Under stairs storage: 23 handy ways to make the most of your space

Have a scroll through these super imaginative under stairs storage ideas to maximise your space...

Under stairs storage using peg boards
(Image credit: Jeremy Philips)

Looking for some inspiring under stairs storage ideas? Of course you are, because that wedge-shaped space under the stairs is like a no man's land of mismatched shoes, the odd plastic box and an ever-expanding collection of umbrellas in every household. 

Time to make the most of that lost space with our comprehensive guide to under stair storage ideas. From practical, affordable shelving options to incredibly extra wine rooms, you'll never just chuck stuff under the stairs again. 

Make sure you check out our hallway ideas feature too for more ways to style that over neglected space. 

1. Build under stair storage closets 

De Rosee Sa Caithness House under stairs storage

(Image credit: De Rosee Sa/Alex James Photography)

Even modest sized homes have decent under stair storage space. Make the most of yours by putting in a central door to create a spacious cupboard for large items (or lots of small ones); a door beneath the bottom steps for seldom used items; and use leftover space for a shelved-out niche, like the one below. 

This bespoke under stair storage closet is by De Rosee Sa Architects.

2. Fit a downstairs cloakroom as an under stair storage idea 

Understairs storage idea is to fit a cloakroom or small bathroom

(Image credit: Jody Stewart)

A downstairs cloakroom is a great under stair storage idea, as it is a must-have for many potential house buyers, and a valuable asset in a family home. If you're tight on space, it makes most sense to put the loo beneath the sloping ceiling (like the one below), and to fit a sliding door rather than one that opens out into an already squeezed hallway. 

3. Keep everything to hand with open storage

Ikea Sortera system used an an under stairs storage idea

(Image credit: Ikea)

If you want to create an impression of space in a small hallway, keeping the cavity under the stairs open is a good option. Then, it's just a case of fitting shelves and investing in stackable storage to fill the space in a bespoke way. Choose a simple colour scheme for the boxes to make the space look as neat as possible. Take inspiration from Ikea's clever de-cluttering with the Sortera range.

Find more small hallway design ideas in our inspiring gallery. 

4. Shoe storage needed? Put it under the stairs

Argos shoe rack used as under the stair storage idea

(Image credit: Argos)

The under stair area is just asking for shoe storage! After all, most staircases are usually close to the front door, so it makes sense to buy clever hallway shoe storage to keep the space neat. 

Large Shoe & Welly Box Unit used as an under stair storage idea

(Image credit: Cox and Cox)

If you like more of a rustic vibe in your hallway, a welly box needn't just be used for your Hunters. This shoe unit from Cox & Cox has a combination of tall and short compartments means there’s room for wellies and knee-high boots as well as shoes, the perfect under stair storage idea.

We have a load more hallway shoe storage ideas if you are after more inspiration. 

5. Add a stylish sideboard under the stairs

hallway with stair case and storage solutions

(Image credit: Ikea)

Not all under stair storage ideas have to be fitted. If you can squeeze a free standing side board under your stairs, then this will add a bit of extra storage, plus a surface area for you to decorate to your hearts content. The Ikea Hemnes side board/shoe cabinet, is a fave amongst small hallway owners as it's super slimline being only 30cm deep, so it's sure to slide under most staircases. 

6. Fit an under stair book case

Under stair storage idea using an ikea book shelf

(Image credit: Ikea)

Inject the under stair area with a bit of class by turning it into a library. Good at DIY? This is the perfect under stair storage idea for you. You can fit the shelves yourself, or choose modular, ready-made shelving to fit the space.  

7. Create storage drawers under the stairs

Kelross Road Modern Staircase under stair storage

(Image credit: Lipton Plant Architects)

Who knew steps could become drawers? If you're really squeezed for space, this neat under stair storage idea utilises the space inside the staircase itself. Useful for storing shoes, paperwork, the dog's lead...

This sleek, contemporary stair design is by London's Lipton Plant Architects

8. Create an under stair home office 

Neville Johnson bespoke under stair study as an under stair storage idea

(Image credit: Neville Johnson)

For those who like a bit of privacy when working from home, but do not have a separate study or home office, a bespoke under stair study space is a great under stair storage idea. Although the space will be relatively small, the advantage is being able to design and style it exactly how you want it. 

Check out more small home office ideas for a ton of inspiration. 

9. Turn an under stair cupboard into pantry storage

Pantry by John Lewis of Hungerford used as an under stair storage idea

(Image credit: John Lewis of Hungerford)

If your staircase is in your kitchen or dining area, why not design the under stair cupboard to hold everything you need to hand, whether dinner tableware or table linens? If it's within the kitchen area, you could design the cupboard fronts to mimic those of your kitchen cabinets – ideal for making a small space look more streamlined.

John Lewis of Hungerford have a bespoke solution for an under stair space that’s next to the dining room.

For more tips on practical pantry storage, check out our ideas. 

10. Design a bespoke wine cabinet

Sorrells Wineracks Wine Room used as an under stair storage idea

(Image credit: Sorrells Wineracks)

Maybe your house has no basement for storage, or you simply don't fancy going down into a cellar every time you want to open a bottle? Why not pinch this under stair storage idea and utilise that space to create a beautiful, functional wine room? A real step up from the classic wine rack, you wine buffs might like to create a climate-controlled space that's lit to show it off, too. Find out how to create a wine cellar in our guide.

This wine storage below was created by Sorrells Wineracks

11. Store toys in under stair drawers

Clever Closet under stair storage idea

(Image credit: Clever Closet)

Toys scattered around the hallway can test even the most serene parent's patience, but large, pull-out storage drawers make for an ingenious toy storage solution for that awkward under stair space. Why stick to toys? Drawers are an ideal under stair storage idea for stashing shoes, gloves, hats, coats and even cleaning products.

These drawers are by Clever Closet.

12. Find an under stair nook for a pet bed

Pet area by Create Perfect is an alternative under stair storage solution

(Image credit: Create Perfect)

Animals love a nook to steal some precious napping time in, and what better place for it than the cosy under stair space? You can buy and put a pet bed or pet igloo under the stairs, or go for a more streamlined solution - a bespoke under stair pet area. The one shown here is by the design studio Create Perfect. 

Looking for a new snooze pad for your furry friends? Check out our round up of the best pet beds

13. Go for a bespoke under stair storage idea

Under stairs storage idea, built in cupboards painted in Farrow & Ball Ammonite

(Image credit: Roundhouse Design. Photography by Billy Bolton)

Bespoke under stair storage ideas can help integrate all your sundry bits and pieces into a modern, clutter-free open-plan interior. This intricate example is by Roundhouse Design.

14. Fit a utility room under the stairs

Utility room fitted under the stairs is a great under stair storage idea

(Image credit: Inspired Kitchen Design)

Not everyone has the luxury of a utility room. But if you want to free up space in your kitchen, or simply move your washing machine somewhere more sound-proofed, why not create a mini laundry room beneath the stairs? 

This clever under stair storage idea  by Inspired Kitchen Design tucks not one, but two washing machines under the stairs. More washing done, no space wasted! 

Find out how to design a utility room in our guide.

15. No playroom? It can go under the stairs

CplusC Peas in a Pod Dulwich Hill under stair storage idea project

(Image credit: CplusC Architectural Workshop. Photograph by Jackie Chan.)

Children love a den to play in, so why not copy this under stair storage idea and create one under the stairs? CplusC Architectural Workshop created this striking space as part of a bespoke residential project in Dulwich Hill. Not only is it perfect for kids to play in, but it also looks like a stunning modern sculpture.

If you DO have the space, check out these lovely ideas for a playroom.

16. Or DIY a play space under your stairs 

How to make a den

(Image credit: Dulux)

If you are after DIY under stair ideas, this is a really cute one. Just get creative with painting add fun patterns and plenty of colour, as some cushions and pop a curtain in front and ta da, a den under the stairs, the kids will love it. 

17. Stretch space with mirrored under stair storage

Barbara Genda mirrored under stair storage idea

(Image credit: Barbara Genda)

A great under stair storage idea is to cleverly use cupboards to make the room feel bigger. All you have to do is swap plain, painted doors for mirrored doors that will not only make the room feel larger, but brighter, too. 

This beautiful design is by Barbara Genda. Use these mirror design and display ideas to make more of your space.

18. Create a kitchen under the stairs

Bisca under stair kitchen

(Image credit: Bisca)

Like open-plan living, but don't have the space? With the help of clever bespoke design, the area under the stairs can be transformed into a fully fitted kitchen, complete with ample cupboard storage. 

In this bespoke under stair kitchen design by Bisca, the fitted cupboards effortlessly complete the open-plan look and connect the space to the dining/living area. 

Find out how to design a small kitchen in our guide.

19. Use under stairs as bike storage

Space for bike storage can be tricky to find, especially if you don't want to banish your bike to the garden or the shed. So take inspiration from this inventive under stair storage idea and use the space to store your bikes. You can install wall-mounted storage such as The Endo to either keep your bikes against the wall or you could turn them into a bit of a design feature and fit them to the underneath of your stairs. 

For more nifty bike storage ideas, check out our gallery. 

20. Create a home office under your stairs 

Reading nook under the stairs in a traditional hallway

(Image credit: Colin Poole)

If you don't have room for a full on Dickens-esque study in your home, you could always turn under the stairs into your writing/reading/pipe smoking den. Just check out this idea from Period Living – pick out some lovely cosy wallpaper (tartan definitely works here), add a bureau and a small bookcase and you're sorted. 

21. Or just a cozy reading nook 

grey scheme hallway by nest

(Image credit: Nest)

If an office under the stairs is just too Harry Potter-esque for you, why not turn it into a cozy reading nook instead? If you have the space and it feels open and light enough, add a really compact sofa (check out our pick of the best small sofas) or a comfy armchair, plus a nice reading light and there you go. 

22. Install a multi-functional shelf as a under stair storage idea

Under stair shelf with hooks from John Lewis

(Image credit: John Lewis)

Don't have the room under your stairs for a built in cloak room? Or maybe a fitted design doesn't suit your style? Instead opt for a a nifty wall unit that will do everything a cloak room can and only take up a fraction of the space. We love this super pratical shelf from John Lewis. With three sections and nine hooks to move around as you wish, you can assign everyone their own module or go freestyle when it comes to hanging coats and keys, and use the shelf for those other curious bits and bobs that usually end up amassed on top of the hall radiator or slung on the stairs. 

23. Use pegs for cute for practical under stair storage

Under the stair storage using peg boards

(Image credit: Jeremy Philips)

We love this under stairs storage idea of using oversized pegs to hang stuff from, and build shelves onto. It's basically like a giant peg board, but your wall is the board. You could recreate this look using spare pegboard pegs and drilling holes to stick them into or if that sounds too messy, just wall mount a pegboard to use as extra storage. 

More clever ideas for your hallway:

Anna Cottrell
Anna Cottrell

In 2018 Anna moved into the world of interiors from academic research in the field of literature and urban space and joined Realhomes.com as Staff Writer. She has a longterm interest in space-making and the evolution of interior style. She can also be found looking for the latest innovations in sustainable homewares or buying yet more bedding.