Struggling for storage space in your home? Re-think your under stairs space to not only boost storage, but to add character to your home
Historically, under stairs closets were mainly used for toilets, hanging clothes or, if you’re Harry Potter, a small bedroom.
This area is often ineffectively used, or just boarded up, but there are loads of innovative ideas on utilising this deceptively spacious area.
Left open or unused, an under stairs cupboard gathers layers of dust, but they can create a useful larder, pantry or cleaning cupboard.
Create your own
The back of doors or tall spaces on the wall are great places to hang mops and brooms. If there’s enough floor space, a trolley on wheels helps to group items together, and to get them in and out with ease. Use the lower areas to organise electricals, and add shelves.
Joinery and carpentry specialists can create tailor-made fitted cupboards and furniture to fit the shape of the space. Or for a cost-effective alternative, home stores provide fitted furniture plus a range of storage ideas.
Kitchen space can become sparse especially when you buy spices, such as fenugreek, which you used once when you saw it in a recipe. So why not transform your cupboard into a pantry by adding shelving to help arrange jars, sauces and pots.
For a more contemporary feel, install a fitted wine rack – you could even incorporate a wine cooler, so you have space for the Pinot Grigio.
To create a chic style in the under stairs space, installing mini fridges, shelving, wall mounted bottle measures, plus a worktop, will turn your under stairs space into an impressive bar.
In a family home, it can be hard to find space for toys, so they can often be all crammed into under stairs cupboards. With the help of a screwdriver and some handy DIY skills, you could transform the cupboard door into multiple drawers. This allows you to add a variety of pull-out drawers to help organise the space. An alternative is to install shelves, or place storage units into the open space. Adding a children’s play mat will make the area look neat and organised.
Create an additional room
Bespoke and fitted office desks can fit snuggly into small spaces, with an office chair completing your study area. Using an alternative light source, such as downlighters or a desk lamp, will create a relaxed feel for when you’re working hard. Fixing shelves above the desk will also help to organise your work space, and you can liven it up with ornaments.
Aside from an office, a deep under stairs space could provide a great area for putting your feet up with a cup of tea and a good book. Using comfy chairs, such as a wing or snuggle chair, with a tall lamp will create a perfect, homely feel. If the area is big enough, then you could add a fitted bookcase too. This space could also be used as a welcome area with a telephone and a desk, or a children’s play area.
If you have a pet, or are thinking about getting a pet, but worried about space, then the under stairs area is an ideal way to provide extra room. With dogs, it makes sense to provide them with their own ‘den’, and an under the stairs cupboard is the kind of small and cosy space they’re looking for. Of course, this depends on the size of the space and the dog, but for a medium sized dog, this space should cosily house a big enough bed.
There are lots of ideas online on how to decorate and customise your dog’s new den. One creative idea is to paint a dog house around the outside of the cupboard, with a name plaque above the door. And remember to put their toys in there too!
If you’re more of a cat person, but you can’t find space for the litter tray, then under stairs cupboards are a great alternative. Putting a cat flap on the cupboard door will provide your pet with easy access to and from their tray. However, if you have an open space under the stairs rather than a cupboard, this is a great space to put a cat scratcher and their bed.
Additional storage ideas!
Space saving furniture
Ottoman beds, footstools and storage benches are examples of how you can incorporate storage into your everyday furniture. Ottoman beds fold up to provide you with ample space, whilst comfy storage benches provide extra seating for guests, with the advantage of storage space underneath.
When you have a different wardrobe for each of the seasons, wardrobe space can become a nightmare. Neatly folding clothes into vacuum bags can almost half the space required.
Wall mounted TV
If you don’t have any space for a TV cabinet in the bedroom or the lounge, this is a great way to save on space and extra furniture.
Nest of tables
These small sets of tables that fit into each other are a great way to free the house of unused furniture. However, if you have visitors, you can quickly pull out extra tables for your cups of tea and cakes!