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10 Storage And Design Ideas For The Space Under Your Stairs

Morgan McBride5-Minute Read
October 15, 2020

If you are looking for a little extra square footage in your home, you might want to look under the stairs. In multistory homes, there is usually some sort of closet or open space underneath the staircase. Taking advantage of this under stair storage space is a great way to make a little more room in your home.

When deciding what to do with the space under your stairs, consider if you want it open and in full view or closed off and more utilitarian. There are benefits to each. If you want to use the space for storage for example, you probably want it to have walls and a door to hide it. However, if you just want a little extra space in the surrounding home, you might want to see if you could remove or even just open up the wall to the closet. Keep these options in mind when deciding on how to use your space.

Here are some ideas to get you inspired to better utilize the space under your stairs.

1. Coat Closet

under the stairs coat closet

A very practical use for a space under your stairs is a coat closet. By transforming your under the stairs space into a closet for coats, shoes, seasonal decorations and other miscellaneous items, you can make room in the rest of your home or clear up other storage areas for other things that you want or have.

Before filling the space, purge all of your items. Get rid of anything you don’t want, like, or use any more. Then, add things back in a systematic way. Add shelves for bins and a rod or hooks for hanging jackets or cleaning tools to make the most out of the space that you have. Even if this space is hidden, keep it organized so it doesn’t become a scary, overflowing closet that no one wants to use.

2. Built-In Cubbies and Drawers

under the stair cubbie drawers

If you want to use the space under your stairs for storage, you can add more permanent organization to the space with built-ins. Some of the storage solutions you might build into the space beneath the stairs include built-in cubbies, cabinetry, and drawers. Built-ins will have a more high-end look than movable shelving. However, they are much more permanent, so be sure of the set up that you want before you commit to this project. Since this type of project is going to be very custom to the space and angles you have under your stairs, it might be best to DIY this kind of project. However, if that’s not your jam, it might be a good idea to hire the project out to a carpenter or handyman and have them tailor it to your needs.

3. Reading Nook

under stairs reading nook

Love to read? You can use the space under your stairs for a reading nook. It will be a cozy space, but that can be perfect for reading. Add bookshelves to hold your home library. Be sure to select comfortable seating and add a lamp or reading light so you can see every page! You might also want a small side table so that you have a place for your coffee or wine. Don’t forget comfy blankets and pillows and even a soft rug to complete the look of the room.

4. Create a pantry

woman sorting through pantry

If your staircase is near your kitchen, consider making the space into a pantry. If you already have a pantry, this could serve as more bulk-item type storage. If you don’t already have a pantry, add shelving and use this space to store food and open up some cabinet space.

Think about the type of food that you usually store when selecting the heights of your shelves. It is a great idea to add more shallow shelves for things like spice jars. If there is an electrical outlet in the closet, you can add a shelf for appliances like a toaster oven or coffee maker, to get them off of your kitchen countertops. Adding a pantry is a great way to potentially add value to your home, too.

5. Home Office

home office tucked under the stairs

If you need a place to sit with your laptop and not much else, the space under your stairs might be a great nook for a home office. You will want to get a very small desk and a compact, yet comfortable, chair. Keep in mind that there are likely no windows in this space, and probably no air vents either. You’ll want to add a lamp and maybe even a fan if you plan to spend long bursts of time working. However, it can be a great way to get some privacy for times when you really need to get something done.

This could also be a great space for a homework station for the kids. If you want to keep an eye on your children when you’re making dinner to ensure they’re doing their homework, adding a table and chairs might be a great space for them to work.

6. Playhouse

playhouse under stairs

Need an extra downstairs play space for your kids? Transform the space under your stairs into a playhouse! You can decorate the outside of the space to look like a miniature house, and then add kid-sized furniture to the inside. Also consider painting a chalkboard wall and adding small shelves for bins of toys. However, make sure that there is no way for your kids to lock themselves into the small space accidentally! Add a few of your kid’s favorite toys and station yourself nearby to encourage them to start playing in this space.

7. Pet house

dog in dog bed under stairs

If your dog is special to you, you might want to give them their own room. Add a doggie door to the door to the closet under your stairs and add a comfy bed, food bowls and a basket of toys. If you have a cat, consider using this space for the litter box, too! The litter box often fits really well deep under the slant at the bottom of the stairs. Keeping pet stuff under the stairs gets it out of the rest of your home, which can give you more space, too.

8. Extra seating

seating under stairs

Need more seating in your downstairs space? If you can remove the wall between your living area and the space under the stairs, you can easily add a loveseat, daybed, or even a pair of club chairs to the space. If you can’t remove the walls, then a daybed in the pitch-black windowless closet could be an interesting place to nap. Definitely consult with a professional contractor before removing any walls yourself.

9. Mud room

mudroom near stairs

If your stairs are near the entry to your home, you can set it up as a mudroom. Add hooks on the wall for coats, hats, and leashes. Add a bench to sit and put your shoes on or take them off, with baskets or bins nearby. If you have a bigger family, it might be nice to add a little section, or at least a bin and hook, for each person to avoid mix-ups. This is a great way to get your coats and shoes out of the main living room and be able to close the door and hide them as needed.

10. Decorative shelving

decorative shelving under stairs

Want to display books or decor along the side of your stairs? See if you or a carpenter can add shelving under your stairs. You would want this shelving to be built into the wall on the outside of the stairs, sticking in under the stairs instead of out towards your living space. This can be a great place to showcase books, collections, or seasonal decor, and is a very unique aspect to your home.

The Bottom Line

The space under your stairs might seem small and useless, but if you make a plan, you can really maximize the space and put it to use for you and your family. Check out more Homeowner Tips on the Rocket HomesSM blog.

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Morgan McBride

Morgan McBride is a DIY-lover and home decor enthusiast living in Charleston, South Carolina. She has been blogging at CharlestonCrafted.com alongside her husband since 2012, where they empower their readers to craft their current home into their dream home through the power of DIY.