Published: Sep 23, 2020 | Updated: Sep 21, 2020

The Best Under-the-Stairs Ideas

Do you love creative under-the-stair-space ideas? We do, too! Check out this list of fun, practical ways to make the most of your staircase!

Entryway office in a closet with white doors and white built-in desk

We love ideas that create something stunning out of spaces that are normally wasted or ignored. Let’s dive into the world of possibilities for the space under a staircase.

Instead of being ignored, with some creativity, this may just become a focal point of your entire home. You may have to adjust the use of the space under your particular stairs depending on what type of living space surrounds them. But here are some fun ideas to get your dreaming process started.

Hidden Desk/Office Alcove

The space under the stairs is a perfect location for a study desk under the stairs or an under-the-stairs office whether it is in a basement or on the main floor.

Closet office 

Turn a closet under the stairs into a fully-functioning home office complete with a spacious closet desk, lighting, storage, and a comfy work chair that can be neatly hidden when you are done for the day. Choose from a desk built into the closet or a premade desk that fits well into your available space. Simply close the closet doors and you are away from work.

School desk 

If your child is doing online school or just needs a handy place to do homework after school, a study center under the stairs may be just what he or she needs. You can provide a hidden computer desk for them to enjoy in a closet that fits under your stairs. Or, you can hollow out an alcove for a beautiful homework desk and study area that stays open all the time.

Book Nook

A favorite option for making the most of the space under the stairs on the main floor is an under-the-stairs nook. With built-in cabinets and drawers, lighting, and a platform for a small mattress, you may find snuggling up under a blanket, surrounded by pillows in your custom-built reading nook is your favorite spot in the world. Of course, that is if you can convince your children it isn’t just their kids’ book nook. 

If your stairs happen to be close to an outside wall, you may even have the ability to have a window seat nook. Whether you just want a seating area or a reading nook bed for reading and naps, there is hardly a better use of this space in your home.

Bed Nook

If you need an extra bed in your home or you have basement stairs and want to use that room as a guest room, sometimes, creating a built-in bed under-the-stairs is a wonderful space-saving idea that also provides a practical, fun place for guests or family members to sleep.

Try adding colorful curtains for extra privacy and whimsy, and some beautiful fairy lights, as well as a sconce lamp for reading. Maybe even a custom bed with a built-in TV.


Custom Playhouse

Every child longs to have his or her own indoor playhouse. Whether it is a loft bed that looks like a castle, a landing on the stairs with a tent, a sheet over the dining table, or a pillow fortress, children are drawn toward playhouses and fantasy.

Feed their imagination and creativity with an indoor built-in playhouse under the stairs. You can design your custom playhouse with windows, a real door, lighting inside, a porch light outside, and all the comforts of home inside. Stuffed animals, small furniture, soft carpeting, and, of course, a seat for a friend can make a custom kids’ playhouse your child’s most precious childhood memory.

As your children get older, the under-the-stairs-playhouse can become a reading nook, a pet’s room, or even storage space. And it will always look magical from the outside.

Pet Palace

Essentially, any pets you have inside will enjoy some extra pampering if you create a special place for them under your staircase. Whether you have dogs, cats, ferrets, fish, lizards, or flying squirrels, there is room for them here.

Dog room under the stars

One of our favorite uses of this space is for a custom dog kennel under the stairs, a dog house under the stairs, an indoor dog house, a dog room under the stairs, or simply a built-in dog bed. You can either design an open alcove with a built-in dog bed for your furry friend to enjoy living a life of luxury or you can create a beautiful indoor dog kennel that looks fun and inviting while also providing all the heavy-duty dog kennel needs like safety and security for your dog.

Dog kennel ideas/dog room ideas

How about a wooden door with open slats or a half door? Paint the room fun colors, hang up some special decorations for your dog. And be sure to include some well-loved toys. There may even be room for a dog food storage cubby beside or inside the little room. And you could have a hook right outside the door for leashes.

If your dog doesn’t need a crate, you can just make a sweet little alcove that is open so your dog can come and go as they please. Some people like to have a door, porchlight, and window almost like a playhouse for children. But you can even make the entryway to your dog room look like a fancy dog house if you prefer.

The beautiful thing is your dog can have a good bit of space without you having to sacrifice any floor space or give up the aesthetics of your home for a cage. Make the space match your home or create something extra fancy just for your dog. Include a spigot for a water bowl, lighting, and a built-in food bowl shelf. With a few toys and a comfy bed, your dog will feel snug, cozy, and secure and you’ll have peace of mind knowing your dog has the best possible environment and love.

Cat room ideas

Cats would love to make good use of the space under your stairs, too. You could create a little room with a door for them that completely shuts, or, if you want your cat to have full reign of the house all the time, you could install a cat-door in the cat room door.

The cat room can hold a built-in litter box and a custom food station, as well as a fuzzy bed for your cat to be able to get away from the noise of the family and find some much-needed solitude. Being a cat is hard work, after all, and they need their beauty sleep during the day.

Built-in aquarium or pet cages

Another fun use of the under stairs space is to create a custom built-in aquarium or you can make a shelf for a pre-built aquarium. Add some LED lighting behind it and pick out your favorite fish and you have a gorgeous focal point everyone will enjoy.

Other uses for this space could include aquariums for lizards, cages for hamsters, or any other small pet cage you may desire.

Entryway with built-in cubbies for storage and a coat closet

Under-the-Stairs Storage 

Whether you need an under-the-stairs pantry, built-in cabinets, built-in cubbies, built-in shelves, or large built-in drawers, this space can be extremely helpful for keeping all of your stuff well-organized.

Under stairs storage ideas

  • Built-in cabinets under the stairs
  • Built-in wall shelves/bookcases/bookshelf under the stairs
  • Under-the-stairs shelves 
  • Under-the-stairs closet
  • Large pull-out drawers that vary in size along with the staircase
  • Coat hanging hooks in an alcove
  • A recessed bench with shoe storage underneath

Hidden storage

  • Hidden storage under stairs (fold the bottom 3 stairs up to find a hidden area for valuables.)
  • A small room with a hidden safe behind an innocuous-looking bookcase.
  • A hidden room for a gun safe.

Entertainment Alcove

If you enjoy hosting parties and entertaining guests, perhaps you would like to invest in a space to help you entertain family and friends in your own style. Consider looking into wet bar ideas complete with a wet bar sink, built-in custom cabinets, and glassware storage. Or think about under-the-stairs wine storage with a built-in wine rack.

Wet Bar 

  • Dry bar
  • Built-in wet bar
  • Wet bar with cabinets
  • Basement wet bar

Wine cellar under the stairs

  • Under-the-stairs wine rack
  • Built-in wine fridge
  • Built-in wine cabinet

Room Under the Stairs

Looking for some additional creative uses of the space under your stairs? Perhaps one of these options might be perfect for you.

  • Powder room
  • Recording room/recording studio
  • Safe room (in the event of a home intruder)
  • Under-stairs tornado shelter

Whatever your dream home looks like, we hope you’ll take some time to ponder the glorious space under your staircase. With so many wonderful choices, it may be difficult to decide what to do! But we trust you'll find the exact right option for you.

Ready to build a custom under-the-stairs space in Lexington, SC?

We are a custom home builder specializing in luxury homes and we’d love to help you build your dream home.

Please contact us today!

We build in areas like:

Lexington, Irmo, Ballentine, Chapin, Columbia, Blythewood, West Columbia, Forest Acres, Pine Ridge, the Lake Murray area, and more.


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