It’s not the size that matters, it’s how you use it. This is one of the first lessons in any home design manual, and it carries greater importance than ever before as millions of homeowners now settle for slightly smaller properties than they’d ideally like. Utilising the available space to its full potential is essential, and the space under the stairs is one that all property developers should target.
When used to its full potential, the space under the stairs can add some serious value to the property while additionally ensuring that the property stands out from the crowd. As such, it can be a key step towards selling fast and selling at the right price. Your first step, then, is to equip yourself with a plan of action.
The opportunities will be influenced heavily by the size, style, and location of the staircase. Nonetheless, here are a dozen ideas to get the creative juices flowing.
1| Office Space
Home office areas are among the most sought-after luxuries of the modern home. When the property isn’t blessed with a spare room that can be transformed into a full-size office, the area under the stairs is a particularly useful substitute that can still add serious value to the property – financially and in terms of its practical attraction.
Given that most people now use a laptop instead of a desktop, you won’t need to dedicate room to the hard drive or bulky monitors. A table or breakfast-bar like surface will work fine as a working environment. Meanwhile, the low height areas towards the bottom of the staircase can use draws to host paperwork and accessories.
In today’s climate of paperless tech and billing, you probably won’t need too much of this space. Complete the area by incorporating some lighting under the staircase.
2| Coat & Shoe Storage Rack
Practical storage is often overlooked during the development of buildings, but is in high demand from homeowners. Given that the staircase is likely to be located relatively close to the front door, using it as a place to store coats, hats, and shoes makes a lot of sense. Even if he property has a standard single staircase, there is ample space to build a winning storage solution.
A shoe rack can be installed at ground level while a combination of coat racks, shelving, and drawers can be configured to suit the space on offer. Likewise, hangers, umbrella racks, hat racks, and shelves for gloves and scarves can be implemented. This type of space can be used by all family members, adding to the practical function.
This is a job that many developers can complete in a quick manner, regardless of whether they take the DIY or outsourced route.
A second toilet can make a big difference to the home’s function. While it is an upgrade that will require a little extra work thanks to the plumbing and extraction requirements, it is one of the most effective solutions by far. It is one of the first options that the majority of homeowners would consider when completing the work themselves, which makes it a great choice for developers.
Smaller staircases will probably boast a toilet and a sink. However, wider staircases or those that split into branches may offer enough space for you to incorporate a shower, a bath, or washroom features. Embrace modern colour schemes and design ideas too, and the new room is sure to impress prospective buyers.
In many cases, this simple upgrade will increase the property value by 5% or more.
4| Playhouse / Children’s Den
Kids need an area to let of steam, and every parent will love the idea of giving them an additional designated space for this to happen. Turning the under the stairs area into a secret den is particularly useful. From the outside, it can be designed to suit the rest of the home. On the inside, though, it can take on virtually any design concept imaginable.
The child’s playhouse can also serve as a great place to store toys, saving valuable floor space around the home. Moreover, incomplete crafts and projects can be left overnight, which isn’t always possible when they’ve been working on the kitchen table or living room floor. The location of the area allows parents to stay vigilant while still allowing some independence.
For parents that have children’s with additional needs, adaptations can be made to transform the area into a sensory room.
5| Built-In Cupboards
The importance of storage space in the modern home cannot be emphasised enough, especially in properties that have limited loft space. Adding built-in cupboards is truly one of the easiest and cheapest upgrades available. Better still, the made to measure features will give the property an added sense of luxury and style that’s built to last.
Cupboards can be configured in any way that you feel fit. Pull out draws, opening doors, and flexible spaces can seriously add to the function to the home. You can even create larger cupboard spaces for vacuums or other bulkier goods. The added sense of organisation can make the whole home feel bigger.
Wooden finishes with the right choice of handles will bring great results.
6| Laundry Area
Finding a place for the washing machine, tumble dryer, and dirty clothes bins can be a challenge. Transforming the area under the stairs into a designated laundry area can solve this problem while also allowing the homeowner to close off the area. If the staircase is in a hallway, it can prevent the noise of those appliances from disrupting life in the living areas.
The main challenge is to install a power outlet and ensure that there is enough room to accommodate the slight movements that may be made during the cycles. You can also install shelving or drawers for detergents and other items while leaving a space for wash baskets or even storing a clothes horse.
On a separate note, by putting a door on the area to close it off from the rest of the home, there is no need to worry about matching appliances.
7| TV Area
If the staircase forms part of the living area, you’ll want to ensure that the area actually adds something to the living area. Building a wall and fixing a TV to it can work wonders, not least because the spaces behind the wall can be used for the wires, DVD players, games consoles, and other items that often ruin the aesthetic.
Adding a plaster wall shouldn’t be difficult while designs can also incorporate extra storage space for use around the home. Utilising the space in this manner doesn’t only add function. It additionally makes the staircase less noticeable and visible, which can promote a far better vibe throughout the living space.
Every home needs a TV area. When the layout of the property means that the staircase and living rooms are combined, this modern touch is advised.
8| A Dog Den
Pets are loving members of the family, but very few homeowners can afford to designate a whole room to their pooch. Building a dog-friendly area consisting of a dog bed and a few toys can be a great alternative. It’s a very easy upgrade to make and can also double up as a storage space for treats and other items.
Building a solid dog bed frame that includes soft covers and bedding will form the main focus. Incorporating a draw or two for the additional items works well. A colour scheme that matches the hallway or room that the staircase is in should be a priority, although stencil art or vinyl stickers of dog-related items can inject personality.
The space can also be used for cat toys such as scratching posts. Either way, giving the space a purpose while clawing back space in other rooms can work wonders.
9| Home Library
A home library is another luxury that is synonymous with class and expensive living. However, it needn’t carry a sense of exclusivity. The area under the stairs can be turned into the ultimate reading space with minimal effort. There are two simple aspects to consider – a place to store the books, and a comfortable seating area.
Hollow out the space, and then build a bench that uses comfortable cushioned seating to sit or lie on. The area underneath can be used for storing books, as can some of the spaces above or to the side of the seating. Colour coding the cushions with the wood and walls should be an easy task that enables you to achieve the desired results.
Adding a skylight or a touch lamp to the space will extend the reading enjoyment into the later hours. Fr adults and kids alike, the love of reading will be clear.
10| Display Cabinet
Hallways and reception areas can be a little boring and void of personality and charm. Adding a made to measure display cabinet under the stairs can be a great way to overcome those problems. This is a very creative option and is particularly suitable for developers as it allows homeowners to stamp their authority on the home with ease.
You will need to think about the vibrations of walking up the stairs when picking out glass doors. Still, the display cabinet offers an easy way for homeowners to visibly celebrate their families. Adding a draw or two to the bottom of the display cabinet is a great way to build extra storage while still injecting extra personality.
Some developers may also want to incorporate a light at the top of the cabinet that illuminates the ornaments and products.
If the staircase is in the kitchen, or at least close to it, turning it into a pantry can be a particularly smart option. Not only does it save valuable space in the kitchen itself, which is particularly beneficial for smaller homes, but the cupboard space can offer a far greater storage volume than the comparable spaces within the kitchen areas.
Most will use the pantry for food storage rather than crockery and glassware. As such, it’s important to consider using shelves and cupboards more than drawers. Spice racks and a corner unit that has an internal spinner can be very useful too. Opt for the wood look so that you can paint it to match the staircase for a less visible storage space.
If possible, try to retain a small level of floor space that will collect any food spillages without spilling over onto the hallway carpets.
12| Bar / Wine Cupboard
A wine cellar is a luxury that many homeowners dream about owning. While this might not be possible, turning the area under the stairs into a home bar or place to store alcoholic beverages (as well as glassware and accessories) is the ultimate alternative. In fact, given its proximity to the living areas, it may be an even more convenient solution.
It works especially well when the staircase has wooden bannisters as the aesthetic can be matched for a traditional pub vibe, which is perfectly complemented by slate or granite surfaces. A mini chiller of beer fridge can be used alongside wine racks and organised storage for shakers, glassware, straws, etc. When the bottles are displayed in a winning fashion, they add to the beauty.
Build a door for the space too, and it can become an ultra-cool secret for the future homeowner.
The Final Word
As a property developer, you cannot find a solution that will impress everyone. However, giving the space under the stairs a genuine sense of function can only have a positive impact on the outcomes. While the final decision may be influenced on your location, budget, timescales, and personal thoughts, the 12 ideas above are all great starting points.
Aside from increasing the value of the property, the standout factor and added attraction can support your goals of getting the best sale. When you are developing the property anyway, adding this to the ‘to do’ list can only have a positive impact.