Now, this is a story all about how my life got switched, turned upside down and I’d like to take a minute, just sit right there. I’ll tell you how I became the owner of some storage under the stairs.
Sorry, a blatant rip-off of Prince of Bel Air there, but my new under stairs storage needed something a little more exciting to introduce it other than, nice shelves in a small area.
When we moved into our old house, we inherited a space under the stairs that needed a bit of love and attention. It was definitely an overlooked space and I knew we could do more with it.
We mainly used it for throwing our shoes under and hanging up our coats so it always looked a little untidy and unkempt and I knew the area would be perfect for under stairs storage!
When we finished our kitchen renovation, we asked our builders to put under stairs storage cupboards to hide away all the outdoor paraphernalia and firmly keep a door shut on it.
Fast forward 18 months later and my sofa of dreams was being delivered to much fanfare. The living room and hallway had been tidied and I eagerly awaited its arrival.
So, imagine my huge disappointment when we realised, we couldn’t remove the old and frankly awfully huge and bulky sofa from the room.
How? I asked. We got it in there?! But I soon realised that we had the storage cupboard put in after moving all the furniture into the living room and now couldn’t manoeuvre it back out.
The delivery men were about to take my new sofa away and I had to say NO! Over my dead body! The sofa stays, we will find a way.
The delivery men took my signature and quickly made their escape with my new sofa in the hallway blocking everyone from either coming in or leaving the house.
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A quick phone call to my husband later, our carpenter friend popped over to our house in the early evening and began to rip out our under-stair storage cupboard.
However, we still couldn’t remove the old sofa so the only thing for it was to saw it in half!
Finally, we managed to remove it and the new sofa easily fitted through the doorway and into its new home.
With a hallway full of dust, a sawed-in half sofa on our front drive and coats piled up on the floor, I sat down that night on my comfortable new sofa and set about trying to decide what to do with the new open space in the hallway.
10 Inspiring under stairs storage ideas
Here are a few inspiring stairwell spaces that I came across whilst looking for ideas on how to maximise storage under stairs via Pinterest.
1. A library and reading nook
I love the contrast of this dark custom-built library/bookcase but knew we probably wouldn’t have the room for the “reading area” of this mini library.
2. Under stair storage bookcase and seating area
This fabulous seating area looks cosy and inviting and is perfect for somewhere to curl up with a book.
But it wasn’t very practical for our house when we already have enough seating areas and really needed somewhere to store our coats, bags and shoes.
3. Small office space
I really like the idea of creating a small office space, complete with under stairs storage shelves in the hallway.
It is a great use of space if you don’t have any room for a dedicated home office in your home.
The only downside to this is the hallway can often be a high-traffic area, so you will probably find yourself being disturbed often!
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4. Somewhere to hang your coats and shoes
This is perfect and exactly what we probably needed, but I knew that with a busy household of four, this would look messy and out of control in no time!
5. An under-stair toilet and wash basin
This is a superb use of space and I have seen it done in many houses where there is no room for a downstairs toilet.
It can help add an extra and much-needed toilet to your home without having to create more space elsewhere.
The beauty of having a washroom under the toilet is you can get creative with the decor and go wild!
6. An under-stairs pantry
After looking at hundreds of images of under stair storage ideas, this was actually one of my favourite uses.
Under stairs storage provides a huge space to have multiple shelves and storage solutions so where better to put all your kitchenware and groceries if you have a small kitchen?
Especially if the stairs are built into your kitchen space.
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7. Bespoke built-in cupboard space
I have seen a lot of images circulating on Pinterest with these pull-out drawers and cupboards containing all your shoes, bags and coats and this probably optimises most of your space as they are custom-made.
This is the best way to optimise your space under the stairs, but the cost to build storage under stairs can sometimes be out of many people’s budget.
8. A Laundry space
Again, I love this idea! It frees up so much space in your kitchen if you don’t have a utility room and can become a designated space just for your laundry.
It provides an added extra by making your hallway smell of fresh linen which is always a bonus. You could include slide-over doors to hide it away when not in use.
9. A bar under the stairs
Well, I need to go no further, do I? This wins hands down right?
It’s in the perfect place to offer all guests a drink whether it’s the postman dropping off a parcel or your neighbour popping around for some milk.
Problem is, I’d never be able to get out the door without having a quick G & T!
10. The cellar-style wine storage
This leads me on to one of my favourite under stairs storage images I have ever seen.
When I grow up and learn not to quaff down all the booze in my house in one night, THIS is what I would have!
Who knew that such a small space could provide so many choices and inspiration?
As much as I was tempted by an inbuilt bar or wine cellar, I knew I had to be practical and go with something that would keep our coats, shoes and bags hidden out of view.
But, I also wanted the ability to display books and plants to keep the space looking contemporary.
We asked our carpenter friend to come back and we hastily drew up a plan for the under stairs storage shelves in our hallway with paper and pencil and ordered all the wood and materials needed to tidy up the area.
It took a whole weekend to put up the bespoke shelves due to there being a lot of pipes and holes in the existing wall.
We were then left with an unpainted and empty shelving unit, so the next decision was what colour to paint it and what to fill the shelves with.
I decided to go with white shelves and a wallpapered background to make it more interesting. I had some blue and white geometric wallpaper left over from B & Q from an upcycled project so I used this.
We also had a cupboard to the right of the shelves which contains all the fuse boxes, the doors were painted with black chalkboard paint.
I whitewashed the doors and used Farrow & Ball Stiffkey Blue to match the blue of the wallpaper, finishing the doors off with some new knobs.
The last job was to find some jute or wicker baskets that would fit on the bottom shelves and would be big enough to contain all our shoes, bags and winter gear.
Originally, I had planned to put some IKEA wicker baskets along the bottom which I already had, but the gaps were too large and they looked a little odd.
I found some baskets from La Redoute that fitted so perfectly, it was like they were made for the space!
Finally, it was a case of filling the shelves with books, plants and other items and finding a light shade for the bulb which hung under the staircase and the area was complete.
We had several coat hooks put up to the right of the cupboard and all the shoes and bags were put in the baskets which completed a practical, but contemporary use of our under stairs storage shelves.
I am extremely pleased with the results and actually quite glad of the drama of trying to get our new sofa into the living room!
Thanks for sticking around and reading my very long-winded explanation of how we put up some under stairs storage shelves!
Storage is such an important and often overlooked design in our homes, it can help make our lives easier, tidier and more organised!
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I want to create a similar place under my stairs but can I ask you if you removed the main post? I can see in your photo that there is a ‘stump’ there. A builder has told me that the post supports the stairs !
The post had already been removed before we moved in, so in all honesty I don’t know if it was there to begin with. It would make sense that it was a post to hold the stairs up but perhaps they had other structural elements in place to keep the stairs up! Mel 🙂