Several spaces in the home tend to be underappreciated. The void under the stairs is notoriously so. This is a shame, since this awkward wedge-shaped region has considerable potential for storage, and more. Getting it right, however, often requires a bit of forethought and planning.
There are several uses to which you might put your understair space. Consider what will best match your circumstances. It could be that you have a small army of shoes cluttering your hallway, in which case a series of slide-out shelves might be a great choice.
You’re dealing with a right-angled triangle, which naturally means that something small will need to be stored at the shard end. Here’s where long, apothecary-style drawers might help you to be as space-efficient as possible.
If you have a wall directly opposite your stairs, however, you might find that storage that extends out too far will end up blocking the corridor. A bespoke solution for your understair region, which balances all of your concerns and needs, will tend to make a sensible investment in the long run.
None of this is to say, of course, that you need to restrict yourself to storage. This part of the home can serve other purposes. For example, it could be that you need a quiet place to unwind with a book. The right chair, a small shelf, and a gooseneck lamp, and you can do exactly that.
You might equally use the space to showcase a few key items. Sculptures and artworks might serve the purpose nicely, especially if your stairs are tall enough to accommodate them at head height.
In some cases, you might fit an entire downstairs toilet beneath the stairs. This is typically only viable in very large homes, or those with a particular, quirky layout. If it’s feasible, why not look into it?
If you have children or pets, then they might not consider the confines of the space beneath the stairs to be quite as cramped as you do. Set up a basket so that your dog can snooze without anyone tripping over them. Set up a play zone for your child, complete with their favourite toys, and free up space in their bedroom.
Expand your kitchen
Many of the items in your kitchen are small enough to be stored in a tiny space. Those rarely-used kitchen items might therefore be shifted over to an understair pantry. Bottles of spirits and wine, canned goods, and Tupperware boxes filled with dried beans, bought in bulk: all of these are perfect candidates.
If you’re struggling for space in your kitchen, this will fix the problem at a stroke. Just think about how far you’ll need to walk to access the goods in question. If the kitchen is on the other side of the house, then you might find that you stop using the things in your larder.
The understairs void is a tremendously versatile space, and we’ve barely scratched the surface of its potential. Think about what you need from it, and start making plans!