10 Inventive Ideas for That Space Under the Stairs

Library staircase

Regan Baker Design 

In a small home, every single square inch counts, from diminutive bedrooms to narrow hallways to tiny bathrooms. That also means that you’ll have to get very creative with your storage options.

But never fear—you’re in luck. If there is some space available underneath your stairs, it doesn’t have to just sit there untouched. There are plenty of things you can do with that space, such as alleviate your storage woes or create additional seating. Or, if you’re feeling bold, you can even install a wine cellar.

Don’t let that space under your stairs sit neglected anymore. You can either set something up yourself or hire a designer to create custom built-ins. These 10 designers and homeowners put their thinking caps on and got inventive with these random spots under the stairs—get ready to feel inspired to put that space to work in your own home.

  • 01 of 10

    Create a Garden

    Plant staircase

    @tribeandus / Instagram

    If you have several low-light houseplants, you can create a cozy little nook for them right under your stairs, just as plant-loving Kate of Tribe and Us has done here. Starting with built-in shelving, she wove in her plants among decorative items like baskets and books, turning that random spot into a mini green paradise.

    Continue to 2 of 10 below.
  • 02 of 10

    Assemble a Library

    Library staircase
    Regan Baker Design

    This is another instance when built-in shelving comes in handy with those spaces under the stairs. The team at Regan Baker Design set up an impressive library under the stairs, adjacent to the dining room and oh-so-stylish with small, decorative objects mixed in. If you have a treasure trove of books that are sitting in a box, this is a fantastic way to give them the spotlight.

    Continue to 3 of 10 below.
  • 03 of 10

    Install a Wet Bar

    Wet bar staircase
    Design: Cortney Bishop Design/Photography: Katie Charlotte

    When you entertain, it can be handy to have a wet bar on hand to craft concoctions or crack open a bottle of wine. This wet bar, designed by Cortney Bishop Design, is conveniently right off of the living room and stands at the ready for cocktail hours and dinner parties with friends.

    Continue to 4 of 10 below.
  • 04 of 10

    Get Organized

    Organized staircase
    John Bynum Custom Homes

    That spot under the stairs is a home-run option when it comes to clever storage. It’s as easy as installing some simple cabinetry or drawers, transforming that spot into a sophisticated way to store essentials. John Bynum Custom Homes used this space under the stairs as storage for pet must-haves.

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Set up a Workspace

    Workspace staircase

    @thislittlehouseofours / Instagram

    Melissa of @thislittlehouseofours looked at this space under her stairs and saw an opportunity to create a stylish workspace. Keep it minimal with a desk that fits easily in the space, and if you like, you can take it one step further and also construct a reading nook like Melissa did here.

    Continue to 6 of 10 below.
  • 06 of 10

    Display Decorative Objects

    Decorative staircase
    Madeline Tolle

    If you’d love a spot where you can show off decorative items that are near and dear to you, but you’re short on space, look no further than that space under the stairs. Construct some shelving and showcase your beloved décor. In this case, white décor juxtaposes beautifully against black shelving in a space captured by photographer Madeline Tolle.

    Continue to 7 of 10 below.
  • 07 of 10

    Store Wine

    Wine staircase
    Contract Development Inc.

    How’s this for a bit of luxury? If you’re a wine aficionado, you’re sure to get inspired by this under-the-stairs wine cave created by Contract Development Inc. Install glass so you can see your wine collection in plain sight, which is sure to be a conversation starter among your guests.

    Continue to 8 of 10 below.
  • 08 of 10

    Get Some Shut-Eye

    Staircase design
    General Assembly / Joe Fletcher

    When you’re living in a really small home, even a tiny home perhaps, every morsel of space is precious. That’s why this particular space solution from General Assembly is so ingenious: when the area isn’t being used as a workspace, the cabinet opens up and provides a fold-out bed. This is incredibly convenient, especially if you need to grab a few ZZZ’s in between work projects.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Craft a Kids’ Corner


    @for.the.love.of.greige / Instagram

    It can be challenging to find enough space to stash kids’ toys and other essentials, which is why this idea from Lorna of @for.the.love.of.greige is so brilliant. She filled her space under the stairs with her daughter’s playroom necessities, like books, stuffed animals and other items neatly put away into bins.

    Continue to 10 of 10 below.
  • 10 of 10

    Construct a Laundry Space

    Laundry under stairs
    Brickhouse Kitchens and Baths

    Instead of devoting an entire room to the laundry, why not just put it under the stairs? Using custom-built slots crafted by Brickhouse Kitchens and Baths, the washer and dryer fit perfectly in this space, which means the homeowners can use turn that laundry room into a den or an office. Now that’s smart design.