Decorating niche space: Optimize for the abode’s storage

The earth is getting more crowded with every decade.  We are always looking for ways to utilize every square inch of space that we possess.

One of the most underutilized spaces in the abode is the staircase.

Hidden inside each riser and under the staircase is a secret area of, most often, unused space.  Much can be done to use the stairs and the empty niche below them for storage needs.

It is time to reclaim your space from the staircase.

  • Be creative. The risers are empty boxes. Turn each riser into a secret drawer; hats, gloves, and scarves can be kept neatly, toys can be hidden away.

    turn your risers into drawer storage
  • Build shelving into the niche under your basement stairs. Instead of items just piled up in the basement, you now have created a storage area to organize your luggage, tools, boxes, etc.
  • If you have a finished basement or you are looking for a more decorative approach, such as in a foyer, than plain shelves, build a built-in unit with cabinetry.

    built-in storage under a staircase

You may want to consult with an Interior Designer or cabinet-maker to create a plan and elevations for custom cabinetry. ready-made cabinetry can also be modified to use for a more cost-effective approach.

If the underside of the stairs is hidden then be prepared for some demolition and construction. The wallboard will have to be cut away to expose the studs and space under the staircase. The area will then have to be framed out to accommodate the new built-in storage unit. When removing studs you need to make sure that they are not support beams. If you do need to remove a support, then you have to be prepared to add some sort of support to replace what has been removed. If depending on the cabinetry to act as support then you must make sure that you have the proper size supports built into the cabinetry itself. If you are unsure about support beams then this should be verified with an expert.

Be adventurous and have fun installing your new built-in cabinetry yourself. You may want to have a designer draw up plans and elevations, and specify sizes for you in order to give you a plan of action.

Stock Kitchen cabinetry can be purchased and used for your application.

  • ready-made cabinetry can be found at stores like Lowes and Home Depot and come in a variety of styles and finishes. Stock widths come in increments of three inches usually starting with nine inches wide.
  • Fill the angled spaces, at the top of the cabinets, that you will have left over with open shelves and a wine rack.

This will also add value to your abode. Buyers are impressed with built-ins and storage. Your visitors will be envious of all of your storage space.

Always think outside of the box and never be afraid to dance!

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