That Space Under the Stairs

By Kate Riley October 21, 2015

In a lot of homes, at the end of the staircase there’s a wall that meets the stair treads and behind it is extra storage space in the form of a closet or shelving. Against a stairwell, the no fail accent is a console table or bench but let’s say there’s an empty space under the stairs and you’re looking to fill it with something less predictable.

Display Art

We’ve all seen art displayed on the wall above the stairs, but this example is a refreshing twist – use the small niche under the stairs to display a gallery wall and suspend cube shelving adds both style and storage to this triangular shaped space.

gallery wall under stairs

elle decoration

Create a Conversation Zone

Pull up a banquette or pair of chairs if the space under your staircase is open like these, paired with a table you’ll create an inviting spot to sit and chat.

sitting space under stairs

jean allsopp

banquette under stairs

house beautiful

Make a Mini Mud Room

Every home needs a place to hang your hat, that niche under the stairs can be utilized to house coats, umbrellas, rain boots, all those layers you’ll need when you’re headed out the door.

mud room under stairs

boston design guide

hooks for coats under stairs



Create a Reading Nook

How about a place to curl up and read a book or catch up on the news on your tablet?

reading nook under stairs

tracery interiors


Add a Pet Lounge

Your pooch needs a place to lounge too, corralled or not, that space under the stairs is a perfect small space for their use.

pet space under stairs

maison de reve builders

dog bed under stairs

san francisco decorator showhouse


Install a Home Office

You don’t need more than a few square feet to create a home office so look to that triangular niche as a place to create one in your home.

home office under stairs

risinger homes

desk under stairs

porchlight interiors

home office under stairwell

leslie goodwin


Add a Beverage Center

Ideal for basement levels, the little niche under the stairs is a great spot for a mini kitchen or wet bar so guests avoid a trip upstairs for a beverage.

 wet bar under staircase

triton Austin

beverage center under stairs

ken gemes

wet bar under stairs

the design co.


Clever solutions, aren’t they?


  1. I love the bar and the seating area!
    I had my under the stair area in the mud room turned into a dog retreat. You should stop on over and check it out. search under “Dog Decor”

    My girls love it, and it provides a nice secure place for them when people are coming in and out of the house.

  2. I don’t have stairs in my flat… but I adore the idea of a reading nook or pet lounge in that space! Or maybe a combination of the two… :)

  3. The doggy dens crack me up. When I was a kid our Irish setter slept in a big rectangular moving box with a hole cut on the end, padding on the floor, & lots of blankets. She LOVED it. Maybe the enclosed dens invoke the ancient memory of caves in Spot and Rover.

  4. Hi Kate, I love your blog. Just wanted to let you know that recently I’ve been having difficulties reading your posts. Sometimes it would take forever to load, other times it would be an empty page after loading. Just to get to your page today took many tries. I don’t know if I am the only one, and it never happened before. Anyway, your blog is a daily read, and I love everything that you do. Keep up the great work!

    • Thank you Helen, you’re not alone! I’m in the middle of a server switch and blog makeover, it’s happening all week, my apologies for any inconvenience, everything should be back to normal next week!

  5. I love all of these. It’s such a great space that is an afterthought for so many. We have an office space under our stairs (though not as nice, yet, as the one in the picture as we’re still renovating our home) and it always takes new visitors by surprise. Over here many have an extra toilet under the stairs since houses are generally smaller.

  6. What wonderful solutions!!! Some I wouldn’t have even thought of, but great ways to utilize all the space you are given :)

    Lauren Baxter | Lovely Decor

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