Clever Ways to Add Storage Around Staircases

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Step up your home's storage capacity by making the most of underused areas below and beside your stairs. Here's a look at 18 homes that beautifully optimized stairwell and staircase spaces.

Playing the Curves

Freestanding and fetchingly formed, a spiraling stair steps away from an inner wall to make way for a two-story library. Built-in bookcases handily follow the sloping roofline and fill both upstairs and downstairs walls with classic appeal and bounteous storage.

Lovely Landing

Stair landings and nooks created by upward-turning staircases supply ample space for setting up an office, installing built-in bookcases, or placing a capacious antique armoire that enhances storage. Providing both cabinets and display shelves, a hutch and desk construction fill this alcove with pretty and practical profiles. 

Library Leanings

Bibliophiles generally have way more books than they have places to stow and show them. These clever booklovers outfitted below-step voids with prettily cased shelving to house their most treasured tomes. If you're thinking of creating similar shelving, measure the height and width of your largest books to ensure the shelves are the proper depth and suitably spaced.

A Mighty Fine Idea

Think about what you could store in a wall filled with drawers! Table linens, fine china, candles, serving platters, and so much more. Custom-sized drawers take advantage of every inch of space beneath this staircase. Recessed-panel fronts and shiny glass knobs give the unconventional configuration traditional appeal.

Actively Furnished

Storage, display, and a very sweet seat transform an underutilized alcove abutting an entry staircase into an inviting relaxation station. Shelves installed in a secondary niche showoff shapely artworks, while drawers beneath the bench provide conveniently sited stashes for seasonal outerwear and all sorts of indoor-outdoor gear.  

Angled to Perfection

There's headroom aplenty in this back hallway, thanks to the staircase's nearly vertical rise. The stair's steep design allowed the homeowners to annex a nearby wall for adding storage. They built a bookcaselike unit and equipped it with adjustable shelves to display artworks, collections, and souvenirs.

Want to get organized? Pick the right storage container for the right job and you'll be on your way. Follow these tips for choosing bins, baskets, and more.

Storage Tip: Use Containers

See how to choose the best containers to maximize storage around your stairs.

Location, Location, Location

Every room could use a little extra storage, so tapping into a nearby staircase's recesses makes good sense. Especially when the stair is situated near a kitchen or an entertaining area. Defined by stair-stepped molding, these shelves hold large and small baskets that stow everything from party goods and table linens to rarely-used cooking equipment.

Home Office

A staircase that takes a turn upward from a lower landing provided these homeowners with enough square footage for tucking in an office. The desktop and storage shelves nestle against the far wall beneath the sloping ceiling. An office chair moves back and forth between office and living room as needed. Folding doors close to hide the work area and messy in-process projects.

Spatial Relations

Don't let space at the base of a staircase go to waste. These storage-savvy homeowners erected a partial wall so they could add another workstation to their kitchen. This floating run of cabinets house a bar sink, provides storage, and contributes extra prep and serving surfaces.

Captivating Caches

Two double-door cabinets, a single-door cabinet, and distinctive silhouettes maximize this staircase's function and style. Wavy glass adds look-at-me texture to upper cabinet doors; beaded-board doors on the lower cabinets reference the home's wood-clad ceilings; and the glass knobs provide vintage sparkle.

Cozy Compartment

This stairway makes a right turn as it ascends to the second floor, leaving a spacious alcove below. The roomy chamber now enclosed by a pocket door handily houses a playroom that stores kids' toys, furniture, and art gear outside family living areas.

Mirror Image

Ledges jutting outward from a wall expand exhibit space in a gallerylike stairwell. Capped and trimmed with decorative molding, the classically profiled projections provide surfaces for displaying modern sculptures; the ledges' stair-stepped design also highlights wall-mounted artworks centered above two ledges.

Family Centered

Staircase recesses and a storage-rich wall partner to fashion an all-inclusive mudroom. Cabinet doors equipped with bin pulls and chalkboard fronts bearing family member names stack up across from locker-room-style cubbies equipped with seats and shelves. By opening the lower section of the staircase wall, these homeowners gained space for setting shopping totes near the home's primary exit.

Beach House Beauty

The empty space beneath staircases deserves your attention. These homeowners reached under the steps to carve out a nook that accommodates scallop-edged shelves, which provide storage (and a showcase!) for collections and books that underscore the home's cottage character.

Creative Construction

Below-the-stairs environs easily convert to holding areas for any number of things. Put your imagination into play and the possibilities are nearly endless. Here, tempered glass walls, an entry door, and wall-mounted wine racks fashion a wine cellar beneath a modern staircase situated near the kitchen.

Thinking Thin

When space on and around a staircase wall is limited, opt for shallow cabinets that don't intrude into walkways. These built-out cabinets mirror stair finishes, project only a few inches into the room, and store and organize an abundant array of pantry staples.

Bonus Space

Stairs rising near a kitchen are an extraordinary boon to homeowners needing extra storage. This staircase wall accommodates a wealth of cabinets that heighten along with the climbing steps. Pullout inserts amp up efficiency, while the cabinets' slab doors, ebony finish, and sleek chrome pulls contribute contemporary vibes.   

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