For homes with unused space under a stairway, it can be a challenge find a way to actually use that space. Leaving it bare makes that awkward angular area distracting, but you probably couldn’t do anything functional with that space either, right?

On the contrary! There are numerous ways to make that odd-shaped void beneath your stairs functional and useful, and perhaps even a focal area in your foyer, entryway, basement, or wherever else your stairway leads. Read on for seven decorating ideas for utilizing that untapped resource under your stairs.


One way to make the space under your stairway useful is to create storage by building drawers and shelves. It can be a place for guests to hang jackets or purses, where you put discarded or dirty shoes, and an accessible place for hats and umbrellas on rainy days. In the home pictured above, the shelves look very deliberate and at-home as if they have always been there rather than being added later. The space’s utility also makes it much more attractive. Image via Houzz.


Hidden Closet
stairs02The owner of this home chose to install a hidden closet under the stairway. When closed, none of your guests would ever know that you have storage space beneath the stairs. It could be used as a coat closet and to store seasonal items like holiday decorations, or for things like your vacuum and broom. Not only does having secret storage prevent guests from accidentally finding your cleaning supplies and Christmas decorations, but it’s also just plain fun. Image via Houzz.


Wet Bar


Depending on the room in which you have your stairway, it could be appropriate and useful to build a wet bar or a butler’s bar in the space beneath your stairs. This would be a great way to not only fill that awkward space, but to put something functional and useful there that’s also a great focal area and conversation piece. By installing a wine fridge and a sink, you’ll have everything you need for entertaining guests in what used to be empty, distracting space. Image via Houzz.


Cozy Reading Nook


Another great use for the space under your stairs is to make it a picturesque reading nook. This home features a bench containing drawers for storage and covered with a plush cushion and pillows. The space is incredibly cozy and inviting, any bookworm’s dream retreat. Image via Houzz.


Child’s Play

stairs05If your stairway leads into a basement or playroom, you could turn the space under your stairway into a fun, playful space for kids. The owner of this home turned the wasted space under the basement stairway into a playroom that looks like a little house. With a window, Dutch door, and even a little roof, the space is now unique, functional, and sure to delight any child. Image via Houzz.


Powder Room

stairs06If you can access the space beneath your stairs from the rear rather than the side, there’s nothing more functional than a half-bath or powder room. Although you may think there’s not enough space, you’d be surprised; you need only enough space for a toilet and small sink such as in this modern homeImage via Houzz.


Office Enclave


Another great use for the space beneath your main stairway is making a miniature office space. Having a desk there, like an accessible and convenient satellite of your main home office, allows you to work without being isolated in your office. If your home can’t accommodate an office, this allows you to use the space beneath your stairs and have a desk for work, writing, or other important tasks at the same time. Image via Houzz.

For more inspiration for your home, go to Modernize.

Text by Jane Blanchard