Home: Five ideas for using typically unsused space

What we all wouldn’t give for a little extra space in our homes.

Installing a small washroom is one way to use valuable unused floor space under your stairs in your home.

It’s rare I hear a client complain they have too much storage space in their house.

What we all wouldn’t give for a little extra space in our homes.

Cue the often forgotten space under the stairs. Typically, it’s gyprocked and filled with suitcases and Christmas decorations, not exactly savvy or highly functional.

No matter the size of your home, every inch counts.

Here are five of my favourite chic and clever storage solution ideas for that prime floor space beneath the stairs:


Wine & wet bar

You don’t need a separate room dedicated for your wine collection when that patch of empty space will do just fine. Granted, temperature and humidity control isn’t feasible for the advanced connoisseur, a sharp looking under-the-stairs display will wow your friends and guests all the same.

Some clients aren’t fans of the sit-up wet bar, but still like to entertain and need counter space, storage, and a small wine fridge to house glassware and drinks. Run lower cabinetry along the wall and install a floating shelf above to display glasses, bowls, and other decorative items.



Unless your staircase is right off of the kitchen or dining room, adding a small washroom down the hall or off an upper landing can be perfect for larger families, homes without a mudroom, space to wash up or simply for those in need of a smaller-sized water closet. Pedestal or wall-mounted sinks are best and will keep the tiny space feeling as large as possible. Bright, but dimmable lighting is essential to also keep the space well-lit and airy. If you have a traditional staircase with paneling or molding you can run the same trim and treatment over the door so it blends seamlessly into the mix.


Home office

It doesn’t need to be flashy—a simple work surface, bank of drawers or rolling storage cubby, and a few shelves for magazine holders, baskets, bins and some personal mementos for effect will do the trick.

Some planning is required if you’re in the process of, or thinking about, building, so wires and cables can be run and concealed in the drywall. If your space is already finished, tuck cables and cords up along the underside of your counter and hide wires running to plug-ins with plastic u-channels painted the colour of your walls.



Why not consider using this space to create your very own reading nook or library? Having a built-in bookcase installed is a clean looking and functional piece of furniture that would otherwise take up valuable floor space somewhere out in your room. Flank it with a cozy pair of chairs (foot stools a must here for optimum lounging comfort), and a small side table for cups of coffee in the morning or that glass of Shiraz at night.


Clever catch-all

Glide out bins or hinged doors concealing shelves, hooks, and containers make smart use of this area as well: consider carving out a small niche to house a dresser or small sideboard (to hold mail, keys, mittens, scarves, or even the dog’s bowl and leash), and build-in the rest.

For a more casual look, install a few shelves and fill then with woven or wire baskets, keeping the area open, yet tidy and completely organized.


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