The quest for finding new ways in which we can maximize space in our own home is never-ending. At times it is the vertical room on offer that we tend to utilize. On other occasions, smart, space-savvy décor that disappear into the walls do the trick. But there are occasions when a forgotten little niche can offer that ‘something special’ in an interior that needs a few extra shelves, cabinets or even a storage unit or two. The space underneath the stairway is one such often ignored nook which can offer a wide range of benefits. There are times when it is turned into a small kitchenette and on other occasions it can be used as a home workspace. But today, we dream of something far more versatile and yet simple – smart shelving.

Crafting mudroom shelves and storage in space underneath the stairway [From: Meghan Carter Design]

Be it a cool display, a lovely little storage unit that blends into the backdrop or a large closet that stores anything and everything; space underneath the staircase can be used effectively with ease. Sometimes, the tread and rise themselves can be turned into storage boxes with plenty of potential. A bit of imagination, the right architect and a clever design choice can instantly transform that dark, forgotten alcove under the stairway into the new showstopper of your living space or dining area. Check out the trendiest ideas from first half of the year below –

Open Box-Styled Display

Open box-styled shelves are all the rage for the past few seasons and the second half of 2018 is bound to be no different. The space underneath the staircase can be easily used to incorporate these modular and versatile shelves with ease. At times, they become an integral part of the stairway with wooden treads and on other occasions they can be added to the blank white wall under the stairway to give it new life. The transformation is simple and effortless. But the resulting display breathes new life into any space it adorns.

Staircase storage units help shape a lovely play area next to the dining room
Wooden boxes turn the space under the stairway into a cool display [From: DOBLEESE Space&Branding]
Woodsy stairway with boxes below is a great way to add additional shelving and storage capability [From: Alts Design Office]
Contemporary stairway in black and white with shelving and cabinets [From: Möbel Bühler]

Disappearing into the Walls

The preferred option among homeowners for shelving under the staircase has always been closets and cabinets that quietly disappear into the walls when not in use. These ergonomic additions can be opened with ease and there are times when you do not even notice their presence. White is the preferred color here as it makes the task of camouflaging these cabinets pretty ease. If the stairway passes through the kitchen, then this very space underneath it can also be used to create a lovely and functional pantry that serves all your kitchen storage needs.

Simple and space-savvy storage idea for the small nook under the stairway [From: Clifton SMR]
Space-savvy design of the stairway is perfect for the small contemporary home
Light-filled contemporary stairway with smart storage area underneath [From: Omniform]

Part of the Railing

Move away from the more mundane railings in glass and metal and try out a new kind of stairway railing – one that also offers an additional storage option! Wooden railings that morph into different kinds of storage units as they meander through the staircase landing and below the stairway make for a creative and classy, space-savvy addition. These demand very little in terms of additional resources and you can turn the entire stairwell into a beautiful display with a series of open shelves that greet you at every step!

Stairway railing is turned into storage opportunity with box-styled shelves in this Japanese apartment [From: Hari Architects]
Wooden staircase wall morphs to offer smart and hidden storage underneath [From: Philipp Architekten – Anna Philipp]
Finding space next to the stairway for a smart modern shelf and cabinet [From: Duda Architekten GmbH]

What Works for You!

It is important to know what your exact needs are and what works in your own home before you start planning on how to utilize the additional space below and around the staircase. Sometimes you might want a spiral stairway as you simply cannot afford to spare too much room of a more expansive design. Even here, you are presented with shelving options that further utilize the limited area. Be it a wine cellar under the staircase or just an elegant display, the choice is ultimately yours.

Spiral staircase can also add addition shelf space to the living room [From: CplusC Architectural Workshop]
Box-style stairway inside the small apartment with plenty of storage space inside [From: idaa architetti]
Lovely little wine cellar and storage area under the stairway [From: Chan Architecture / Tatjana Plitt Photography]

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