17 Clever Uses for the Space Under the Stairs
Creative solutions, ranging from sneaky storage to cozy nooks, tackle the home's trickiest triangle.
When it comes to creating a beautiful home, interior design and home decor get all of the love. But more often than not, it’s the storage solutions working hard behind the scenes that keep homes looking great. From reducing clutter to optimizing organization and enhancing your aesthetic, storage is often key to a gorgeous home. In fact, according to a survey of 1,001 homeowners by HSH.com, 67 percent of respondents said lack of storage was among their top five annoyances regarding their homes.
If you’re short on storage, have you sized up the space under the stairs? Likely due to its awkward shape, this nook is often overlooked, but can be put to use for storage, task space, or even as a design element. Whether you’re looking for a home for all of your books or you need a cozy office area, these under stairs storage ideas can help you figure out exactly what to do with those underutilized square feet.
1. Stealthy Storage
Who among us couldn’t use more storage space? Fortunately, the often-neglected space beneath a staircase provides an ideal spot for drawers and cabinets. This sneaky storage spot, built by Ben Herzog Architect, offers a discreet space to stash shoes and other goods. With its simple hardware and detailing, you’d have no idea there’s storage hiding behind the wall.
2. Petite Playroom
Create a spot for the kiddos to play without their toys creating a mess around the house. This crawl space under the stairs created by Von Fitz Design is a fun hideaway for the kids—and the clutter.
3. The Ultimate Nook
Carve out a cozy nook for yourself like JWT Associates did for these homeowners. This under stairs idea provides just the right depth for a comfy bench and bookshelf. Add in fluffy pillows and a lamp and it’s the ultimate reading spot. Here they even left room for crawl space storage with a charming little door.
4. Covert Laundry Room
Not all homeowners are fortunate enough to have a laundry room, especially if you’re a city dweller. You might not have ever thought of it before, but the space to store a washer and dryer may have been underfoot all along. Brickhouse Kitchens and Baths built this genius laundry space beneath the stairs. Not only are the appliances kept out of sight, but the built-in counter provides a place to store your laundry supplies.
5. Supreme Storage
Being one of the most trafficked spots in the house makes the stairway a prime spot for clutter. With built-in shelves and cabinets, like these by HighCraft Builders, your family has a place to put backpacks, books, and other everyday necessities.
6. Room Divider
Take advantage of all sides of your stairway if it sits in the center of the house, like JLV Creative did here. The design team didn’t waste any space on these large stairs, creating a sitting and storage area on one side and a mini bar on the other. The stairway becomes a focal point of the house providing space for entertaining and divvying up an open floor plan.
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7. Cheerful Home Office
If you’ve always wanted a work area but thought you didn’t have enough room, claim the space under the stairs as your own just like Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects did. A sturdy chair, a work surface attached to the wall, and extra shelves on the side create a fun and functional home office. Just make sure to fix any squeaky stairs that might get in the way of your focus.
8. Drawers as a Mudroom
A narrow hallway might not be conducive for storage furniture, yet you still need somewhere to toss your keys, bags, shoes, etc. John Bynum Custom Homes offers a space-savvy solution with these drawers built into the stairs. Heck, they’re even better than a console table or cubby since they keep your stuff hidden away.
9. Comfortable Entryway
A simple banquette piled with pillows and lit from above with a wall sconce is a tempting spot to curl up with a favorite book, and it makes for an easy spot to sit and tie your shoes. Take some inspiration from JMA Interior Design‘s welcoming front room. Drawers below the bench provide additional storage for a neat and tidy entry.
10. Artful Display
Alcove shelving built into the stairs is the perfect place to showcase treasured antiques and decorative items. This stairway by Gilberte Interiors is an excellent example of putting your prized possessions on display without them getting in the way.
11. Children’s Den
A playhouse in the backyard is nice, but not very useful on a cold or rainy day. Metro Building and Remodeling Group got creative with the space under one family’s basement stairs and built a playhouse the kids can enjoy year round.
12. Built-In Bar
This built-in cabinet under the staircase, designed by Katy Bell Interiors, creates superb storage for all your cocktail hour essentials: shelves for glassware, a cabinet for liquor, and a countertop to put it all together. It’s rustic style fits in perfectly with the rest of the home’s decor.
13. Catchalls in the Hall
These little cubbies situated at the bottom of the stairs are a stylish way to keep the front hall tidy. Created by Jeff King & Company, the clean and classic design is evidence you don’t need a fancy organizational system for a neat home.
14. Pet Refuge
The space under your staircase can be fashioned into a cozy, custom nook for the favorite family pet. This interior dog house by Michaelson Homes is much nicer looking than a bulky crate. Who wouldn’t want to tuck themselves into such a sweet spot?
15. Kids’ Corner
In this house from Silver Maple Construction, the elegant arch created from the stairs above fashions a snug corner for the kids. It has just the right amount of space for toy storage and a quiet spot for story time. Rather than having wasted space, it’s a brilliant way to carve out an area just for the kids.
16. Animal House
Everyone in the house likes to have a little space for themselves, including the family pet. This tiny room, created by Cummings Architect, provides a quiet spot for the dog as well as convenient storage for the toys and supplies.
17. Book Nook
Take inspiration from this reading corner designed by the Williams Group Inc. A built-in bookcase under the stairs with a comfy chair and soft lighting makes just the right environment for getting lost in a story.