How To Use The Space Under The Stairs: Amazing Ideas To Unlock Its Potential


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The space under the stairs can be a really awkward part of the home to work out what to do with. But in fact there are loads of creative options to pick from. Let’s look at them all now, so you can be inspired for how to use the space under the stairs in a way that’s perfect for you!

How To Use The Space Under The Stairs Effectively

A reader asked me recently whether I had some ideas for how best to use the space under the stairs as they were struggling with the angled ceiling and wanted to make the most of it by using the space for a specific purpose if possible.

I love to help where I can! – so here are some great ideas for how to use the space under your stairs to its full advantage, a space that’s often forgotten and that just simply becomes a dumping ground.

I hope you’re inspired.

Consider These Things When Deciding The Best Use For The Space Under The Stairs

While a difficult space, it’s a really useful area that needs to be used so you get the most value from it. However, it’s worth thinking about your space first, before you decide what to do with it.

Here are the things to ask yourself:

#1 – What are the dimensions of the space?

Look at the height, width, depth etc… and pay attention to whether there is enough room to stand up in the space, as this could dictate what you can and can’t use it for.

#2 – Are there any specific needs you have for any extra space in your home?

Are you in need of an extra toilet, more storage, a home office etc…?

Whatever it is, maybe you’ve found the spot!

#3 – Are there any utilities available for use in that space?

Think about the cost of adding in plumbing for a toilet, especially if it’s not already close by.

You may want electricity, a radiator etc… so think about whether these are easy to do as well.

Also (and this is something we came across when we changed this space in our own home) have you got anything in the area that needs moving. We had to relocate all the homes meters and electric box.

This was a pain, but it was totally worth it in the end!

So now you’ve got a good idea of what your space offers you, and potential ideas for how to use it – let’s look at some brilliant inspiration to get you started.

7 Great Ideas For How To Use The Space Under The Stairs

Idea #1 – Close off the space under Your stairs & use individual hinged doors for storage

This works really well as you have lots of different sized spaces to have a selection of hanging and shelving space.

You could add in coat, shoe and bag storage, and even house most of your cleaning stuff there (it’s handy to have a lightweight hoover in the hallway as you can grab it and take quickly to any room in the house, for example).

The only trouble though is that you may find it hard to reach the back of the cupboards, so the next step to go to is the next idea…

drawers and fitted cupboards under the stairs

Idea #2 – Closed storage but pull out individual sections

pull out fitted cupboards under the stairs

This works well as you pull out the storage and therefore don’t have to hurt yourself trying to get to the very back of each space.

It also utilises the most space under the stairs for storage, and keeps everything looking tidy.

TIP – Using discreet handles means the storage actually looks more like a solid wall when the cupboards are pushed into place, streamlining the space.

pull out shoe storage under the stairs

Idea #3 – Open bookcases/shelving

If your staircase is in another room other than the hall then you may want to opt for a more open plan feel to keep the sense of space.

Plus, this may be a good option for a more narrow staircase as the depth of the space will f course be less.

A bookcase works really well as it adds loads of storage to the room, and adds a decorative area too.

TIP – Built in units make the most of space under the stairs.

open shelves under the staircase

Idea #4 – Use the stairs themselves to access the space

As in this example, they’ve even added a secret drawer to the bottom stair to use all the space under the stairs.

This would make great storage for daily used shoes, or a handbag etc…

pull out drawer in bottom step of staircase

Idea #5 – Use for a home office

I love this idea as you could create a home office in a home that hasn’t really got room for a completely separate area.

It would be a great place for housing and dealing with all your paperwork, a homework area that the kids could use and still be seen, and a place to house the computer for work and play.

TIP – if you haven’t got the budget to have fitted furniture, then a simple desk with wall shelves above would work equally well – you could also have a small filing cabinet in the smaller area to maximise the use of space.

Desk area under the stairs
Desk under the stairs

Idea #6 – Kids Space under the stairs

I bet you know a few children who would love a space like this under the stairs!

Adding a blackboard wall makes this space whatever a childs’ imagination wants it to be – a shop, a house, a school etc…

It would also be a great place to house storage cubes for toys to keep them all out of the way.

hidden kids desk area under stairs

Idea #7 – Toilet under the stairs

The space under the stairs is perfect for a toilet and a sink area to be neatly hidden away.

A good reason for choosing this location is that the staircase is usually in a general area where guests would be able to access easily – more often than not in the hallway, so ideal for when you walk through the front door and need to quickly wash your hands or go to the loo!

TIP – ensure that the toilet is far enough into the space to not allow head height below the sloping roof to become an issue with using it!

My Own Home

And if you’re wondering about how I use the space in my own home – well, when we moved into our house the area was a cupboard, but rather under used, so I turned it into a downstairs toilet – and it works perfectly!

Here’s a picture of it – perfect for what we need, and handy too!

under stairs storage
Amazing ways to use the space under the stairs. Lots of inspiration so you don't have wasted space. Use it for all sorts of great reasons...

Hopefully at least one of these ideas is a great one for your home..

Do you already use your under stairs space for anything in particular?

I’d love to take a look, so why not snap a quick picture and share it on the Facebook page...

Read Next: How To Decorate A Hallway Table [9 Crucial Items You Need]


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This article was written by Chrissy

Hi - I'm Chrissy... Having run my own business for 12 years as a Professional Organiser and Interior Designer, I know what works (and what doesn't!) when it comes to setting up a home that works both functionally and aesthetically. Now you can mostly find me in a coffee shop or at home, working full time on (which I setup back in 2011) sharing all my tips and ideas. My mission is to help you create a home that you love to live in every day...


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