How to utilize the under-stair space

Most homes that have more than one floor have an area under the stairs that is not being utilised. If your home is pressed for usable space, there is no reason this area cannot be used as well. Here are some ideas you can use to utilise the space under your stairs. Most of these ideas assume that you have an open space under your stairs, or that you are planning to have the non-supporting studs removed and doors put in.

Office space: The space under your stairs can be transformed into a home office with the use of a couple of file cabinets and a counter top cut to fit the area. Add a couple of shelves above the desk, and hand a photo or two and your home office is complete. This area can be used for homework, bill paying, or to run a home business.

Pet Palace: Why keep your animals in a small cold crate when they can have a space that’s four times the size? Create a custom place for your pets. You can build perches for you cat to climb, carpet the underside of the stairs to use as a scratching post, or put in a large sleeping pillow. You can have a regular sized door into the area so that you can keep it clean with a smaller pet door also for the pet to come and go.

Reading area: Have bookshelves built into space under your stairs to store all of your books and reading materials. Add a comfortable chair and lamp and you have a great reading nook.

Build a storage bench: If your stairs are located in the entry of your home, you can create a storage bench with a cushioned seat to get all of those shoes out of sight. Above the bench, you may want to add a row of hook for jackets.

Additional pantry area: If your kitchen is running out of space, you can have your under stairs area built into a second pantry. You can store your chest freezer and shelves for self canned foods in this area.

Create a playhouse for kids. You can furnish the under the stairs area like a playhouse or child sized kitchen complete with half doors to partially hide the area from guests, but allowing you to see the kids at play

Install drawers in the wall under stairs: If you don’t have any clearance area to open doors to create a storage closet under your stairs, you can consider having slide-out drawers built under the stairs instead.


I recently saw a photo of a house that had drawers built into each riser, so each stair tread was essentially the top of a drawer. While it looked neat, it could cause safety issues.

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About the Author

Andrea Hermitt is an artist and writer who loves to research and write about new things. She's been a content writer since 2000, contributing to, the blog Notes From A Homeschooling Mom and other online publications. Hermitt has a Bachelor of Arts in fine art and English from the State University of New York at Albany.