Design ideas for under-stair areas

06/14/2014 5:23 PM

06/14/2014 5:24 PM

Everyone who has a stairway in their home might be interested in ideas of what to do with the space under the stairs. It’s part of the square footage of your home, so why not use it for something? Despite the shape, it is actually very usable space. Here are just a few ideas to make the best use of this awkward space in your home:

• Make a wall under the stairs with drawers. Instant storage. The drawers can be made to pull out vertically or horizontally, depending on how you want the storage facility to be. Or make a closet for extra storage under those stairs.
• If you prefer, don’t make a wall of drawers but instead create open shelving for books. People are always looking for a good place to put all those books that have been collected over the years, so this is one solution for that need. Or the shelves can be used to display knickknacks or your favorite collection. This idea can make a beautiful design statement for the room.
• The space under the stairs can serve as a little office with a tucked-in desk and some file drawers. If the wall space is long enough, two homework desk areas can be created by simply placing a small wall in the middle with a desk on each side. The wall can be an open etagere so books or supplies can be stored there.
• A daybed might fit, depending on the stairs. The daybed can serve as extra seating normally during the day with the added bonus of extra bed when needed.
• How about a wine cellar? OK, so you might not be able to control the temperature for the wine, but we can call it a wine storage area. Create diamond-shaped cubbies under the stairs and you'll have a great place to store and at the same time display your wine collection.
• A little television viewing area can be created under the stairs. Place a television on a stand or in a built-in custom wall unit under the stairs and then just add chairs across from it. This works well in small homes or apartments where space is limited and every inch counts.
• A little wet bar can also be made under the stairs complete with an under-counter refrigerator or ice maker depending on if the plumbing can be arranged.
• I’ve seen little drawers made of the steps themselves. Granted the drawers aren’t very deep but nevertheless, they do provide storage for countless small items.

Well, this gives you a start. Think of how you’d like that space under the stairs to serve you.

Rosemary Sadez Friedmann, an interior designer in Naples, Florida, is author of “Mystery of Color.” For design inquiries, write to Rosemary at

Join the Discussion

Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Terms of Service