22 Stylish Under-Stair Storage Ideas to Maximize Space

under stairs storage ideas
 Brophy Interiors

Finding clever ways to maximize the dead space beneath a staircase will add storage and functionality to your home. Whether that means building shelves to store a collection of wine or books; adding wall hooks and vertical shelving to optimize an existing coat closet in an older home; or building a small laundry or powder room depends on your layout, needs, and budget. Here are some stylish under-stair storage and design ideas that will inspire you to utilize every square inch of your space.

  • 01of 22

    Add Custom Shelving

    under stair bookcase
     Design by Leanne Ford Interiors / Photo by Reid Rolls

    Leanne Ford Interiors maximized the dead space under the stairs with custom-built shelving that is used here to house a collection of art books and a small home bar. The cubby style shelves also house a small home bar at eye-level and could also be styled with decor objects or plants.

  • 02of 22

    Create a Coat Closet

    under-stair coat closet
     Design by Calimia Home / Photo by Jeanne Canto

    A discreet coat closet with double doors occupies the empty space under the staircase in this 1920s Spanish-style Florida house from Calimia Home. You can also use a coat closet to store off-season outerwear or add shelving or wall hooks to turn it into a storage closet for whatever else you need to organize.

  • 03of 22

    Build Kitchen Cabinets

    under-stair kitchen cabinets
     Fantastic Frank

    In this Swedish apartment from Fantastic Frank, the space beneath the stairs leading to the loft bedroom is outfitted with custom-built upper kitchen cabinetry that follows the line of the steps. A bank of lower cabinetry on the wall that houses the sink helps to maximize square footage in the compact space while creating a unique design aesthetic that makes the kitchen and stairs into an integrated unit.

  • 04of 22

    Store Seasonal Decor

    under-stair storage ideas
     John McClain Design / Photo by Stephen Allen

    John McClain Design utilized the unused space underneath this curving staircase to house a fully decorated Christmas tree that can be pulled out for the holiday season, and stowed away for the rest of the year. The hidden door located on the far right of the under-stairs blends seamlessly into the wainscoting design in the foyer, making it look like part of the woodwork.

  • 05of 22

    Step Up Storage Space

    under-stair loft bed storage
     Fantastic Frank

    The steps up to the loft bed in this tiny Stockholm studio from Fantastic Frank include built-in storage cabinets that add functionality to the small space and complement the kitchenette cabinetry. In a larger space, you can create storage closets under the steps to house bulkier items or pull-out drawers with built-in lighting to make it easy to see the contents of deeper drawers.

  • 06of 22

    Stow the Dog Bed

    under stair dog bed
     Design by Crisp Architects / Photo by Rob Karosis

    Even the most stylish dog bed can feel like an eyesore or create a tripping hazard. This under-stair built-in dog crate from Crisp Architects is a cozy place to store the dog bed—and your pet when need be—that virtually disappears when closed.

  • 07of 22

    Set Up an Open Bar

    under-stair home bar
     Envi Interior Design / Photo by Audrey Hall

    This spacious under-stair basement bar from Envi Interior Design includes wall-to-wall storage drawers, cabinets, and a glass-front fridge for beverages that anchors the niche. A patterned tile backsplash defines the space in the open-plan room, turning it into a functional focal point.

  • 08of 22

    Build a Pantry Room

    under stair pantry
     Brophy Interiors

    Brophy Interiors utilized the space under the curved staircase of this spacious modern home foyer to build a pantry. The functional pass-through room is fitted with a combination of closed and open storage to keep it looking neat and tidy given its visible location at the front of the house.

  • 09of 22

    Create a Home Office Niche

    under-stairs home office
     Design by Marie Flanigan Interiors / Photo by Julie Soefer

    This under-stair home office niche from Marie Flanigan Interiors has built-in open shelves on the left side that keep the above-desk area free while providing easy access storage for books and desk supplies. The desk fills the space and includes built-in storage cabinets and drawers to keep clutter at bay.

  • 10of 22

    Display Your Wine Stash

    under stair wine storage
     Brophy Interiors

    Brophy Interiors added a combination storage and display space under the stairs of this modern home for a collection of wine. Backlighting turns the storage space into a feature wall.

  • 11of 22

    Build a Wardrobe

    under stair wardrobe
     Design by Leymarie Gourdon Architectes / Photo by BCDF Studio

    This Paris rooftop apartment from Leymarie Gourdon Architectes includes a wall of seamlessly built-in wardrobes that maximizes the space under the sculptural black metal staircase and loft bed. Concentrating storage in one main area creates an airy, uncluttered feel in the open-plan room.

  • 12of 22

    Carve Out Space

    hidden under-stair storage
     Sissy + Marley Interior Design / Photo by Marco Ricca Studio

    Sissy + Marley Interior Design added an asymmetrical door that follows the steep line of the stairs to the mezzanine bedroom in this black-and-white guest cottage that has the allure of a secret room.

  • 13of 22

    Revamp an Old Closet

    under-stair coat closet
     Thistlewood Farm

    Thistlewood Farm gave a modern makeover to the inside of a deep and narrow former built-in coat closet in this older home that runs the length of this staircase.

  • 14of 22

    Paint the Inside

    small under-stair closet
     Thistlewood Farm

    Dark navy paint, wall hooks to maximize wall space, and a small storage chest with pull-out fabric bins turned a once dated closet into an organized utility closet for cleaning tools and supplies in this makeover from Thistlewood Farm.

  • 15of 22

    Create a Secret Laundry

    under-stair laundry room
     Design by Issy & H Creative / Photo by Tealily 

    This hidden under-stair laundry room from Sydney, Australia-based interior designer Joanne Yeomans of Issy & H Creative utilizes the space under the stairs and disappears behind nearly invisible doors when not in use. Behind one door is a laundry sink, built-in shelving, and a tile backsplash. A stacked washer dryer combo is hidden behind an adjacent door to maximize every inch of under-stair space.

  • 16of 22

    Keep It Open

    under stair bar
     Brophy Interiors

    Brophy Interiors used the empty space in front of the stairwell wall to anchor a small dry bar with cabinetry that fits the space and built-in refrigerated beverage storage. This solution would work for renters or those who want to save their reno budget for other projects.

  • 17of 22

    Create a Kids’ Reading Nook

    under-stair toy storage
     Design by Maestri Studio / Photo by Jenifer McNeil Baker

    Using the space under the stairs to create a kids’ reading nook like this one from Maestri Studio gives children a place to escape with a good book. Outfit the inside with simple shelving or woven storage baskets to store books, and be sure to include lighting (either a wall sconce or a solar-powered or USB-powered portable lamp will do).

  • 18of 22

    Add an Under-Stair Closet

    under-stair closet
     Brophy Interiors

    This downstairs kitchen from Brophy Interiors includes enough space for an under-stairs closet that can be used as a pantry for food, supplies, and cookware, or a small laundry or powder room.

  • 19of 22

    Add a Powder Room

    under-stairs powder room
     Design by Leanne Ford Interiors / Photo by Max Kim-bee

    Leanne Ford Interiors borrowed space beneath the staircase and adjacent entry to build a powder room for guests.

  • 20of 22

    Add Wallpaper

    under-stair dog cage
     Kate Marker Interiors

    Kate Marker Interiors added dog-themed wallpaper to this small under-stair dog cage, complete with a mesh front and a latch so that you can temporarily stow away your pet in comfort and style when the need arises.

  • 21of 22

    Create a Beachy Mud Room

    under-stair mudroom
     Maite Granda

    Interior designer Maite Granda added double functionality to the under-stairs space in this bright Florida home. On one side a custom-built, wood-clad mudroom with wall hooks contrasts with the contemporary white-and-glass staircase. On the other, combination storage and display space for a pair of colorful surfboards is complemented by a painted wood slanted wall and a small bench with cubbies underneath filled with storage baskets.

  • 22of 22

    Add a Doggie Shower

    under-stair niche
     Design by Kate Marker Interiors / Photo by Margaret Rajic

    This arched doggie shower niche from Kate Marker Interiors is tucked under the front foyer staircase and can be accessed from the front door so that you can wash your best friend’s muddy paws before entering the house. The under-stair space is painted in a light terracotta that gives it depth and definition, with practical gray floor tiles lining the floor.

How do you maximize storage space under the stairs?

Depending on the size of your staircase and the layout of your home, you can maximize storage space under the stairs by adding open shelving for books, a hidden closet for coats or cleaning supplies, or even a small laundry or powder room. You can set up a home office nook with built-in shelves for storing files and books; install shelving for a wine collection; set up a secret room for kids; or create a dog room for your pet with pull-out dog bowls or a cage with a dog bed.

What can you do with space under the basement steps?

Think of the triangular space under the basement steps as another storage space in your cellar. Fill the space under your basement steps by installing wine storage to store your collection; shelving for tools or cleaning supplies; or pantry storage for canned goods or other household items that you buy in bulk.

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