5 Ways to Put the Awkward Nook Under the Stairs to Use

Awkward nook ideas

Most homes have one. And most of us don’t know what to do about them. It’s those awkward spaces that feel too small to decorate or be useful but feel like a waste of space if they’re not utilized. So, what can you do with a corner of the room that has weird features or awkward living room designs other than ignore it?

Well, we’re big believers in embracing what you’ve got and getting creative. So today, our designers are helping us address one of the repeat offenders in the awkward spaces category: the awkward nook under the stairs. We’ll show you five clever under stairs ideas, with ways to put this unused space to work and make it functional!

1. Entryway Storage

If your awkward space under the stairs is near your front door, try turning the nook into entryway storage. It’s one of those great stairs storage ideas that you might not think of since this area is likely not immediately off your front door. But if it’s nearby, designating this nook for shoes, coats, umbrellas, and bags will not only give function to this little corner—it will give all that entryway clutter a designated home. Now that’s a win-win!

Other than coat hooks, we love the idea of adding shelving for more functionality and utilizing baskets for an easy, beautiful catchall for extra clutter and kids stuff. You could even tuck your pet’s food and water dishes under the lowest slope of the stairs for maximum utilization of the space!

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awkward nook2. Kids Corner

When you think of a nook under the stairs, you might immediately think of Harry Potter. But we’re making a space that’s way cheerier than Harry’s cupboard under the stairs! You can easily turn your space under the stairs into a cozy play corner for your little ones.

Just add a cushy bean bag chair, a few baskets and bins to store their toys, and perhaps an easel for drawing or painting or a small table for crafts. With that, this space under your stairs may become their favorite corner of the house! (Just make sure to block off the lower space to ensure no one bonks their head!)

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awkward nook office3. Office Nook

Want a home office but don’t have an extra room to designate for it? We’ve got your fix. Just tuck a desk and chair into the area underneath the stairs, and voila! You officially have a home office. It’s one of our go-to small space hacks. Just be sure to opt for small apartment furniture that has a simple design. (And hey, check out our other small living room design tips, too!)

To finish the look, add a favorite piece of art for inspiration and make sure you find a good desk lamp. If you have a little extra space, you can even add file storage like we did here for added functionality.

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4. Extra Storage

One of our most-requested room features is extra storage. If that’s you, why not turn this awkward nook into just that—a space for extra storage! If it’s a smaller space, try creating some under-the-stair storage by tucking a trio of baskets in the corner. Looking for some stair storage ideas that are a bit more robust? You could also go for a few pieces that we’d consider some of the best storage furniture out there—like a storage bench or even a full-fledged credenza if you have the room!

For some added storage under the stairs in this design, we added a petite dresser to our space under the stairs to give this nook a little splash of style, as well as three drawers full of hidden storage space. We also had room to sneak in an extra stool alongside it, which can easily be pulled into the living space when you have guests over and need another seat on the fly!

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5. Reading Nook

Does any design idea sound as cozy and exciting as a reading nook? If this is the living room feature of your dreams, consider turning the awkward space under your stairs into just that! This is, in fact, one of our favorite under stairs ideas.

The key ingredients to reading nook designs? Well, it begins with a comfy chair. Add a footstool or pouf, a side table for coffee or tea, and top it off with a bookcase full of your favorite reads.

Does your pooch like to stay nearby when you curl up with a book? Tuck their bed in the corner and get ready for a cozy night in!

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Attic Ideas: 6 Creative Ways To Put This Room to Work

When it comes to attics, you probably think of dusty storage spaces where heirlooms and family treasures are hidden or of the crowded teenage bedroom in the attic. You don’t usually think of it as a well-designed and comfortable room that you would use every day. But we’re here to show that you can actually get pretty creative with this A-framed space and transform it into a stylish and practical room that tops off your home.

The attic room is probably one of the most awkward spaces our customers need help designing. It makes sense since it can be a challenge to decorate given the sloped ceilings and compact square footage. But the beauty of an attic is that you can turn it into any room you want. Whether it’s an elegant attic bedroom or a home office for two, the possibilities are endless.

Here, we’ve rounded up our favorite creative attic ideas with tips to inspire and guide you in your own design—be it the attic bedroom of your dreams or a fun kids zone for little ones to spread out their games and toys. Find out more about how you can put your attic to work below!

attic ideasA Cozy Family Room

Turn any attic room into a sophisticated and comfortable family living room where everyone can unwind and kick back with a good TV show. Here, it’s all about big furniture and major coziness.

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Why It Works

It’s spacious but warm. Large-scale furnishings make way for deep comfort in small spaces. With an attic, a deep sofa, oversize rug, and a big ottoman will add coziness without making the room feel cramped.

It’s super functional. Think of an attic family room as the extra room where anything goes. You can turn up the volume for a movie or just take a break here from your day. Consider a sleeper sofa that doubles as a bed that turns the space into an attic bedroom as needed for guests.

It’s effortlessly chic. With an attic family room, the sloped ceilings give it a chic look by default. Layer in some poufs, a pair of matching bookcases, and a modern bench for a window seat for a space that’s elevated and rooted in practicality.

Perfect For… those who love to entertain in a more relaxed way that’s not about formal living.

attic ideasA Kid Hangout Zone

Attic bedrooms for kids are great, but a space where they can chill out is even better. Think of it as a laid-back playroom and gathering spot that can work for them (and you) for years to come.

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Why It Works

It’s all about play. Have electronics and games for entertainment. This truly makes it a space kids can call their own. And unlike an attic bedroom, they can kick back with friends and have free reign away from the rest of the home and not worry about messing up their actual bedroom.

It’s designed to last. Kids will outgrow an attic bedroom, but a hangout spot is practical for years to come with the right adult furnishings. Think large sectional for relaxing (also good for sleepovers), poufs for floor lounging, and versatile storage, like a low TV console.

It’s a study space. With the right comfy furnishings in place, this can also easily serve as a study room for kids where they can work on their laptop and get reading done. It’s essentially a makeshift communal work space for them.

Perfect For… families with young kids and teenagers who need their own space.

attic ideasA Quiet Master Bedroom

Nothing beats an attic bedroom that feels like a mini cozy escape from the rest of the home. Turning your attic into a bedroom is also a great way to free up another room for use.

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Why It Works

It’s the ultimate escape. You’re essentially treating yourself to a private hideaway that’s made for total rest and relaxation. The best part is that an attic bedroom doesn’t have to be fancy; it’s elevated and instantly cozy given the sloped interior architecture.

It’s perfect for low furniture. Most bedroom furniture come in low-profile proportions that make them perfectly sized for an attic bedroom. That means you don’t have to compromise style for function. Try a platform or low-slung wooden bed and two-drawer nightstands for starters.

It gets the best light. If there is a window, your attic bedroom will have the best natural light streaming in. This lends an added sense of airiness that’s sure to set a welcoming mood.

Perfect For… homes with an attic large enough to be turned into an attic bedroom for a couple.

attic ideasA Bright Reading Room

Take the reading nook to the next level with an attic room that’s designed for relaxing and reading. This is one of our favorite ideas after an attic bedroom since it’s chic and unexpected.

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Why It Works

It’s guaranteed to feel personal. Whether it’s a reading space that’s designed for two or all for yourself, you can make an attic reading room yours however you want. Pull in your favorite armchair, hang your favorite art, add a rug that doesn’t go with anything else. It’s all up to you!

It’s a (stylish) storage room. Make sure to add in low bookcases for books or other pieces that provide ample room for you to tuck things away. Think of your reading room as an organized attic storage room that’s there if there is overflow in the rest of your home.

It can be simple but so comfy. All you really need to carve out a welcoming reading space are cozy lounge chairs and good lighting. Round it out with a soft rug, shelving, and an ottoman, and you have a space that’s sure to feel effortlessly elegant.

Perfect For… those craving a quiet space in the home where they can get away and unwind.

attic ideasA Comfy Guest Bedroom

With an attic that’s not large enough for a master bedroom, consider making it an attic bedroom for guests. It’s the perfect solution for a space that’s awkwardly sized and not used often.

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Why It Works

It can feel like a hotel. An attic bedroom made for guests can easily be decorated to feel like a quaint bed-and-breakfast, which is sure to charm visiting family and friends staying over.

It can be full service. Design your attic bedroom for guests with all the essential amenities, such as a laundry basket, floor-to-ceiling mirror, a chest of drawers, and an elegant farmhouse-style bed. They’ll create a room that feels like a total cocoon for guests.

It’s all in the arrangement. With a smaller attic, the sloped ceilings might make the space feel even smaller. Try to open up the space by painting the room a bright white, opting for an open-frame bed, and using sheers for curtains that let light in. This will make it feel extra airy.

Perfect For… any small attic space that you don’t want to just use to store things.

attic ideasA Productive Home Office

With more and more of us working from home, if you have an attic room that’s unused, consider making it a creative shared home office space to separate your work and home lives.

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Why It Works

It’s about work-life balance. In many ways, attic rooms are perfect spaces for home offices. They’re separate from the rest of the house and now more than ever when many of us are working from home, creating an isolated home office is key to separate business from home life.

It’s more than work. Like an attic bedroom or family room, pull in pieces that let you to station yourself comfortably in the space for hours. That means a sturdy desk, floating shelves for storage, good desk lighting, and an armchair for when you need to take a break or hop on a call.

It should inspire you. Whether it’s a colorful patterned rug, artwork you love, or some lively greenery and plants, your attic work space should feel as inspiring as it is comfortable. Layer in objects that are pretty to look at or even install a sound system to play music while working.

Perfect For… those who need a designated work from home space but don’t have an ‘office’.

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These 14 Stylish Hallway Decor Ideas Will Make You Rethink This Forgotten Space

The entry hall isn’t usually the first place people think to decorate. In fact, it’s often a neglected space because it’s a small area that can be challenging to outfit with the right furniture, art, and accents. Well, we’re here to tell you it’s actually one of the easiest spaces for you to pull off a big design moment.

With just a few thoughtful touches, you can turn any foyer or narrow hallway into a functional and fabulous entry that makes an impression. Whether it’s coming up with smart storage solutions, finding the right seating options or pulling together the best art pieces for big blank walls, there are easy ways you can make the most of this small and busy space to suit your style and practical daily needs.

For inspiration and guidance, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite hallway decorating tricks that marry style and function. Read on for our favorite ideas on how to decorate a hallway and get our tips for styling up yours at home!

 how to decorate a hallwayLayered Rugs

File this under simplest and chicest hallway decorating ideas. Laying down rugs in your entry not only adds soft texture from the ground up, but it also protects your floors and makes the hallway appear longer and more spacious.

Pair a runner with an area rug, like this entry, for a varied look, or try matching runners. The best part about layering rugs is that it’s one of few hallway decor ideas that adds color and pattern without requiring you to hang things up. Just be sure to use rug pads to hold them in place.

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how to decorate a hallwaySlender Seating & Storage

A narrow hallway can feel like a challenging space to decorate, but don’t let the compact square footage stop you. It’s actually perfect for slender furniture designs, like the streamlined bench and open-base console in this passageway.

With a narrow space, the right size furniture matters so pick pieces that fit neatly along walls. Round them out with a mix of practical and decorative decor, like pillows for the bench along, art and lighting for your console, and some pretty bins and containers to corral clutter—we love baskets for stylish storage solutions!

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Slim Console Shelf

Whether your entry opens into a spacious foyer area or extends into a narrow hallway, a slim console table always makes for a stylish and practical solution. It takes up minimal floor space and leaves tons of walking room all around, which is key in any high-traffic hallway.

Consider a tiered console shelf that provides you with an extra level of storage and display space. A console shelf is also a great solution in dimly lit narrow hallways, since you can use the lower level for storing heavy books and items and top it with a table lamp and mirror to reflect light and open up the space.

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Full Gallery Wall

One of our favorite hallway decorating ideas is to build out a floor-to-ceiling gallery wall. It’s a visually bold way to display large collections of art or photos, and it instantly gives a hallway so much personality.

There are many ways to build out a gallery wall, and how you do it is entirely up to you. While you can stick to black-and-white photos or a series of colorful paintings, why not try mixing different kinds of art. Combine photos, drawings, paintings, and even posters to create a more dynamic look. After all, decorating a hallway is about showcasing your personal style. So go big with your art picks!

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Oversized Art

If a full gallery wall in your entry passage feels a tad overwhelming for you, pare it down and focus on one oversize piece of art instead. It gives you the same dramatic effect with a more minimal, clean-lined look.

Try hanging a large-scale painting with pops of color to liven up all the blank wall space around it or go for a graphic look with a big black-and-white framed photograph. Round out the artwork by flanking it with sconces, which will give it a more formal and elevated look. When it comes to hallway decor ideas that are easy to pull off and offer instant visual impact, you can’t beat this.

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Multifunctional Passthrough

Part of the challenge with decorating a hallway is trying to fit in as much function into a small transient space. If you have an open area, like this entry, try working in a balanced mix of storage, seating, and accents that make it a multifunctional space.

Start with a console cabinet and pull in a chic stool or side chair. While there are plenty of entryway design tips, investing in beautiful seating is one of our tried-and-true hallway decorating ideas that never goes out of style—since any chair or stool can be repurposed for other rooms as needed. Then layer in practical decor (rug, lamp, wall hooks) and pretty accents (art, plants, small decorative objects) that will set your space apart from the rest of the home.

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Display Ledges

If you’re looking for simple and easy-to-install entry hallway decorations, opt for hanging ledges or floating shelves. The idea here is to make use of vertical wall space as both storage and display (that’s not a gallery wall!).

Lean framed photos and array small decorative objects in unique way on the ledges, or fill them with plants to create a faux vertical garden. The best part is how many ledges you choose to hang is up to you. Try one if you have a small space or go with more if you have the wall space.

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Tall Bookcase

Speaking of making use of vertical space, a tall leaning bookcase makes for another smart storage solution in a narrow hallway. It will help you maximize floor space and give your entry hall more walking room, while also providing ample storage on the walls.

In terms of hallway decorating ideas, a leaning bookcase gives you a lot of flexibility for use. You can use it to store books and display art, or you can also add baskets and other storage bins to start any extra shoes and fashion accessories that you might need on the go. If you’re tight on closet space and have an overspill of clothing, think of this as your wardrobe extension.

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Our top pick for hallway decorating ideas that truly leave an impression is to anchor an entry with a statement-makin credenza. Not only does it provide you with tons of storage that’s beautifully hidden and disguised, a large storage credenza will also warm up your space.

Opt for a credenza with a bold facade, like the wood-patterned facade on this piece, or go with a design in a bright color or one that’s made with a unique material like caning. You can style up the surface with complementing decor, but this is one of the best ways to give your entry a show-stopping look.

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how to decorate a hallway

If your main concern is how to decorate a hallway for practical daily use, lean a floor-to-ceiling mirror against one wall near your entry. This does several things for your space. The mirror reflects light around your hallway and opens up a small or narrow space to look and feel larger. And it gives you a space to get ready or to check yourself before you dash out the front door. Win win!

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Classic Entry Console

For hallway decorating ideas that are timeless, you can’t beat the polished look of a traditional entry console. Even though it doesn’t offer much storage, it adds major elegance and an elevated vibe.

Anchor your entry with a classic wood console that can be easily paired with other traditional decor elements, such as an ornate mirror and botanical or bird prints. The classic console is great in hallways that don’t need to be multifunctional or super practical, which means it’s perfect in passthrough places that need just a decorative style boost, like this hallway.

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how to decorate a hallwayCompact Work Desk

Even in the smallest of homes, you can make the most of your entry hallway while also giving it a unique look. Try decorating a hallway with a narrow desk or slim secretary table to create a clever home office space in your entry hallway.

It’s one many clever ways to create a workspace in your home, but here it does double duty as a check-in spot in the entry. Tuck a stool under the desk for a seat that’s easy to pull in and out, and lay down a runner to balance out the work desk. We especially love this approach for small bungalow homes or city apartments.

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Storage Bench

While some of the above hallway decorating ideas can seem like a lot to pull off, you can also keep it simple with a tried-and-true storage bench. Choose a large one that gives you tons of hidden storage under the flip-up top. You can store seasonal items, like bench towels and scarves and gloves or use it for on-the-go accessories, such as purses, hats, and pet leashes. There’s a reason why this is one decor piece that finds its way into many of our entry designs!

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All Kinds Of Hanging Storage

Last but not least, few hallway decorating ideas are as versatile and applicable to any style or size space as wall hooks and shelving. These small wonders not only maximize storage by using vertical wall space, they also offer you a clean-line and organized look.

Install a floating shelf and wall hooks, then anchor them with a bench underneath to give the feeling of a compact mudroom. Or you can add a shoe rack or small side table if you live in a small apartment space. Either way, think of hanging storage as a small update that gives you a totally organized look.

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Explore our Design Gallery for more entryway design ideas!

See Which Hallway Decor Ideas Work For Your Space!

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Layout Solutions: Clever Design Ideas for Awkward Spaces

awkward spaces

Every home comes with a few quirks, be it architectural or spatial. You’ve seen them before—the strange nook off to one side of a room, a random recessed area that just serves no purpose, or a weirdly angled corner where nothing will fit. Naturally, these tricky spaces can be a challenge to figure out in a home.

It’s no wonder then that many homeowners come to Modsy asking for help designing an awkward space in their home. Read on to see how we helped a few Modsy customers come up with clever ways to put an awkward space to use.

A Small Bedroom Nook

When it comes to odd nooks, the design possibilities are actually endless. This window area in a couple’s bedroom had a pretty view but they were stumped when it came to furnishing it. So, our stylists came up with a few ideas that gave them a new perspective on the awkward space.

awkward spaces

awkward spaces

Idea #1: Office With a View

To make the most out of a small nook, look to maximize the space, vertically. Compact furnishings that don’t take up too much floor space are key; a wall-mounted fold-out desk with a slender chair easily turned this empty spot into a petite yet practical workspace.

Idea #2: Cozy Resting Spot

You can turn any nook into a quiet retreat from the rest of a room by simply adding an ottoman and a side table. Add a small rug, like this fluffy sheepskin, to help define the space as a resting spot where you can take a break with a book on the ottoman or leaning back on the floor.


A Tiny Living Room Recess

Awkward built-in architectural elements might be unavoidable in some homes, but with a little ingenious rethinking, you can put these areas to practical and stylish use! For a homeowner who inherited a living space with a tiny recess area, our stylists thought up a few ways to cozy it up.

Idea #1: Tucked-Away Bar

Bar carts and tray tables come in a range of sizes and can be just the pieces you need to transform an awkwardly tight spot. Consider these spaces an extension of your living area and an opportunity to add a function that’s missing in your room – such as this bar station or a mini library with wall shelving for extra books.

Idea #2: Comfy Cubby Seat

Similarly, recessed nooks in a room can make for comfy spots for lounging if you simply pile on some pillows and deck out the walls with display shelves. Think of it as a window seat for one, where you can snuggle up with a cup of tea wrapped in a throw on lazy weekend mornings.


Mini Alcoves and Corners

Most homes come with a few challenging corner spots that don’t allow for much decorating. But these actually make perfect spots for getting creative with interesting design pieces. For homeowners who were at a loss with strange corners in their homes, our stylists offered up some pretty and practical ideas.

awkward spaces

awkward spaces

Idea #1: A Quiet Reading Corner

Odd corners, especially ones with sloped ceilings, seem attractive in theory but can pose a huge design challenge. Rather than trying to find the perfect art to fill your slanted wall space, try keeping it bare for once.

Instead, turn a slanted space into a reading corner with designs that make a statement. This is your chance to get bold with a bright wing chair, a cool floor lamp, or an unusual side table, which will bring focus to the corner without it feeling empty.

Idea #2: A Versatile Workspace

There seems to always be that one, awkward narrow strip of wall that either goes unused or is too small to hang a painting or a mirror. Consider more modern and modular designs like wall-mounted shelving, which not only provides lots of vertical storage space but also provides a makeshift work surface if you simply pull up a chair.


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