Under-stairs cupboards have their uses, but what if your staircase is open? And what about other ways of using the space under the flight of stairs? What is possible and practical in your home will depend on the specifics (and you might find that keeping the under-stairs cupboard a cupboard is a necessity), but if you have open space under your stairs, here are six ideas for using it that are both practical and creative.
1. Make an office/desk space
We mentioned it in our article on creating a home office: the space under the stairs is one of the best places to fit a small area devoted to office tasks in a small house where you can't devote a whole room to that goal. Keep it fairly minimalist, with a build-in desktop making the most space-saving solution, but don't skimp on purchasing a good chair. Your back will thank you.
2. Display decorative objects or your treasured collection
This is a perfect space to show off a collection or simply display a few interesting, beautiful or otherwise worth showing items. Sculptures, china, glass or minerals, they can all be displayed in a glass fronted cabinet placed in or simply on shelving built into the under the stairs space.
3. Put your library there
Kindle or not, if you like reading, books tend to overtake the home. And instead of trying to stuff them into shelves and on top of wardrobes, why not find a home for a surprising number of your volumes in shelves located under the stairs. And there is no reason why not to combine this with the previous option!
4. Make a nook for kids...or adults
...and we don't mean in the Harry Potter way. But placing some beanbags or other comfortable seating, a box or two of supplies and a low table for crafting or drawing will help you to create a comfy nook for reading or creative play. This is a particularly useful solution if your child's room is very small, or if kids have to share a bedroom. And even if you don't have children, a comfy chair in that space would create an extra space, perfect for reading.
5. Use it for storage
Either custom-built-in furniture or a chest of drawers can transform the underutilised space under the stairs into an extremely practical and easily accessible storage area. Depending on the location of your stairs, outdoor gear, pet supplies, toys or even table linen and blankets could all find their home there.
6. Display plants or flowers
Depending on the amount of light available in your under-stairs space, it could be a perfect location for either living house plants or cut flowers arrangements. From smaller plants (e.g. cacti) displayed on shelving to large floor-standing plants that fill in the available space, a mini-garden under the stairs can work really well as long as there is enough daylight available. And in either case, placing large cut flowers or dried flowers arrangements there, on the floor, a low table or a chest of drawers will add a wonderful touch without using precious space elsewhere.
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