
20050008464Storage magazineJanuary, 2005Emmerling
20060243685Toothbrush holder & housingNovember, 2006Monroig
20050284833Corner post and maufacturing process for making sameDecember, 2005Wyatt et al.
20060261023Display and storage apparatusNovember, 2006Goth
20060054576Sports equipment rackMarch, 2006Durham
20060043039Integrated posts/ferruleMarch, 2006Garrett
20100065523Slide Through ShelfMarch, 2010Northrup Jr. et al.
20080029469Swing arm display rackFebruary, 2008Spencer
20040182809Warehouse material-rack advertising systemSeptember, 2004Calleja
20090101610CAPSULE MERCHANDISING CAGEApril, 2009Clark et al.



Primary Examiner:
NOVOSAD, JENNIFER ELEANORE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Oliver Law Firm, PS Inc. (Waxhaw, NC, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A bathroom caddy comprising: a generally rectangular, generally planar back panel having two side edges, a top edge, and a bottom edge, said top edge being straight or decoratively curved, said generally planar back panel designed to be mounted flush against a bathroom wall; two side walls mounted on said side edges of said back panel and extending in a first direction generally orthogonally from said back panel; said side walls and said back panel defining the interior of a case; a generally horizontal shelf also mounted on the back panel and extending in the first direction generally orthogonally from the back panel between the two side walls; a main compartment mounted within said case and located below said shelf and between said two side walls; a toilet paper roll holder removably mounted below said main compartment and between said two side walls; and attachment means on the exterior of the side walls.

2. The bathroom caddy of claim 1 wherein the attachment means includes a first means for attaching additional accessories to the exterior of said side walls of said main case wherein said first means for attaching comprises a key latch system of grooves and knobs including grooves on the exterior of said main case side walls and corresponding knobs being mounted on the additional accessories to be removably mounted on said side walls.

3. The caddy of claim 2 wherein the key latch system includes at least one groove on the exterior of said main case at least one side wall and a corresponding knob mounted on the additional accessory.

4. The caddy of claim 3 wherein the groove on the sidewall is generally vertical and defines a widened insertion point at the top of the groove, and the knob fits into the insertion point and then slides down the length of the groove.

5. The caddy of claim 4 wherein the additional accessory is a cup-shaped container having said knob extending from the outside of said container.

6. The bathroom caddy of claim 1 wherein the attachment means includes a second means for attaching additional accessories to the exterior of the side walls of said main case wherein said second means for attaching comprises a tab latch system including slots on the exterior of said main case side walls and corresponding tabs integrally mounted on the additional accessories to be removably mounted on said side walls.

7. The caddy of claim 6 wherein the tab latch system includes at least one. slot on the exterior of said main case at least one side wall and a corresponding tab mounted on the additional accessory.

8. The caddy of claim 7 wherein the tab is flared and dovetails into the slot so as to be securely mounted.

9. The bathroom caddy of claim 8 further including an additional accessory comprising a shelf, said shelf having a tab disposed thereon fitting into the corresponding slot in one of the main case exterior side walls.

10. The bathroom caddy of claim 1 further including a hinged door covering the main compartment, the hinge being mounted on an edge.

11. A bathroom caddy comprising: a generally rectangular, generally planar back panel having two side edges, a top edge, and a bottom edge, said top edge being straight or decoratively curved, said generally planar back panel designed to be mounted flush against a bathroom wall; two side walls mounted on said side edges of said back panel and extending in a first direction generally orthogonally from said back panel; said side walls and said back panel defining the interior of a case; a generally horizontal shelf also mounted on the back panel and extending in the first direction generally orthogonally from the back panel between the two side walls; a main compartment mounted within said case and located below said shelf and between said two side walls; and attachment means on the exterior of the side walls.

12. The caddy of claim 11 wherein said attachment means includes receptacles and corresponding protrusions.

13. The caddy of claim 12 further including a toilet paper roll holder.

14. The caddy of claim 12 wherein said receptacles provided on said sidewalls comprise grooves and said protrusions on said accessories comprise knobs.

15. The caddy of claim 14 wherein at least one of said grooves is generally vertical and has a widened insertion point at the top.

16. The caddy of claim 12 wherein the receptacles provided on the sidewalls comprise slots and the protrusions of the accessories comprise tabs.

17. The caddy of claim 16 wherein at least one of said slots is generally horizontal and said tab is flared to fit securely within said slot.

18. A method for attaching accessories to a bathroom caddy wherein said bathroom caddy comprises a back panel, at least one shelf mounted to and extending in a first direction generally orthogonally from said back panel, and a side wall also mounted to said back panel and also extending in said first direction, said side wall having an exterior and including at least one attachment means on the exterior, said attachment means comprising a receptacle on the exterior of the sidewall, the method comprising: selecting an accessory with a protrusion provided thereon; said protrusion being complementary to said receptacle; inserting the protrusion into the receptacle; securing the protrusion therein; and ensuring that the accessory is firmly attached to the bathroom caddy.

19. The method of claim 18 wherein the receptacle on the exterior of the side wall is a groove with widened insertion point and the protrusion on the accessory is a complementary knob, and the knob fits into the widened insertion point and slides along the length of the groove.

20. The method of claim 18 wherein the receptacle on the exterior of the side wall is a slot and the protrusion of the accessory is a complementary tab, and the tab fits in to the slot.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention pertains generally to containers for articles and more particularly to a caddy for toilet paper rolls and other personal hygiene equipment.

BACKGROUND OF THE FIELD

Bathroom users enjoy the convenience of having all of their necessities in one easily accessible place. In many residential bathrooms, supplies are stored in various locations around the room, such as a shelf, cupboard, or medicine cabinet. It would be desirable to have the most frequently used supplies stored together in one easily accessible location without taking up limited counter space.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention solves the above-mentioned problem by providing a convenient way to store wipes, toilet paper, and other supplies in one easily accessible place without taking up limited counter space. The Bathroom Caddy stores supplies efficiently in the bathroom while adding elegance to the decor. The modular structure of the Bathroom Caddy allows the consumer to choose appropriate attachable accessories and compartments for his/her individual needs.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the preferred embodiment of the bathroom caddy;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an alternate embodiment;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of an alternate embodiment;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of an alternate embodiment;

FIG. 5 is a detail view illustrating the key latch system; and

FIG. 6 is a detail view illustrating the tab latch system.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

FIG. 1 shows the invention of the bathroom caddy 10 having a generally rectangular back panel 12 with two side walls 14a and 14b extending generally orthogonally therefrom. The side walls will usually be mounted to the side edges but may for design purposes locate within the edges of the back panel. In this preferred embodiment, the top edge 16 is curved in a decorative bonnet style. (In alternate embodiments, the top edge could be straight or curved in a different way.) The bottom edge may be straight or curved and may have a cutout for the toilet paper roll holder (to be described later herein). The back panel 12 and the side walls 14a, 14b define a case 18 which has an interior and an exterior. In the interior of the case 18 and between the two side walls are disposed a generally horizontal shelf 20, a main compartment 22, and a removable toilet paper roll holder 24.

The bathroom caddy has been designed to be an attractive addition to the bathroom decor while providing needed functionality. The caddy can be made from any one or more of several different materials such as wood, ceramic, glass, porcelain, steel, or wrought iron, and may have solid surfaces with rounded edges. The bathroom caddy may be provided as a stand alone unit to locate on a countertop or may be a wall-mounted unit. To that end, the back panel must be generally planar so that it can be mounted flush against a bathroom wall. However, the back panel may be shaped other than rectangular—for instance circular or ovate.

The main compartment 22 may have a covering door 26 hinged on one edge within the case 18. The hinges 28 may be generally located on the bottom edge of the door 26 or in alternate variations, may be located on a side edge or even on the top edge. A user may store various items in this compartment such as additional wipes, diabetic supplies, make-up, or body ointments.

In alternate embodiments, an additional shelf 32 may be substituted for the main compartment, as shown in FIG. 2, so that the caddy 30 will have two shelves and a removable toilet paper roll holder. In other alternate embodiments, the second shelf could be eliminated entirely, as shown in FIG. 3, so that the caddy 40 presents with only one shelf and a toilet paper roll holder. Also in alternate embodiments, the caddy 50 could be made available without the toilet paper roll holder at all, as shown in FIG. 4, so that users could mount and use the caddy in proximity to an existing toilet paper roll holder.

In order to add to the novelty and versatility of the bathroom caddy, the sidewalls have been provided with attachment means so that a user can add accessories as desired and personalize the caddy for his or her own specific use. The exterior of the bathroom caddy main case, typically the exterior of the side walls, may define receptacles which will accept protrusions from accessories such as cups, tubes, or additional shelves. In this way, accessories may be added to the caddy. The following paragraphs will describe two specific systems of such attachment means: a key latch system and a tab latch system; however, any other system of receptacle and corresponding protrusion may be provided. Moreover, it is understood that these attachment means can be added to either side wall separately or in conjunction with each other, and the following orientation has been chosen for descriptive purposes only.

FIG. 5 shows a detail of the exterior side wall 14a of the caddy 10 and illustrates the key latch system (first attaching means) used to add accessories to the caddy 10. A generally vertical groove 60 is provided in the exterior of the side wall 14a having a widened insertion point 62 at the top of the groove. This groove 60 may be provided in the side wall itself or in an extension piece raised form the side wall. If an extension piece is used, it may be adhesively bonded or otherwise attached to the side wall. A corresponding knob 64 is provided on the accessory 66 (in this illustration a cup—which could be used for, e.g., tampons or cotton swabs) so that the knob will fit into the insertion point and slide or drop into the groove to mount the accessory. Out of the available accessories, which include cups, tubes, and other configurations, the user will select an accessory with a knob provided thereon, insert the knob into the insertion point of the groove, slide the knob down the length of the groove, and then ensure that the accessory is firmly mounted to the caddy.

FIG. 6 shows a detail of the exterior side wall 14b of the caddy 10 and is to illustrate the tab latch system (second attaching means) used to add accessories to the caddy 10. A generally horizontal slot 70 is provided in the exterior of the side wall 14b having a flared end 72 at the inside of the slot. A corresponding tab 74 is provided (usually integrally) on the accessory 76 (in this illustration a shelf) so that the tab and slot will mate to mount the accessory. Out of the available accessories, which include shelves, compartments, and other configurations, the user will select an accessory with a tab provided thereon, insert the tab into the slot, slide the tab down the length of the slot, and then ensure that the accessory is firmly mounted to the caddy.

The tab may be entered into the slot at the outer end and slid down the length of the slot. The tab may be flared corresponding to the configuration of the slot so as to provide a more secure dovetailed fit. Alternatively, the tab and slot may be configured so that the tab is inserted into the slot and snaps or locks into place.





 
Previous Patent: Adjustable storage rack

Next Patent: Fish tank stand