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Use the Space Under Stairs

Cloakroom

If you’re tired of having to pick your way over discarded bags and coats in the hallway when you get home, think about converting the area under your staircase into a cloakroom.

Even if there’s only a shallow nook, it’s usually sufficient for a few cubby holes with hooks for hats, umbrellas and coats. Try adding some wicker baskets underneath for small items such as scarves, gloves and key rings – you’ll find it so much easier to keep everything tidy.

If the whole area under the stairs is accessible, consider turning it into a clothes cupboard. Just fit some shelves and hanging rails round the edge to provide useful storage for seasonal clothing, and free up space in your bedroom wardrobe at the same time. This is also a great place to store boots, trainers, gym kits, golf clubs, tennis racquets and ski equipment.

Office

As the modern trend for open plan living grows ever more popular, many people have removed the cupboard under the stairs and replaced it with an office or study area.

The neatest way of doing this is to have custom-made shelves and a desk unit fitted. However, if your budget is modest, or you don’t want to commit to a permanent office, you can simply install a free-standing desk and some shelving units.

Bathroom

Fitting an additional toilet or shower will ease pressure on the family bathroom and is particularly useful if you have small children or elderly relatives living with you. If done well, it should also increase the resale value of your property.

Headroom can be problem, so take accurate measurements to ensure people will have enough room to stand upright. You may also want to consider installing a special sanitary pump if the pipes cannot be connected directly to the main waste system.

Shelving space

The great thing about shelves is their versatility – you can find ones to fit into almost type of space. Fitting a tailor-made shelving unit under the stairs will allow you to make the most of the space. You will be able to display all your best photos, ornaments, CDs and books that might otherwise be boxed away – and to show off your favourite items, you could even fit some strategically placed backlights.