17 Clever Uses for the Space Under the Stairs

Creative solutions, ranging from sneaky storage to cozy nooks, tackle the home's trickiest triangle.

  1. Stealthy Storage

    shoe cabinet under stairs

    Every home can use more storage. Fortunately, the often-neglected space beneath a staircase provides an ideal spot for drawers and cabinets. This stylish example of under stair storage, built by Ben Herzog Architect, offers a discrete 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. 

    Related: The Best Furniture You Can Buy for Extra Storage

    Marco Valencia | Design: Ben Herzog Architect, PC

  2. Petite Playroom

    Under Stairs Playroom

    Have 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.

    Related: 8 Brilliant Ways to Get More Space—Without Moving

    Von Fitz Design

  3. The Ultimate Nook

    under the stairs nook

    Carve out a cozy nook for yourself like JWT Associates did for these homeowners. The space under the stairs 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.

    Related: 20 Incredible Ideas for a DIY Storage Bench

    JWT Associates

  4. Covert Laundry Room

    washer and dryer under stairs

    Not every house is fortunate enough to have a laundry room, especially for city dwellers. 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.

    Related: 20 Instant Updates for a Laundry Room You Can Love

    Brickhouse Kitchens and Baths

  5. Supreme Storage

    cubby under stairs

    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.

    Related: The 30 Easiest Organizing Tasks Ever

    HighCraft Builders

  6. Room Divider

    interior design under staircase

    Take advantage of all sides of your stairway if it sits in the center of the house, just 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. 

    Related: 18 Inviting Entryways We Love

    JLV Creative

  7. Cheerful Home Office

    Office Under Stairs

    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.

    Related: 21 Clever Tricks to Make Your Home Look Bigger and Brighter

    Whit Preston | Design: Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects /@hughjeffersonrandolpharchitect

  8. Decked with Drawers

    Drawers Under Stairs

    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.

    Related: 21 Ways to Fake More Space Around the House

    John Bynum Custom Homes

  9. Comfortable Entryway

    Bench Under Stairs

    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.

    Related: 11 Things to Keep by the Front Door

    Carmel Brantley from Brantley Photography | Design: JMA Interior Design

  10. Artful Display

    built ins under stairs

    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. 

    Related: 23 Insanely Clever Ways to Beat Clutter

    Gilberte Interiors

  11. Children's Den

    under stairs childrens 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.

    Related: Beautiful Basements: 13 Surprisingly Cool Underground Amenities in Real American Homes

    Metro Building and Remodeling Group

  12. Built-In Bar

    under stairs 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. 

    Related: Why Go Out? 12 Bars You Can Build at Home

    Katy Bell Interiors

  13. Catchalls in the Hall

    Under Stairs Storage Ideas

    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.

    Related: These 14 Ideas Are the Next Best Thing to a Mudroom

    Paul Dyer Photography | Design: Jeff King & Company

  14. Pet Refuge

    under stairs dog room

    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 in to such a sweet spot?

    Related: For the Dogs: 11 Crazy Home Upgrades Made by Pet Owners

    Michaelson Homes

  15. Kids' Corner

    under stairs play area

    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.

    Related: Control Kids' Clutter with 7 Creative DIYs

    Susan Teare Photography | Design: Silver Maple Construction

  16. Animal House

    dog house under stairs

    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.

    Related: 10 House Hacks Every Pet Owner Needs to Know

    Eric Roth | Cummings Architects

  17. Book Nook

    under stairs library

    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.

    Related: The Best Armchairs You Can Buy on a Budget

    The Williams Group Inc.

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