The invention of staircases is one of the biggest and best things to ever happen to humanity. It has made work easy and led to profound convenience. At the same time, it has created a slight glitch in the form of dead space, formed concurrently underneath unless tweaked. Living in times where extra space in our built environments is crucial, tapping on the potentiality of the underside of the staircases is a wise option. Of course, one cannot entirely use the space beneath it, but even utilizing roughly three-fourths or two-thirds works wonders.

Before thinking of re-inventing the space under the staircase, make sure to keep these two recommendations in mind. First, measure the available dimensions to become aware of the anthropometrics and ergonomic factors. And second, consider which type of staircase one has: a spiral, a floating, an l-shaped, or maybe another. Once these two aspects are covered and well understood, then proceed forward. These parameters will surely help one perceive the spatial quality of the zone they wish to have.

There are plenty of ideas to get going, and a few are listed. Read through the article and savor the ones that hit your design taste buds.

Me-Time Zone

We live in times where daily introspection is so crucial to remain sound. It is fair to say it has become a part of our lifestyles. Everybody has their refuge. Taking care of oneself is the need of the hour, and if one has some extra space, especially under the staircase, then do consider it once. It is the time to get oneself in a soothing meditative zone or a rather contemplative zone. For all avid and voracious readers, having a tiny but cozy reading nook with sufficient book storage will revitalize their senses. For yoga enthusiasts, a fun-size pocket with eloquent color schemes is charming and minimalistic

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A tranquil space under the stairs_©pearl-wisdom/pinterest

Add a sliding door and cordon off the area as a secret room, and soundproof the volume to have a seamless and meaningful experience. The same zone can act as a prayer room, a library, a yoga or a meditation zone. A person can use the same area for creative work, like making art pieces, practicing music, playing instruments, or focusing on building skills. All in all, an appropriate design is cardinal. 

Smart Storage Option

The first suggestion our minds give upon seeing extra space is to provide more storage. Well, the need for storage is everlasting. The underside of the flight is a wise location to add more storage. What kind of items and objects does one store is the question. 

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Storage under the staircase_©Ivo Tavares Studio

Usually, it is drawers and shelves to put on some paraphernalia. But this time, fabricate a piece of furniture that comes in handy and is common to all. A chest of drawers of different proportions to put in tools, key sets, toys for kids, documents or magazines (if possible), or even a bicycle, saving space and time. By being disciplined with wanting what one wants, the right fixture arrangement and compositions can be generated that stand out.

Gaming Section

Most of us like playing board games with our family at home or offices with our colleagues during breaks. Indoor games are good sources of amusement and great stress busters. One can mold the intangible space under the staircase as a dedicated indoor game territory. It might not be possible to have table tennis or other tables unless there is sufficient space, but cards and board games are enough to cheer one up. Today a lot of people also like playing games on consoles and laptops. Take this as an opportunity to convert the unutilized volume into something treasured and fill one with renewed energy

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Gaming Zone_©Stacey Llewellyn/Pinterest

One can play with the lighting to create a lively atmosphere and have well-designed racks for storage. Place a classy table with textured and patterned pouf chairs creating drama, and one is all set.

An abode for pets

Pets are an extended part of our family. Like us, they also need a comfortable home. Instead of getting a kennel or condo for the pet and situating it in a corner, one can build it under a staircase. Yes, you read it right! What better way to put the non-functional space to use than having a devoted chamber for our furry friends? There are many color schemes and materials for constructing a happy zone. The right design is indispensable in ensuring the pet remains cheerful and healthy. 

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Pet house_©odditymall.com

Green Pockets

A lot of times, the invisible bulk under the flight might look dull, and all one wants is to mask it. Have you considered introducing beautiful floral species? If not, then it’s worth it. The magic of green buffer zones is enchanting and indisputable. Leafy plants add a lot of energy. Instead of letting the space remain bland, it gets used more constructively and adds layers of freshness. A decently landscaped pocket looks obedient. Sometimes it is more important to connect the zones of a space rather than let them disassociate, and greens are a way to do it.

Plants under a staircase_©balconygardenweb.com

Other ways of utilizing space under the staircase:

  • Powder room
  • Bar/Cellar
  • Work-from-home space/Study room
  • Laundry zone/Shoe rack
  • Showcases for antiques

 Few tenets to not forget:

  • Make sure there is enough headroom.
  • Always apply a layer of soft material on the underside of stairs to avoid injuries to the head.
  • Check for cracks, squeaky noises, and leaky areas to remain secure.
  • Provide sufficient lighting and ventilation. 

Final Words

In all the above options, design is merely a catalyst in face-lifting the unexploited and sometimes dingy cavities below a staircase. The potential of which is substantial. The basic idea of comprehending the space under a staircase is dividing it intangibly vertically. Let’s make it simple. The volume under the initial flight of stairs is negligible, thus with no scope for design. But, as one moves further, the height increases from the previous one. As one reaches the last flight, the depth under the last stair will be the maximum. Thus, it is always advisable to provide storage spaces below the initial flight of stairs, then provide sitting space in the middle, and finally standing area at the rear. 

At times, one might feel reluctant to incorporate certain styles or choices of design, as they can be unknown to them. For all of those, there is one piece of advice. Devise a plan or sketch out the look of the space beforehand to get a tentative concept running in one’s head, making it convenient to perceive the spatial tone. Who knows, resuscitating the volume is the portal to becoming a new being.

References:

  1. HGTV. (n.d.). 12 Creative Ways to Use the Space Under Your Stairs. [online] Available at: https://www.hgtv.com/shows/room-lab/12-creative-ways-to-use-the-space-under-your-stairs-pictures.
  2. HomeLane Blog. (2020). How To Utilize Space Under The Stairs? [online] Available at: https://www.homelane.com/blog/under-stairs-design-ideas/ [Accessed 5 Nov. 2022].
  3. Curator, S. (2021). 12 genius ideas for awkward under-stair space. [online] Style Curator. Available at: https://stylecurator.com.au/ideas-for-under-stair-space/ [Accessed 5 Nov. 2022].
  4. on, S.G. | P. (2012). 60 Under Stairs Storage Ideas For Small Spaces Making Your House Stand Out. [online] Home Decorating Trends – Homedit. Available at: https://www.homedit.com/60-under-stairs-storage-ideas-for-small-spaces/.
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