The small dimensions of the space under the stairs make it ideal for creating a cozy reading nook. This Los Angles book nook, designed by JWT Associates, is wrapped in tongue-and-groove wood paneling for a down-on-the-farm aesthetic.
The shape of the space under the stairs also lends itself to built-in bookshelves. Unlike standard shelves or bookcases, under-the-stairs units take up just the right amount of space and can be made in a variety of styles.
This angular built-in bookcase in Calgary, Alberta, includes a bottom row of drawers for extra storage.
Wall paint: Lava Gray, PPG Pittsburgh Paints
While putting a child’s bedroom under the stairs à la Harry Potter might be a little cruel, the space can make for a great play area for the young ones.
A narrow door built into the side of this Los Angeles staircase leads to a private retreat for the homeowners’ children.
Wall sign: Pottery Barn Kids
If you don’t have an entire room available for a home office, consider the space under the stairs as a great alternative. The built-in desk and bookshelves of this modern office in Austin, Texas, make for a stylish workspace.
Eames aluminum Management Group leather chair: Room & Board
The space under the stairs offers a wonderful private spot for a family pet. This doghouse in New Orleans features a custom wrought iron gate made to match the stair railing above.
Adding a bathroom, even just a powder room, is a great way to raise the value of your home. The space under the stairs may provide just enough space for a toilet and sink, as seen in the marble-clad powder room above.
For the wine enthusiast, finding storage space for bottles can be a challenge. Consider the space under the stairs as a prime location to add wine racks or even a walk-in wine cellar, as seen above.
Eames molded plastic stacking side chair: Design Within Reach
If you’re having a difficult time deciding between one option for your space under the stairs, why not try two? This Houston home, designed by Keechi Creek Builders, has both a doghouse and office space under the stairs.