What’s the Best Approach to Creating a Hidden Storage Space Under Stairs?

April 16, 2024

Every residential and commercial structure with multiple floors has one thing in common: stairs. These staircases are so much more than a means to move between floors. They’re an often overlooked gem of potential space, especially the area underneath them. More often than not, the space under stairs is left unused, becoming a wasted opportunity. But today, we’re going to change that. We will walk you through some exciting room ideas that smartly utilize this typically under-utilized space. We’ll explore different ways to create practical, hidden storage spaces under stairs.

Turning Under-Stairs Space into a Functional Closet

A closet is one of the most logical ways to use the area under the stairs. This option is not only practical but also adds value to your home or office design. Essentially, what you do is add a door to the wall under the stairs. Behind this door, you create a compact closet for storing items that would otherwise clutter your living or working space.

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But how do you get started? Firstly, it’s important to measure the space accurately. Remember, closet designs can vary from simple coat closets to elaborate storage systems with shelves and drawers. The size and shape of your space under the stairs will determine what kind of closet you can install.

To make the most of this small space, consider installing built-in drawers or shelves. These can provide a home for items like shoes, coats, cleaning supplies, or even office supplies if the staircase is in a workspace. For a neat, minimalist look, choose a door design that blends with the surrounding wall. To add a touch of style, consider a statement door in a bold color or with a unique design.

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Creating a Hidden Room Under the Stairs

If you have more room to work with under your stairs, why not create an entirely new room? This idea might sound like something out of a fantasy novel, but it’s entirely possible. The key is to design the space wisely so it will serve a practical purpose.

The first step is to determine what kind of room would be most beneficial. Some people might prefer to add a powder room or a small home office. Others might find value in a playroom for their kids. Once you’ve decided on the room’s purpose, it’s time to start designing.

Remember, this is a small space, so every inch matters. Choose compact furniture items and storage solutions to maximize space. Also, pay attention to the lighting. A well-lit room will feel more spacious and inviting.

Transforming the Area Under Stairs into a Stylish Bookshelf

For book lovers, the under-stairs space can be a dream come true. It’s the perfect location for a stylish, built-in bookshelf. This design idea not only adds storage space for your books but also creates a unique focal point in your home or office.

To start, you’ll want to plan your shelves. They’ll need to fit into the unique shape of the space under the stairs, which often means they’ll be deeper at the bottom and narrower at the top. Ensure the shelves are sturdy enough to hold the weight of your books.

For a cohesive look, match the bookshelf design to the rest of your home or office d├ęcor. For example, if your space is modern, opt for sleek, straight lines. If your style is more traditional, choose a bookshelf with intricate details.

Converting Under-Stairs Space into a Wine Cellar

For wine enthusiasts, the idea of a hidden wine cellar under the stairs is a truly appealing concept. This area can be the perfect spot to store your wine bottles, as it’s usually cooler and out of direct sunlight. It also adds a touch of sophistication to your home or office.

To create a wine cellar under your staircase, start with the right storage units. Wine racks or shelves that are designed to hold bottles horizontally are ideal. These can range from simple wooden shelves to elegant metal racks.

Next, consider the room’s climate. Wine should be stored at a consistent temperature and humidity level, so you might need to add a small wine cooling unit. Finally, think about the door. A beautiful glass door can showcase your wine collection, while a solid door can keep it discreetly hidden.

Building a Pull-Out Storage System Under Stairs

Last but certainly not least, you might want to consider a pull-out storage system under your stairs. This design idea is perfect for small spaces as it allows you to store a large number of items without taking up much space.

A pull-out system works like a set of drawers. You can simply pull out each unit to access the items stored inside. The pull-outs can be designed to fit various items, including shoes, toys, kitchenware, tools, or office supplies.

To make this system work, it’s essential to get the dimensions right. Each unit must fit perfectly into the space under the stairs. Also, consider the weight of the items you plan to store. The pull-out system should be sturdy enough to hold them.

Each of these design ideas can help you make the most of the space under your stairs, transforming it from wasted space into a functional and stylish addition to your home or office. Remember, the best approach depends on your specific needs and the size and shape of your under-stairs area.

Utilizing the Under-Stairs Space as a Clever Laundry Area

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a designated space for your laundry needs, thus freeing up precious room elsewhere? The under stairs area can be ingeniously utilized as a laundry area. The best part? It can be concealed from sight when not in use.

To give this storage idea life, you’ll first need a clear understanding of the space available. The under-stair area’s size will determine whether you can fit a compact washer and dryer, or perhaps just a washing machine, with the drying done traditionally on a clothesline.

In crafting this space, an interior designer could be helpful, guiding you through the design process. You’ll need to incorporate elements like plumbing and electrical connections. Ventilation is another factor to think about to prevent dampness or unpleasant smells. For a seamless look, opt for a door that blends with your home’s aesthetics.

Ensure you have space for laundry baskets and detergents. A storage unit on the side or above the machines can help organize these items neatly. While this might seem like a complex task, the convenience it offers makes it worthwhile.

Turning the Under-Stairs Nook into a Cozy Reading Corner

For book enthusiasts who enjoy a quiet corner to retreat to, transforming the under-stairs nook into a cozy reading spot is a brilliant idea. This not only offers a charming space to unwind but also adds an intriguing element to your home’s interior design.

To start, install a comfortable seating option that fits snugly in the stairs space. A padded bench with a backrest, a small recliner, or an ergonomic floor chair could work well. Throw in some soft cushions for added comfort.

Lighting plays a pivotal role in creating the right ambiance. A well-lit reading nook ensures you can immerse yourself in your book without straining your eyes. Consider a stylish pendant light, wall-mounted reading lights, or even a floor lamp for adjustable lighting options. Combine this with a small bookshelf or a side table to keep your favorite reads handy.

An under-stair reading corner is not just about functionality; it’s also an expression of your personality. Add elements that make the space uniquely yours. This could be your favorite artwork, a bold rug, or even a vase with fresh flowers.


Making the most of the space under the stairs elevates your home or office’s aesthetic appeal while offering practical storage solutions. Whether it’s transforming it into a hidden wine cellar, a cozy reading nook, a functional closet, or an ingenious laundry area, the possibilities are endless. The key is designing intelligently to maximize space and cater to your specific needs.

Remember, the under stairs area is more than just an architectural necessity. It’s a potential treasure trove of space, waiting to be leveraged. So, don’t hesitate to get creative with your storage ideas. With the right planning and execution, your under-stair space can go from unnoticed to unforgettable.