Design Dilemma: Making Use of Stairway Nooks and Crannies
Stairways are a fantastic way of getting from one level of a home to another. But that doesn’t have to be all they are. Stairways can also be extra storage space, work space, reading space, or even display space. Here are a few ideas to make this passage in your home a little more useful and a lot more beautiful.
Stairway as lounge or study. Do you have an extra large landing, a lot of space at the top of a stairway, or a deep space underneath your stairs? Any of these areas can function as either a lounge for reading or a quiet spot for an office or study.
Above, a simple industrial desk installed under a metal stairway is a clever way to carve out an office. The metal file cabinet and metal legs on the desk continue the industrial feel created by the stairway itself. Because the materials of the stairway and desk are the same, the study nook feels natural, not forced.
Below, a home with a traditional, classic feel makes use of the space at the top of a stairway for a console table and stools, which can serve as an impromptu writing table or a space to set up the laptop.
Stairway as storage space. Under the stairway is a great space to install a closet or shelves. If you don’t do built-ins you can install furniture that echos the shape of the stairway itself. The extra storage can be a great place for books, collectibles, or as in the photo below, a storage space for shoes.
Stairway as art gallery. There’s no reason why a stairwell has to be boring. In fact, a stairway can be a perfect showcase for paintings, hanging sculptures, or even murals and designs inset into the stairs themselves. Below, we offer four prime examples of bringing a little art into this oft-forgotten part of the home.
The above photo of a hanging sculpture is actually a hotel staircase, but it’s a great idea that could easily be adapted to a home setting. Below, a wall of a stairwell has been transformed into a dramatic display for paintings.
Our main point: think creatively about a stairway’s possibilities. A stairwell can be a whole lot more than a passage from one floor to another!