Think Beyond Storage
Computer Workstation: If your staircase isn’t open, just remove the side wall from under the staircase to create a large alcove for a computer desk and workstation area. You’ll still have plenty of room for a short file cabinet on one side of the desk and bookcases or shelving on the other side. For lighting, you can either use a desk lamp or have an electrician install a wall sconce or track light.
Reading Nook: Open up the wall and add a comfortable chair and floor lamp, or build a padded bench with storage underneath (much like a window seat). Add a small side table or built-in shelf for your favorite books or morning coffee.
Guest Bed/Futon: Need an extra bed for visiting cousins or other overnight guests? Although the space might be a bit tight with a door (think Harry Potter’s “room under the stairs”), you can always install a decorative rod with an opaque curtain for privacy. If a twin bed is too big (remember, you’ll need room to change the bedding), use a futon – you’ll gain extra seating, too!
Small Bathroom: Call a bathroom remodeling contractor to install plumbing for a small half bathroom. A toilet and pedestal sink with mirror will fit perfectly under most stairways. Instead of a standard door, add a rounded top door for architectural interest.
Laundry Room: In condos and townhouses where space is often at a premium, consider using the under-stairs area for a stackable washer/dryer unit. Or if room allows, install a standard set with an overhead shelf for laundry products. Consult with your home improvement professional for advice.
Bar/Serving Area: Extend a kitchen remodeling project to include a bar/serving area under the stairs. You don’t have to put in a sink for a wet bar; just having an extra counter and cabinet storage will make your home more convenient for entertaining. Add a beveled mirror or framed art above the counter for a decorative touch.
For more ideas on creative ways to utilize the space under your stairs, call or visit your local home improvement contractor.