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5 Ideas to Utilize the Space Under Your Stairs

That barren, angular space under your stairs is most likely an eyesore. Often a trap for dust and cobwebs, it’s usually stuffed with old boxes and musty coats. But what if you could transform that cubby area into something magical? A space that’s practical yet beautiful -- and quirky yet cozy! Staircases are just large enough to do something useful with them. You’ll just need some creative vision to make it happen. So here are 5 genius ideas to help you get started!

Idea #1: Entertainment/Relaxation Nook

The space under the stairs is usually dark and intimate, making this the perfect den-like setting. Build a simple bench with a storage unit behind it to house your favourite books, crossword puzzles and some wine too. Customize the bench with an upholstered cushion in your favourite accent colour. And presto! This nook will quickly become a favourite spot for all family members to unwind. It’s the perfect escape for moody teenagers, overly-active toddlers or parents who just want some quiet time. Once the evening rolls around, you can bet everyone will be fighting over this space!

If you think this nook would be better suited for your pet, you can easily alter it for your furry friend. Let your pet relax and take naps on the bench, but just remember to get a vinyl cushion that can be easily cleaned and wiped down. And instead of books, fill the storage unit with his favourite blankets and chew toys. Your pet will feel like a king as he spends lazy Sunday afternoons in a space he can call his own.

Idea #2: Hallway Storage

If the space under the stairs is located near your front entranceway, you can use this area to store items as you come and go. Nothing is more inconvenient than trying to wiggle into a pair of boots and scrounging around the hallway looking for your umbrella while you try to put your coat on. Create a space that allows you to easily grab your things without much hassle. Build an all-in-one unit that incorporates coat hooks, storage compartments for wicker baskets and a seating bench. From your raincoat to your keys, getting yourself and your kids out the door in the mornings will be a breeze when everything’s organized and at your fingertips. This is also a handy area for your guests to hang their own jackets and purses when they come to visit.

Idea #3: Hide the Washing Machine

If you live in a small home that has no room for a laundry, the cubby under the stairs is perfect to fit in a washing machine. Laundry appliances take up valuable space and are usually an eyesore when out in the open. Get a professional to install an electrical socket and do some wiring work. Once you’ve hooked up your washer, create an angular door under the stairs and keep it closed when the appliance is not in use. No one will ever suspect you’ve created a laundry room in such a small space. And they’ll think you’re a genius when they eventually find out!

If you don’t need the extra space for laundry, then consider hiding away your other appliances instead. If your staircase is by the kitchen, this might be the perfect place for your dishwasher or refrigerator instead. The possibilities are endless, so always be open-minded and flexible as to how you use this space.

Idea #4: Kid-Sized Playroom

Nothing’s more fun than reading comics or playing board games in a cozy playroom under the stairs. Your kids get to pretend they’re camping out in a snug little cave, which means they’ll likely stay out of your hair for hours. Turn the space under the staircase into a kid-sized room by putting up some drywall and painting the ‘walls’ a fun colour. And don’t forget to install a door so your children can feel like this is their own space. Furnish their little playroom with some bright cushions and a soft rug. Buy some wicker baskets to store their favourite toys, puzzles and stuffed animals. Better get permission from your kids if you want to hide in their secret cave after a horrible day at the office!

Idea #5: Custom Bar

Sure, you could stuff all your fancy booze in the pantry and hide your wine glasses in a kitchen cupboard. Or you could create a beautiful custom bar under the stairs instead. This idea works well if your staircase is located in the basement, since basements are often used as rec rooms to entertain guests. Hire a carpenter to build you some cabinetry using solid wood in rich, dark colours. The unit should be configured to nicely showcase your alcohol collection and luxurious set of drinkware. All home bars come with a little sink to wash your glasses in, so see if you can get plumbing hooked up under the stairs. To liven up the aesthetics, consider using mirrors as a backsplash for your cabinetry. The mirror will sparkle with the reflection from your shiny drinkware!