A Treasure of Space Under Your Stairs

Beautiful moldings and millwork were used by Elise Moore Design to create the perfect under the stair seating area. Photo by Chris Zimmerman.

If you have a two story home you may have a hidden treasure of space under your staircase, which may have been designed by a professional like Pear Stairs. We have all seen clever ways that builders have utilized this space for storage by building in drawers and cabinets but have you ever thought of using this space to open up your living spaces?

Many entries and back hallways are narrow and could use the additional 3-4 feet of floor space that is hiding under your stairs. One consideration is to locate a powder room in this space. If your house is on a crawl space it is easy to have plumbing and electrical installed.

When space is limited consider installing a wall mounted toilet and vanity. Keeping more of the floor visible makes the room feel larger. Under vanity LED lighting adds an extra touch of drama and spaciousness to the room. Manufacturers such as Toto, Kohler and Geberit have a nice selection of wall-mounted toilets and vanities.

J.D. Ireland Interior Architecture + Design back-lit the space by recessing tubular lamps behind a custom baseboard molding to create depth and drama in a entry hallway. The flooring tiles were laid in a rug pattern to define the seating area.

A Treasure of Space Under Your Stairs
Under stair wine storage completes this kitchen and provides much needed storage space for this homeowners wine collection. Photo by Jeri Koegel/courtesy VintageView Wine Storage Systems.

Want a wine room but don?t have the space for a walk-in wine room or your kitchen is too small for a wine cooler? Turn your under the stair space into a wine storage room. VintageView creates systems that are fully modular and can be stacked or cut to house any size space. Glass doors can be added so your wine collection can be viewed and admired.

Need a home office but working on a limited budget. Consider having a carpenter open up the space under your stairs and finish out the space with drywall. Instead of spending the money on have custom cabinets and a desk top built, simply find a small table that will fit into the space. Add a comfortable steelcase chair and a lamp and you?ve turned this unused space into a nice office niche. Or, turn it unto a standing desk space to help with mobility, allowing a bit more flexibility. You could even add some shelves above for document storage. When it comes to sourcing items to furnish your new office space with, you could look to the internet where you can find sites like Office Monster which supply everything from desks and chairs to stationery and printer cartridges.

If you are lucky enough to already have a closet under your stairs chances are it?s not equipped with the proper storage systems or shelving that allow you to maximize its potential. If you desperately need a kitchen pantry consider adding rolls of wire shelving down one side of the wall. Be sure to measure those tall boxes of cereal and juice bottles so everything can stand upright on the shelves.

If the closet is located a little too far from the kitchen consider moving some of the rarely used items such as roasting pans, baking supplies or large serving platters to this closet thus freeing up much needed kitchen cabinet space.

A Treasure of Space Under Your Stairs
J.D. Ireland Interior Architecture + Design used lighting to create drama and depth to this entry hall. Photo by Stacy Zarin-Goldberg.

It?s hard to find storage space for your families sports equipment if you don?t? hav a garage. Consider turning your under the stairs closet into sports central by investing in storage systems designed specifically for sports and hobbies. Organized Living has storage racks designed for golf clubs, tennis equipment and just about any sport you can think of that easily lock onto to a wall mounted hanging rack. You will be amazed at how much more storage you can get into a space if it is organized and outfitted with the right kind of shelving and storage systems.

Don?t let unused or poorly designed space go to waste. Thing about what you could do with that extra 40 square feet sitting under your stairs.