Top 70 Best Under Stairs Ideas – Storage Designs
Harry Potter’s family wasn’t the first to take an under-the-stairs space and transform it into an alternative chamber.
(Never mind the overall state of poor Harry’s home life.)
And if you’re fortunate enough to have your own under-the-stairs unit, why not reassess it and finally procure that extra locale you’ve always longed for?
From personal mini-bars to half baths, storage cabinets and beyond, there is no limit to the possibilities to under-stairs ideas. Perhaps you’ve always longed for a peaceful library nook or an extra bedroom for a guest; maybe you’re looking to extend your pantry or household storage capacity. Whatever your reasons and needs, your stairs have provided you with all the help you need. And with a little elbow grease and design direction, you can enjoy a new addition at a fraction of the cost of most renovations.
Suddenly children’s playrooms and doggy abodes aren’t so frivolous after all, now that you practically have a designated spot waiting to be reimagined. Private office or supply cabinet, you deserve to enjoy every inch of your home and inhabit it to its full potential.
So much of those extras and add-ons we desire in life are really just a matter of creative assessment, of rethinking spaces for the potential we may have overlooked. From the attic to under the stairs, your home can be every bit the manse you’ve always dreamed of.
The next time you find yourself wishing aloud for (fill in the blank), just turn your gaze to under the stairs, roll up your sleeves, and get to work.
1. Under Stairs Bookshelf and Bookcase Ideas
One of the easiest projects you can do under the stairs is to create open shelving or a bookcase. You can custom design the layout to suit you and your family’s needs. Maybe you need a few large spaces that you can display your art or plant collection on, or perhaps you need several closer shelves to display your book collection. The possibilities are endless when you’re the designer.
The trick to making these shelves a success is to plan your project. Measure the space under your stairs and then draw a diagram on some paper. Now you can try out different configurations before you commit to building.
The material you use to build your shelving unit should blend in with the look of the rest of the house. This could mean building it in a lighter wood. Or it could mean painting the entire unit white. Don’t try to build your new bookcase in the stair space. Instead, build your box units outside and then slide them into place. Then you only have to do small finishes to the front to complete the project.
2. Under Stairs Drawer Ideas
It seems these days that homes never have enough storage. We collect items along our journey through life, and before you know it, your home is bursting at the seams. So what do you do? Why not create some new storage space? The space under your stairs is just sitting there wasted.
You can build drawers that fit under your stairs to create additional storage. Does your family own a lot of shoes? You could keep them under the stairs and near the door. This makes it easy for someone to grab a pair on their way out and put them away upon returning home.
Another option is to have several shallow drawers. These work well for holding anything you could think of. You could have them progressively get shorter in width as they get higher. This will look best and complement the rise of the stairs.
Whatever style of drawers you choose, design their fronts to match your home. Modern homes will look good with slab fronts while more traditional homes will look better with a shaker style. If you have a country cottage feel to your home, then consider beadboard. Don’t forget to finish the drawers with matching hardware.
3. Under Stairs Dog Kennel Ideas
Is your four-legged furry friend a prominent member of the family? Then why not give them their own room? The space under the stairs is the perfect size to create a cozy cave-like den for your pup. Not only does this appeal to your dog’s inner wolf, but it keeps your home neat by not having a crate in the middle of a room.
The trick to making your dog’s room look impressive is to finish the inside of it. Lay a flooring that’s durable and easy to clean. It doesn’t have to match the flooring in your home. Then create walls out of drywall or fiberboard. You can then paint or hang a fun dog-themed wallpaper to finish the look.
A door is optional, but if you want to use the cubby as a crate, then it becomes a must. Try to use something that your dog can see through. A popular trend is to create a doghouse front on the wall around the door. Finish the design with a sign featuring your pup’s name.
If you don’t need the entire space under the stairs for your dog’s room, then consider combining it with some other uses. You could create a cubby for your dog and then surround it with cabinets, shelves, or drawers. Now you have storage space to keep all of your dog’s items in one centralized spot.
4. Under Stairs Wine Cellar Ideas
Wine cellars that are hidden away in a basement are a thing of the past. Turn the space under your stairs into a wine storage space that showcases your collection. You can adapt whatever space you have to fit your collection by using a wide variety of wine bottle storage configurations.
As a lover of wine, you know that external factors can ruin your wine so you need to protect your bottles by installing the right amount of insulation. This will help your room maintain a steady temperature and moisture level. It will also help keep your energy costs down by preventing your cooling unit from working too hard.
Your biggest decision will be how to finish the front. Using glass to enclose the front of the space will make for a beautiful display but it can also increase the cost significantly since you’ll need to buy insulated glass. Another option is to enclose the space with regular walls and then have a single insulated door with a glass panel.
Don’t forget to include lighting in your new wine cellar. This will make it easier to find that perfect bottle. Plus, you can turn it on and have a visually stunning element in your home when guests come over. Hidden LED lights are a perfect choice. They have a low energy demand and produce very little heat. You can mount them almost anywhere and create a variety of lighting schemes, from bright task light to soft accenting.
5. Under Stairs Mini-Bar Display Ideas
If you love to entertain, you may be missing out on an opportunity to have a bar in your home. A bar under the stairs can give you a place to elegantly display liquor bottles. You can also mix drinks without heading to the kitchen, allowing the conversation to carry on while you make martinis.
Start by designing the space. Do you have a drinks fridge that you want to include in your design? Start by building lower cabinets around this fridge. Then finish the top of the cabinets with a counter area large enough to work on.
Above the cabinets, you can create a bar-worthy shelving display. Pay attention to the height of your liquor bottle; some can be quite tall. You could also create an area for storing your glassware. Finally, no bar would be complete without lighting. Go for something cool and modern like color-changing LED strip lighting. They let you easily hide the strips while also illuminating the shelving holding the bottles.
6. Under Stairs Powder Room Ideas
A hidden guest bathroom can be perfect for under your stairs. You only need enough space for a toilet and a sink. This will give you a convenient place to direct guests so that you don’t have to share your personal bathroom.
Before you get started, check your local building codes. Some have minimum square footage requirements for bathrooms. Once you get the go-ahead, you’ll need to create a plan and file for permitting. Stand in the room and think about the slope above. The most well-designed bathrooms take this into account by not forcing occupants to stoop or stand at an odd angle. If your bathroom ceiling slopes dramatically, try placing the toilet under the lower part of the ceiling. This works because people will already be bending down to sit down and won’t notice the lowered ceiling.
One significant challenge of this project is locating a water source that you can bring to the room. The plumbing will be your greatest expense. It can help greatly if your stair space is near other plumbing in your house.
Also, don’t be afraid to go bold with your interior design. Vibrant colors and large patterns are a popular trend in small washrooms like this.
7. Under Stairs Playroom Ideas
Sometimes the space under the stairs isn’t large enough for an adult to comfortably fit into it. Families may be able to use this space for their children instead. This gives you a space that belongs solely to your child. You can allow them to play and make a mess without it cluttering up the entire house.
Start by finishing the floor and walls. You could paint the walls your child’s favorite color. Don’t forget to add plenty of light. The playroom should look bright and inviting. Embrace colorful patterns by using a fun wallpaper design. Mount Shelves or place bins to help keep the place organized. Lay a plush, comfy rug on the floor.
Finish the cubby by adding solid doors that match the look of the rest of your home. You can close them and hide the tornado of clutter that’s happening behind them. Another option is to go all out and create a playhouse front to the room.
8. Under Stairs Office Nook Ideas
Turn the space under your stairs into a home office. The space under your stairs can work perfectly to give you a centralized place to work from home, pay bills, or complete homework. Create a flat work area that will be the desktop, and then create storage around it by building cabinets, drawers, and shelving. Choose a comfortable chair in a style that compliments your home.
Use materials that are similar to the rest of your home. This will help your desk area look original and not a slapdash addition. Try matching the upper shelving materials to the material used for the stairs. They’ll be physically close to each other so this can create a unified look.
Focus on the electrical when building your desk space. You want to have plenty of light so that you don’t strain your eyes while looking at a screen or writing on paper. You also need to have plenty of power outlets to run your computer, monitor, printer, lamp, and anything else.
Use the space around your desk work area to create storage. You could have drawers down below to act as a file cabinet. Then you could have cabinet doors above them. You could even hide your printer in one of these to keep the desk space looking cleaner.
9. Cozy Corner for Under Stairs Ideas
Where do you go to escape from the stress of the world? A nook under the stairs will give you a cubby to curl up in and relax with a good book or take a nap. You can create a space that appeals to your idea of creature comforts with plush pillows and a blanket, or perhaps you’d love a quiet place to meditate.
To create your cozy corner, you need to finish the inside walls of the space. Using natural materials like wood can create a calming effect. Create a bench by building a box. Use this opportunity to create some extra storage. You could build cabinet doors, shelves, or drawers into the front of the bench. If you plan to read in the space, then you’ll need a light just big enough to provide reading light. A bedside sconce will work perfectly for this.
To finish your corner, you need to make it cozy. Place a seat cushion on the bench to sit on and pile several large pillows on top. An accent throw will complete the look while also giving you a blanket to curl up under when in the space.
If a cubby isn’t your style, then try building a shallow bookcase and placing a reading chair or two in front of it. Make the space comfortable by adding a small rug and floor lamp.
10. Pantry Storage Ideas for Under Stairs
If your stairs are near the kitchen or dining room, then you can use this space as extra pantry storage. This allows you to create a more convenient storage space without having to disrupt your current kitchen or dining room.
Before you decide on a storage method, think about what you plan to put here. You could create a walk-in food pantry with several shelves hidden behind a door. You could also create cabinets that hide small appliances that rarely get used. Another option is tall modern style drawers that contain several racks. You could use this to hold your dinnerware.
Consider how deep and tall the space is when deciding how you’ll use it. A low and deep space will make it challenging to use as a traditional food pantry. For this space, pull out racks will enable you to utilize the entire space. If you only have a shallower space, then shelving with a door will work better.
Under Stairs Project Ideas FAQs
Can I open up the space under my stairs?
If you’re unsure if the space under your stairs is usable, you’ll need to get a look. The easiest ways to do this is to either gently pry up a stair tread or to cut a hole in the drywall under the stairs. Keep in mind drywall is easier to repair than a broken stair tread.
Are the walls under my stairs load-bearing?
More than likely, no. The stair stringers will bear the load of the stairs, leaving you free to do whatever you’d like under the stairwell. That being said, if you’re unsure, you should certainly contact a structural engineer to get a professional’s approval.
Top 29 Best Watches Under $500 For Men
With cellphones so ubiquitous, your watch choice can be less about telling time and more about personal style. However, a watch is not ‘just’ a watch. For example, the vast majority are made for right-handed people, but a select few cater to the lefties among us. There is a wide range in functionality and size.
The wristwatch is also one of the few socially acceptable accessories for men, so why not have a small selection? If you’re not cashing a CEO’s paycheck just yet, here are the top 28 most handsome watches for men that retail for under $500.
Got a bigger budget? Then check out our guide to the best men’s watches under $1000 instead.
Top 29 Best Watches Under $500 For Men
1. Tommy Hilfiger Stainless Steel Men’s Watch
If you like the feel of a pliable, non-metal band but aren’t comfortable with genuine leather, this watch comes equipped with a handsome synthetic band. At 46mm in diameter, this watch is perfect for men of smaller stature, as it will not overpower your hand or make it look like you’re wearing your father’s watch. With bold Arabic numerals, a stainless steel case, and classic styling, this watch is an outstanding choice for an everyday watch and the man on a budget.
2. Nordgreen Pioneer – Black Dial
Get 15% off using the discount code NEXTL at checkout
Not everyone has an endless amount of cash to drop on a luxury timepiece. If you’re money-conscious but want something high-end, then why not consider the Nordgreen Pioneer.
An inspired take on a classic Chronograph, Nordgreen celebrates the Danish with what they call a timepiece “that captures the sustainable future.” Available in various dial colors from blue, black, and white. There’s even the choice of three case colors – gunmetal, silver, and rose gold. A perfect addition to the collection of any watch enthusiast.
3. Fossil Grant Brown Leather WatchCheck Price
This lovely offering by Fossil features slim Roman numeral hour markers and delicate cut-out hands. The casing is stainless steel and is water-resistant to 165 feet, making it a great dive watch. The band is made of supple, soft calfskin leather and uses a buckle closure.
Of course, this timepiece also comes with the generous 11-year warranty and it’s own fun tin. This watch oozes class and is great for nearly every occasion in your life.
4. Citizen Sport Stainless Steel Men’s Watch With Brown Leather Band
If you don’t want to deal with changing out a battery in a digital watch, this watch is powered by either natural or indoor lighting. The mineral crystal face and stainless steel case make this watch water-resistant to 330 feet, making it a great choice for swimmers and snorkelers.
Handsome and utilitarian, this is a great watch for everyday wear. It’s one of the best watches for men who are always on the go.
5. Fossil Men’s Machine Chronograph Silicone Watch
This watch was designed with the active man in mind. The knurled silicone band stands up to sweat and oils without issue, and the timepiece itself is water-resistant to 165 feet.
The patterned bezel and quality craftsmanship of the black dial is excellent, as is to be expected from a Fossil watch. It even comes in the iconic and collectible tin!
6. Citizen Men’s Eco-Drive Watch
This men’s watch features Japanese quartz movement that charges itself indoors or out when exposed to light, making it a great choice for those who don’t want to change out the battery too often. The stitched canvas strap is soft against your skin and will wick away moisture, while the mineral crystal face stands up to the rigors of your everyday life.
Water-resistant to 330 feet, this dive watch is a classic and simple design you’ll be proud of for years to come.
7. Invicta Pro Diver Chronograph Men’s Watch
Another gorgeous offering by Invicta, this watch features a bold design with a slightly nautical feel to it. It will look at home whether you’re wearing a business suit or are going for a dive of less than 660 feet. This piece is also covered by a one-year warranty as a matter of course. The luminosity feature and magnified date window make it a great choice if you work or play in low light.
If you want something that looks like a Tag Heuer but without the luxury watch brand price tag, this is a good option!
8. Casio Edifice Multi-Function Men’s Watch
This watch has three sub-dials for 12 hour, 60 minute and 60-second displays, in addition to the standard time. It also features a fold-over, push-down clasp on the stainless strap, keeping it secure throughout your activities. If you’re looking for a classy timepiece that shrieks sophistication, this is a great choice.
9. Fossil Machine Three Hand Stainless Steel Men’s Watch
This quality watch is a chameleon piece. It looks at home as a dress watch riding below the cuff of your best suit, and it also looks great paired with jeans and a t-shirt. Backed by Fossil’s 11-year warranty as a matter of course and beautifully crafted, this smoke-colored piece is guaranteed to become the go-to accessory for nearly every occasion.
10. MVMT Watches Black Face Men’s Watch
If you like the look of a simple watch, this minimalist offering from MVMT is right up your alley. With just a plain black face, tick marks to denote the hours and a single date window, there is nothing overdone or extravagant about this design. The is understated and suited to the simple design. It’s definitely a classy, low-key piece for the budget-conscious.
11. Timex Weekender Watch
If you’re looking for a fun watch to pair with casual outfits, this is a great option. The band is blue and yellow woven nylon, and the face features both civilian and military timekeeping. An Indiglo night light is also included. This watch is water-resistant to 99 feet, meaning it can withstand splashes of water or exposure to rain but you won’t want to submerge it.
12. PUMA Ultrasize Black Sport Men’s Watch
Boasting a 50mm diameter, this piece is perfect for the large-framed man or one who likes to wear his accessories oversized. A true fashion statement, this sports watch comes in eight different colors schemes to match your favorite hues.
Do be aware, however, that the dial knob is configure for left-handed men!
13. Timex Easy Reader Men’s Watch
Another dress watch designed with the older gentleman in mind, this watch features a white dial with generously sized numerals that do not appear comical to the casual observer.
It’s also an excellent choice if you take your contacts out at night and still want to be able to check the time. With classic lines and a simple white face, the watch would not be out of place at any casual gathering. It comes with Timex’s one-year warranty at no additional charge.
14. Fossil Nate Men’s Chronograph Watch
For men who like a more gritty, industrial feel to their accessories, this Fossil watch is right on point. The bezel is gear-edged and the face is utilitarian black and gray. Water-resistant to 165 feet, this watch is a great choice if you like your adornments to be understated yet add visual interest.
It’s definitely a stand-out piece, for those who would take notice!
15. Timex Expedition Field Chronograph Men’s Watch
Featuring an indigo night light, tachymeter, a date window and a buckle closure, this watch is perfect for men who like to work or play outdoors. It is also water-resistant to 330 feet, making it a great choice for snorkeling or swimming.
You won’t want to wear it for diving, however. With classic, black styling and a genuine crystal face, this is a timepiece that will stand the test of time in both form and function.
16. Seiko 5 Automatic Stainless Steel Men’s Watch
This Seiko automatic watch has all the bells and whistles you need, but presents it all in a plain and strikingly attractive manner. It features a date window in either English or Spanish, sword-shaped hands, a sweeping second hand and a mineral dial window. This is a great option for the man on the go. The canvas strap can be removed and hand-washed if sweat or other odors become an issue.
This watch is not water-resistant, so you’ll only want to wear it when you won’t be popping by the pool for a swim!
17. Invicta Pro Diver Collection Silver-Tone Men’s Watch
For those who prefer an all-metal timepiece, the stainless steel Invicta fits the bill nicely. It has a similar aesthetic to a Tag Heuer watch, but at a more affordable price. Equipped with a unilateral bezel and removable links, the band can be customized to fit your wrist perfectly. The face is flame fusion crystal and features a magnifier to highlight the date window.
It’s also water-resistant to 660 feet. If you’re looking for a gorgeous watch that stands up to an active lifestyle, this is an excellent choice.
18. Seiko Men’s Adventure-Solar Classic Casual Watch
This Seiko watch derives its power from either natural or indoor light and can withstand water depths of up to 330 feet. The supple brown leather strap and timeless brushed steel give this piece an attractive look, and the alarm chronograph is easy to set.
If you’re looking for a watch that can serve as a backup for your wake-up call while traveling, stand up to the elements and look awesome, this casual wrist watch is a winner.
19. Nautica Men’s Stainless Steel Watch with Blue Resin Band
Featuring a plethora of options and a smart, snappy style, this a great casual watch with a eye-catching blue dial. The hardy resin band is adjustable, and the face is protected by a mineral window. Whether for work or play, this bold blue design is handsome and substantial on the wrist. It comes with Nautica’s five-year warranty at no additional charge.
20. Citizen Sport Men’s Stainless Steel Watch with Black Leather Band
The black, red and white face of this piece eschews the traditional two-tone color scheme so often employed in other watches, and the contrasting stitching on the band adds creative flair. It comes backed by Citizen’s five-year warranty and will compliment any casual outfit.
21. Alessi Tic15 Analog Display Analog Quartz Black Men’s Watch
Another not-quite-round offering on our list, the curved square casing of this piece gives it instant visual appeal. Sleek and clean, this unfussy design will be a compliment to almost any occasion. It has quartz movement and is water-resistant to 99 feet, making it a great choice for everyday wear.
22. Invicta 1517 I Force Collection Watch
Another on our list designed for left-handed men, this watch is something special. Water-resistant to 330 feet and featuring oversize stenciled numbers and a sub dial, this watch is great for any casual outfit. The cloth band is extremely durable and stands up to dirt, sweat and grime.
If you lead an active lifestyle, this watch will be right at home in your collection.
23. TRIWA Blue Steel Nevil Canvas Watch
This watch comes in a whopping 14 color variations, all of them beautiful. You may decide to add more than one to your collection!
Designed in Sweden, this watch features Japanese quartz movement, a stainless steel casing and a strap made from Tärnsjö organic leather. TRIWA, which stands for Transforming the Industry of Watches, believes in the artistry of fine jewelry and it shows in their product.
24. Victorinox Swiss Army Alliance Watch
Another fine dress watch from the makers of the Swiss Army knife, this watch is emblazoned with the internally recognized cross and shield emblem. It has no sub-dials, tachymeter or other add-ons to detract from its simple and appealing style.
This watch will be at home with all but the most formal of outfits and carries a two-year warranty.
25. Ingersoll Automatic Stainless Steel Bull Run Watch
Again, Ingersoll remakes the classics and brings them into the present day. With a highly polished stainless steel casing, two sub-dials, a date aperture and arrow-shaped hands, this quartz watch is beautiful.
The band features contrasting stitching on the fine-grain leather, adding depth and detail to the workmanship. This watch will compliment any casual occasion and can be relied upon for years to come.
26. Tissot Quickster Chronograph Black Leather Men’s Watch
Made with scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and Swiss automatic movement, this watch is a smart and utilitarian choice. If you’re looking for a solid Swiss watch that isn’t flashy, this is an excellent option. It’s also guaranteed for two years.
27. Seiko Sport Solar Men’s Beige Watch
Are you getting tired of squinting down at your watch or holding it closer and closer to your face? Don’t worry, we all get a bit nearsighted with age, especially over the age of 40.
If you’re not quite ready for reading glasses or a comically huge watch, this is a great choice from Seiko. The numerals, indices and luminous hands stand out in stark white against a black background, and the numerals are generous in size. It’s a perfect casual watch for the older gentleman.
28. Seiko Men’s 5 Watch Blue Canvas Band
This simple and affordable watch has a clean, crisp aesthetic to it and doesn’t bog down its design with a ton of bells and whistles. It’s time and date, end of.
If you want a watch for casual wear, this Seiko is a shoo-in. The band is forgiving and comfortable against your wrist, and it’s blue color will likely compliment your existing wardrobe. The price is also extremely affordable.
29. Tommy Hilfiger Men’s Stainless Steel Watch With Brown Leather Band
Featuring the Hilfiger logo at the three o’clock position, this wrist watch is a statement piece. It is a bright, shiny stainless steel work of art that you’ll be proud to wear at all but the most stuffy of workplaces. The calfskin leather band uses a buckle closure and the date window is beside the logo at three o’clock.
If you’re a fan of Tommy clothing, cologne or luggage, you can complete your look with this stunning accessory.