Five Ideas For Using The Space Under A Stairwell

Stairwells can create lost space within a home. Whether you are designing a room with a grand flight of sweeping stairs or have a only a few steps that connect two levels, stairs tend to take up more space than you would like. Of course, the steeper your flight of stairs, the less space they eat up, but in most homes a compromise has to be reached between the ease of use and the floor area occupied.

One of the best things to do with stairwells is to maximise the usable space under them, so that the area is not simply lost. Think about how you will put the space underneath your stairs to use, because there are plenty of novel approaches to the problem that you can take inspiration from and apply in your own home.

Sliding Storage Solutions.

Storage closets are the first thing that most people think of when they consider space underneath a stairwell. However, stair storage units are usually little more than a dusty closet with a hinged door, set under the higher stairs. This makes the space under the lower steps virtually unusable. A great idea, that uses nearly all the available space, is to install sliding storage units. These mean you are able to reach all of the available space with ease. A great idea to make your storage space go even further is to front your sliding storage closets with shelving units. This not only disguises the function of your under stairs space, but provides an additional cache for your household items.

Play Rooms.

Make your stairwell a fun place to be by turning the area over to a play area for children. Kids love a little hideaway that they can call their own, to use as a playhouse or a reading corner. Decorate the area in bright colors and install good lighting to encourage youngster to use the space. Install a half-height doorway or hang a drape, so that you can see into the play room and keep an eye on your child, without being too invasive. If you don’t have children, then why not create a play area anyway? Set aside a space for playing chess, cards or even make a video gaming zone.


Book storage is a great idea for the space under any flight stairs. Also, think about storing your DVDs and compact discs along with your books in a dedicated stairwell place. If you can, it is well worth making the space as inviting a place as possible to sit and read. Designing an under stairs mini-library, you ought to consider lighting as this can be crucial. Install a window for as much natural light as possible or, if that will not work, fit good quality light fittings. Paint the walls and the bookshelves in white to keep the area bright. Consider purchasing shelving units that are designed specifically for an under stairs area. If your stairwell is not a regular size a good carpenter will be able to construct shelving that is specific to the individual needs of your room.

Rest Rooms.

Maximise the space under your stairs by using it as a rest room. If you are designing a new home, or undergoing major refurbishments, an additional rest room can add value to your property. As you will need the necessary plumbing to be installed it can be an expensive option, so it is not worth it unless you are taking on other works at the same time. Make the rest room as spacious as it can be by fitting as large a door as possible and keeping the fittings to a minimum. A large mirror will help the rest room from feeling too claustrophobic. A good tip is to use the same flooring as the area outside, to create a sense of continuity between the spaces.

Small Stairs Ideas.

Even if you are not dealing with an entire flight of stairs, it is possible to maximise the space beneath steps. Think about fitting drawers which you can access from the side of your steps to sue as a storage facility. They can be a great area for storing shoes and sneakers. And if you cannot reach the side of your stairs, why not install drawers that pull out over the steps themselves?

Picture sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.

Published by in How To, Tips, and Advice, on November 5th, 2012


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