The cupboard under your stairs is probably either closed off or the home to your wizard nephew (just kidding), so why not make it something useful? Staircases often are over small, but large enough, spaces that can add something unique to your home. Here are our 5 favorite ways to utilize the space under your stairs.

moving and portable storage

1. Reading/Homework/Timeout Nook

Do you ever wish you had a space to just get away and settle down with that book you’ve been dying to crack open? Install some twinkling lights, built in bookshelves, and a cozy spot for you to lounge in. We personally like the idea of installing a bench with storage underneath to house your collection of fine literature (okay, or maybe just those fun beach reads). Having a designated reading nook will help you take a break from the hustle and actually relax for a moment. Spoiler alert: this space could also double as the time-out zone for little ones.

1. Wine Cellar

Looking to get your fancy on and show off that you’re basically an unofficial sommelier? Why not install a wine cellar under the stairs? Most spaces under the stairs are the perfect size for wine racks or cubbies. Install wood plank to give the walls that extra luxurious feel, and you’ll basically feel like this space in your home belongs in Napa Valley. Not looking to get too DIY with the wood plank? Check out this wallpaper that looks just like it!

3. Dog House

Do you find yourself constantly moving Fido’s bed back to the corner it belongs? For smaller staircases, the space underneath can be the perfect den for your furry friend. House their bed, toys, food, and water all inside and out of the way. Install a baby gate to give your pup a safe (and cute) space to stay in when you’re out of the home for the day. They’ll be safe, happy, and the envy for all of their dog friends who don’t have a custom room of their own.

4. Shoe Storage

You know that feeling when you walk in the door and immediately kick your shoes off? Or do you know that feeling when you walk in the door and your kids have kicked their shoes off in the middle of the entryway? If your staircase is a central part of your main living space, consider installing a shoe storage system underneath. This will give everyone a proper place to store their shoes when they come in the door, and it’ll keep the clutter to a minimum. This is also perfect for giving your guests a hint that they should probably remove their shoes before going further into the house.

5. Shelving

If you’re working with a more shallow space under your stairs, you may consider making it a custom bookshelf. Whether you use it for actual books or just an occasional tchotchke, more space is never a bad thing. Include accent lighting under each shelf to create a purposeful, custom space. For even more of a pop, consider painting the back wall a color and leaving the shelves white. It’ll create a contrast that will make it a centerpiece of your hallway.


If you’re planning to get down to business and open up the space under your stairs, consider renting a UNIT while you work. UNITS can keep your belongings safe and out of the way while you get your DIY on and work towards making your vision a reality.

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