Welcome to our gallery of under stairs ideas including a variety of creative designs for this often overlooked space.
Every multilevel home has a set of stairs to travel from one level to the next, some even have more than one. A good portion of those staircases have so much wasted space underneath them!
There has to be some way to use the space, doesn’t there? Unfortunately the way the ceiling of whatever is going to occupy the space is slanted and not a particularly huge space, so this is where the creativity needs to be sparked.
After racking our brains for the best solutions to using the space wisely, storage became the prime choice, with a few other creative contenders.
Now when you initially think storage you probably imaging just shoving a bunch of old boxes that you will never need again under the staircase (because that is what we used to do in our basement!). This does not need to be the case.
Under Stairs Storage Ideas
An under stairs closet is probably the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about what could best go in this space.
However, there are many alternatives. For those with an existing closet under the stairs, try upgrading the closet door for a quick way to spruce up the look.
Custom Shelving and Cabinetry
Creating a custom storage space under the stairs with shelving and cabinetry is an effective design. When located near the entryway to the home, cabinets can be used to store shoes or jackets in an easily accessible area. Shelving can be used to store your favorite books or other decor items youd like to display.
Built in Home Bar
Who says the only things you need to store are things that you do not use regularly? Incorporating a built in home bar to the underneath of the stairs is a great way to bring a living or dining rooms class level up.
It may help transform this previously unused space into an extremely convenient space to store and alcoholic (or non alcoholic) beverages and glassware. This can act as both a china cabinet and a bar, storage and usefulness.
This small under stairs nook was equipped with two drawers and a small counter to make a home bar area.
Bar Under Stairs
A full wet bar with sink, cabinet and countertop was installed below this staircase to create a great entertaining area.
A portable bar cart is an easy solution that is especially useful for those who like to entertain guests.
For this home bar a wood cabinet was used as a countertop for mixing drinks.
Initially thinking is to have shelves underneath the stairs, or cut it out and make it into a room, but what about drawers?
Custom make some drawers to fit the height, width and depth of the underside of the stairs and you get oodles and oodles of space. These drawers, or even pull out cabinets can hold a ton of things, whether it be shoes, tools, games, cleaning supplies, you name it, you can store it.
Under Stairs Bike Storage
The space under these floating stairs is ideal for bike storage for those who dont have a garage. It makes a perfect spot for those with an active lifestyle who want to grab their bikes and go. See more staircase railing ideas here.
If you have a basement that the stairs come up from and have a lot of outdoor equipment that needs a home, you may have just found it. Turning the area underneath stairs into a bike rack saves floor space and keeps the bikes out of the garage in the off seasons. It can also act as an art piece if the bikes are nice enough and hung correctly.
You should never send your significant other to this dog house, but if you have small enough pets, under the stairs could be a perfect place for them to have their own room.
Just like the kids play room add a few adjustments to make the space livable for a pet, and maybe even add a lock or places for food and water and your dog will have a nicer set up than Harry Potter did under the stairs.
This custom built in dog house design under the stairs provides plenty of room for a dog bed with its own light.
What is to say this space has to be something you go into? Here are LIMITLESS options of ways to decorate the space to make it an art piece versus just a blank wall.
You could add bookshelves, art, faux cabinets and drawers (or even real ones!), plants etc. Having a decorative wall that is three dimensional makes a home seem unique and shows the dedication to the design! Not many people do this so everyone will be in awes with a built in wall décor feature.
This space could be ideal to show off modern art and make a statement.
This spiral staircase offers room for a large decorative vase to fill up the empty corner space. For more ideas see different types of stairs on this page.
Table and Lamp
Perfect for a foyer entryway a table and lamp can fit this space well and provide the touch of decor and functionality you need.
Under Stairs Office Nook
A lot of people benefit from a work station, and what is to say that it cannot just be a small nook under the stairs? This can be a place that you keep mail and things that need to go out or come in, a computer, and maybe even some items you use every day.
This contemporary glass desk with swivel chair take up very little space and dont clash with the overall design of the space.
Built-In Under Stairs Office Desk
With a smaller more tucked in area you do not need to take up an entire room as a whole office when all you really need is a touch down center. Even if there is only room for a small table countertop it can still be a good place to drop mail or leave your keys so that you pass it on your way out the door without forgetting anything.
Bookshelf Under Stairs
The empty area below a staircase makes an ideal area for a book shelf. This works especially well when it is within easy reach of a comfortable reading area.
Reading Nook Under Stairs
A reading nook can be created under the stairs by bringing in your favorite cozy couch with comfortable cushions.
Cozy Sitting Area
A cozy sitting area is always a plus for a living room. Add a floor lamp and small end table to complete the design.
This French inspired chaise lounge makes a comfortable spot to sprawl out and relax.
This space has several options for sitting as well as a coat rack and basket for storing shoes and other items.
A plush sitting bench with comfy pillows and a throw are an attractive way to maximize your under stairs interior design space.
Sometimes small and confined spaces are not too bad! Building in a bench to the underneath of the stairs and adding some comfy cushions, blankets and pillows makes for a great little reading nook for you! Adding built in storage for books or your ipad, (and maybe an outlet too in case you need to charge up) makes the space multi-functional as storage and a place to hang out.
This custom built-in bench with comfy pillows makes a perfect sitting nook.
Kids Play Area
While the low, slanted ceilings are a pain for people 5 feet tall and above, small children will be unbothered by a small area to hide out in! Depending on the size, add some lights, ventilation, a door and throw a few toys in there and kids will eat up their new play room, until the grow out of it (literally and figuratively)
For those with a large enough space this spot could work for displaying your piano.
Under Stairs Chalkboard
For this interesting staircase design the wall was equipped with a custom chalkboard to allow kids to draw and express their creativity.
This craftsman design uses the area under the stairs as a display case to show off pictures and other decor items. The items are safely stored behind a glass window to help keep hands and dust away.
Under Stairs Pantry
An under stairs pantry located near the kitchen could be useful for storing all of the food, dishes and household items you need space for. With the addition of a shelving unit you can organize the items so they are easy to find when you need them.
Wine Cellar Under Stairs
Under stairs ideas with a wine cellar with glass walls can create visual interest and be an excellent way to utilize this space.
The space under this staircase was effectively used as a wine cellar equipped with a decorative wrought iron door, wine racks and storage for other essentials.
Under Stairs Wine Rack
This custom wall niche is being used as an extension of the home bar for storing glassware and has a built-in wine rack.
Seasonal Decor Storage
Most places have seasonal items, whether it’s because of the weather or holidays! Having an easy, organized storage space for them takes out most of the hassle of having to move things in an out of season. With the under the stairs area you can build shelves or special bins for each season or holiday that you have items for. These can be color coded, labeled or you can just remember what is in there, whatever works for the user.
Under Stairs Dog Wash Station
An under stairs dog wash station is especially useful to clean off dog paws to keep dirt from being tracked throughout the home. Another benefit is that rather than cleaning off the dog outdoors or in the garage, one could do the job from inside the comfort of the home.
Small Basement Kitchen
A small basement kitchen with refrigerator and sink is great for an inlaw suite and can make the best use out of this tight space.
Built-in Wall Niches
A built-in wall niche can allow you to showcase some of your favorite decorative items, be used as storage or even equipped with cubbies for storing shoes or other items needed when leaving the house.
DIY shelving can be added to a wall niche without much cost.
Decorative boxes can be used to keep things from looking too cluttered.
This wall niches are used to display large vases and protect them from being easily knocked over.
This laundry room under the staircase is tucked behind charming wood sliding barn doors.
Some under the stairs areas are big enough to have appliances like a washer and dryer, but not all of them. If there is space, and the right water and HVAC hookups available, this could be a tremendous use of space. After installing all the necessary parts an piece, a louvered door, and some shelves or baskets for your laundry soap and other laundry needs, you will be all set.
DIY Under Stair Storage
An easy DIY under stairs storage solution is to buy some wicker baskets.
Adding shelving is easy and inexpensive and provides a lot of opportunities for using this space however you desire.
Under Stairs Closet Ideas
There are plenty of clothing storage designs that can be done beautifully and usefully. Here are some of the best under stairs ideas.
As typically one of the areas neared to an entrance or exit of the home the underneath of the stairs can be transformed into the shoes closet of your dreams. Even if the ceiling of the space is really low, the shoes don’t mind, they are usually on the ground anyways. You can build in shelving units or get racks that fit the space. Adding a door to make the space look clutter free is another really great option.
Daily Use Closet
Having a closet for any daily use items like jackets, shoes, scarves, gloves, etc is a great way to keep things organized as well as avoid too much clutter. Utilizing the space underneath the stairs can be a great place for these items!
Having a rack or bins and the bottom for shoes, a rod for any jackets that need to be hung and a few baskets for gloves and scarves keeps everything in check. Throw a door on there and some hooks to hang your keys and you will never be late for work because you forgot where you left something essential again!
Now maybe you just have A LOT of clothes! Creating a little extra closet in a previously unused space gives you more room without kicking someone else out in the family.
Keeping your less utilized or more formal attire in the extra closet opens up room in your main closet to get some new favorites. Make sure to add a lock to the bonus closet if you are afraid of someone sneaking through and ‘borrowing’ something, you may never see it again.
This creative design uses individual custom closet doors to allow for an abundance of storage in what would other wise be an unused space.
Stair Wall Design Ideas
So what do you do with that wall area under the staircase? Here are an assortment of under stairs ideas with furniture & decor designs for inspiration.
Adding a chair to your entryway is effective for creating a place where guests can wait. Other decor pieces such as pillows, vases and an area rug can be used to tie the design together.
As we learned from Harry Potter, the tiny cupboard under the stairs might not be the best place for a bedroom. It is, however, extra space in your home that has big potential if youre willing to get a little crafty with it!Check out these ideas for making the space under your stairs awesome.
1. Wine wall
You might not have enough cupboard space for nice wine racks, but the space under your stairs can be transformed to make up for that! Build shelves that will fit wine bottles comfortably on their side.
2. Kids playhouse
Instead of devoting an entire room in the house to toys, transform the space under the stairs into a playhouse thats all their own.
3. Indoor bike rack
Screw hooks to the stairs from underneath so you can hang your bike inside and out of the way. This is a great way to use the underside of stairs in your basement or garage.
What better place to store all the books youve got no room for but cant bear to part with! Put the extra space under your stairs to great use by turning it into a staggered bookcase.
5. Cozy reading nook
The space under your stairs might be small, but thats all you need for a cozy reading nook. A squishy seat, some shelves, and a good light will make it the best spot in the house!
6. Guest bathroom
Sure, the cupboard under the stairs is tiny, but what more does the ground floor need than a toilet, a sink, and a mirror? Next time you decide to do your own home renovations, think about how you might make the space under your stairs into a stylish little lavatory.
7. A bar
Instead of wasting the space under the stairs, build yourself a walk up bar! Dont worry if you dont drink alcohol. A bar under your stairs is a great place for a soda, juice, or candy bar too.
8. A breakfast station
Homeowners with tiny kitchens know the struggle of not having enough counter space. If your stairs and kitchen are close together, turn the space under the stairs into a breakfast station to give yourself more food prep room!
9. Media station
In houses where the stairs are near the living room, the space under the stairs makes a great media station! Building shelves for your television and other electronics there saves you from wasting another wall in the room.
If youre looking for at least a semi-private office but you dont have a spare room in your house, create a desk space where the cupboard under your stairs would be. Add some shelves and youve got an accessible work station!
If you dont have any use for the space under your stairs, maybe your pet does! Creating a comfy hideaway for your dog or cat is the perfect way to use the space without doing a complete renovation of the area.
Transforming the space under your stairs into a mini mudroom gives you more storage for coats, boots, hats, and so on. Its the perfect place for a bench to sit on while you pull on your shoes!
Building mirrored cupboards under your stairs achieves two thing. Firstly, youll have extra storage thats out of the way and discreet. Second, placing mirrors in a hallway or a small room gives the illusion of extra space and makes the room look bigger!
Letting the bed fill up the empty space under the stairs leaves the rest of the room free for free walking space or other furniture. This design is perfect for basement apartments.
Sometimes its just nice to have extra space for pretty things! Building a little bit of recessed shelving under your stairs gives you more surfaces for decorative items and trinkets that give your home character.
Not only is this storage idea fun to show people, but it also makes better use of the space under your stairs than most! Store seasonal decorations or clothing underneath and out of the way.
Have you transformed the cupboard under your stairs into something else exciting! Tell us about it in the comments!
Top 70 Best Under Stairs Ideas Storage Designs
Harry Potters family wasnt the first to take an under-the-stairs space and transform it into an alternative chamber.
(Never mind the overall state of poor Harrys home life.)
And if youre fortunate enough to have your own under-the-stairs unit, why not reassess it and finally procure that extra locale youve always longed for?
From personal mini-bars to half baths, storage cabinets and beyond, there is no limit to the possibilities to under-stairs ideas. Perhaps youve always longed for a peaceful library nook or an extra bedroom for a guest; maybe youre looking to extend your pantry or household storage capacity. Whatever your reasons and needs, your stairs have provided you with all the help you need. And with a little elbow grease and design direction, you can enjoy a new addition at a fraction of the cost of most renovations.
Suddenly childrens playrooms and doggy abodes arent so frivolous after all, now that you practically have a designated spot waiting to be reimagined. Private office or supply cabinet, you deserve to enjoy every inch of your home and inhabit it to its full potential.
So much of those extras and add-ons we desire in life are really just a matter of creative assessment, of rethinking spaces for the potential we may have overlooked. From the attic to under the stairs, your home can be every bit the manse youve always dreamed of.
The next time you find yourself wishing aloud for (fill in the blank), just turn your gaze to under the stairs, roll up your sleeves, and get to work.
1. Under Stairs Bookshelf and Bookcase Ideas
One of the easiest projects you can do under the stairs is to create open shelving or a bookcase. You can custom design the layout to suit you and your family’s needs. Maybe you need a few large spaces that you can display your art or plant collection on, or perhaps you need several closer shelves to display your book collection. The possibilities are endless when you’re the designer.
The trick to making these shelves a success is to plan your project. Measure the space under your stairs and then draw a diagram on some paper. Now you can try out different configurations before you commit to building.
The material you use to build your shelving unit should blend in with the look of the rest of the house. This could mean building it in a lighter wood. Or it could mean painting the entire unit white. Don’t try to build your new bookcase in the stair space. Instead, build your box units outside and then slide them into place. Then you only have to do small finishes to the front to complete the project.
2. Under Stairs Drawer Ideas
It seems these days that homes never have enough storage. We collect items along our journey through life, and before you know it, your home is bursting at the seams. So what do you do? Why not create some new storage space? The space under your stairs is just sitting there wasted.
You can build drawers that fit under your stairs to create additional storage. Does your family own a lot of shoes? You could keep them under the stairs and near the door. This makes it easy for someone to grab a pair on their way out and put them away upon returning home.
Another option is to have several shallow drawers. These work well for holding anything you could think of. You could have them progressively get shorter in width as they get higher. This will look best and complement the rise of the stairs.
Whatever style of drawers you choose, design their fronts to match your home. Modern homes will look good with slab fronts while more traditional homes will look better with a shaker style. If you have a country cottage feel to your home, then consider beadboard. Don’t forget to finish the drawers with matching hardware.
3. Under Stairs Dog Kennel Ideas
Is your four-legged furry friend a prominent member of the family? Then why not give them their own room? The space under the stairs is the perfect size to create a cozy cave-like den for your pup. Not only does this appeal to your dog’s inner wolf, but it keeps your home neat by not having a crate in the middle of a room.
The trick to making your dog’s room look impressive is to finish the inside of it. Lay a flooring that’s durable and easy to clean. It doesn’t have to match the flooring in your home. Then create walls out of drywall or fiberboard. You can then paint or hang a fun dog-themed wallpaper to finish the look.
A door is optional, but if you want to use the cubby as a crate, then it becomes a must. Try to use something that your dog can see through. A popular trend is to create a doghouse front on the wall around the door. Finish the design with a sign featuring your pup’s name.
If you don’t need the entire space under the stairs for your dog’s room, then consider combining it with some other uses. You could create a cubby for your dog and then surround it with cabinets, shelves, or drawers. Now you have storage space to keep all of your dog’s items in one centralized spot.
4. Under Stairs Wine Cellar Ideas
Wine cellars that are hidden away in a basement are a thing of the past. Turn the space under your stairs into a wine storage space that showcases your collection. You can adapt whatever space you have to fit your collection by using a wide variety of wine bottle storage configurations.
As a lover of wine, you know that external factors can ruin your wine so you need to protect your bottles by installing the right amount of insulation. This will help your room maintain a steady temperature and moisture level. It will also help keep your energy costs down by preventing your cooling unit from working too hard.
Your biggest decision will be how to finish the front. Using glass to enclose the front of the space will make for a beautiful display but it can also increase the cost significantly since you’ll need to buy insulated glass. Another option is to enclose the space with regular walls and then have a single insulated door with a glass panel.
Don’t forget to include lighting in your new wine cellar. This will make it easier to find that perfect bottle. Plus, you can turn it on and have a visually stunning element in your home when guests come over. Hidden LED lights are a perfect choice. They have a low energy demand and produce very little heat. You can mount them almost anywhere and create a variety of lighting schemes, from bright task light to soft accenting.
5. Under Stairs Mini-Bar Display Ideas
If you love to entertain, you may be missing out on an opportunity to have a bar in your home. A bar under the stairs can give you a place to elegantly display liquor bottles. You can also mix drinks without heading to the kitchen, allowing the conversation to carry on while you make martinis.
Start by designing the space. Do you have a drinks fridge that you want to include in your design? Start by building lower cabinets around this fridge. Then finish the top of the cabinets with a counter area large enough to work on.
Above the cabinets, you can create a bar-worthy shelving display. Pay attention to the height of your liquor bottle; some can be quite tall. You could also create an area for storing your glassware. Finally, no bar would be complete without lighting. Go for something cool and modern like color-changing LED strip lighting. They let you easily hide the strips while also illuminating the shelving holding the bottles.
6. Under Stairs Powder Room Ideas
A hidden guest bathroom can be perfect for under your stairs. You only need enough space for a toilet and a sink. This will give you a convenient place to direct guests so that you don’t have to share your personal bathroom.
Before you get started, check your local building codes. Some have minimum square footage requirements for bathrooms. Once you get the go-ahead, you’ll need to create a plan and file for permitting. Stand in the room and think about the slope above. The most well-designed bathrooms take this into account by not forcing occupants to stoop or stand at an odd angle. If your bathroom ceiling slopes dramatically, try placing the toilet under the lower part of the ceiling. This works because people will already be bending down to sit down and won’t notice the lowered ceiling.
One significant challenge of this project is locating a water source that you can bring to the room. The plumbing will be your greatest expense. It can help greatly if your stair space is near other plumbing in your house.
Also, don’t be afraid to go bold with your interior design. Vibrant colors and large patterns are a popular trend in small washrooms like this.
7. Under Stairs Playroom Ideas
Sometimes the space under the stairs isn’t large enough for an adult to comfortably fit into it. Families may be able to use this space for their children instead. This gives you a space that belongs solely to your child. You can allow them to play and make a mess without it cluttering up the entire house.
Start by finishing the floor and walls. You could paint the walls your child’s favorite color. Don’t forget to add plenty of light. The playroom should look bright and inviting. Embrace colorful patterns by using a fun wallpaper design. Mount Shelves or place bins to help keep the place organized. Lay a plush, comfy rug on the floor.
Finish the cubby by adding solid doors that match the look of the rest of your home. You can close them and hide the tornado of clutter that’s happening behind them. Another option is to go all out and create a playhouse front to the room.
8. Under Stairs Office Nook Ideas
Turn the space under your stairs into a home office. The space under your stairs can work perfectly to give you a centralized place to work from home, pay bills, or complete homework. Create a flat work area that will be the desktop, and then create storage around it by building cabinets, drawers, and shelving. Choose a comfortable chair in a style that compliments your home.
Use materials that are similar to the rest of your home. This will help your desk area look original and not a slapdash addition. Try matching the upper shelving materials to the material used for the stairs. They’ll be physically close to each other so this can create a unified look.
Focus on the electrical when building your desk space. You want to have plenty of light so that you don’t strain your eyes while looking at a screen or writing on paper. You also need to have plenty of power outlets to run your computer, monitor, printer, lamp, and anything else.
Use the space around your desk work area to create storage. You could have drawers down below to act as a file cabinet. Then you could have cabinet doors above them. You could even hide your printer in one of these to keep the desk space looking cleaner.
9. Cozy Corner for Under Stairs Ideas
Where do you go to escape from the stress of the world? A nook under the stairs will give you a cubby to curl up in and relax with a good book or take a nap. You can create a space that appeals to your idea of creature comforts with plush pillows and a blanket, or perhaps you’d love a quiet place to meditate.
To create your cozy corner, you need to finish the inside walls of the space. Using natural materials like wood can create a calming effect. Create a bench by building a box. Use this opportunity to create some extra storage. You could build cabinet doors, shelves, or drawers into the front of the bench. If you plan to read in the space, then you’ll need a light just big enough to provide reading light. A bedside sconce will work perfectly for this.
To finish your corner, you need to make it cozy. Place a seat cushion on the bench to sit on and pile several large pillows on top. An accent throw will complete the look while also giving you a blanket to curl up under when in the space.
If a cubby isn’t your style, then try building a shallow bookcase and placing a reading chair or two in front of it. Make the space comfortable by adding a small rug and floor lamp.
Pantry Storage Ideas for Under Stairs
If your stairs are near the kitchen or dining room, then you can use this space as extra pantry storage. This allows you to create a more convenient storage space without having to disrupt your current kitchen or dining room.
Before you decide on a storage method, think about what you plan to put here. You could create a walk-in food pantry with several shelves hidden behind a door. You could also create cabinets that hide small appliances that rarely get used. Another option is tall modern style drawers that contain several racks. You could use this to hold your dinnerware.
Consider how deep and tall the space is when deciding how you’ll use it. A low and deep space will make it challenging to use as a traditional food pantry. For this space, pull out racks will enable you to utilize the entire space. If you only have a shallower space, then shelving with a door will work better.
Under Stairs Project Ideas FAQs
Can I open up the space under my stairs?
If youre unsure if the space under your stairs is usable, youll need to get a look. The easiest ways to do this is to either gently pry up a stair tread or to cut a hole in the drywall under the stairs. Keep in mind drywall is easier to repair than a broken stair tread.
Are the walls under my stairs load-bearing?
More than likely, no. The stair stringers will bear the load of the stairs, leaving you free to do whatever youd like under the stairwell. That being said, if youre unsure, you should certainly contact a structural engineer to get a professionals approval.
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Under small stairs bar
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