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!
2. 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!)
3. 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.
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!
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!