What drives you to spring clean? I can’t decide whether it’s visiting friends with beautiful homes or just the act of taking down the Christmas decorations and starting to see a clean space. Whichever it is, every year January gives me the motivation to get things cleared out and spruced up.

Of course, this is made easier for me because I live with a tame carpenter who is willing to make clever storage for awkward spaces (lucky me!).

As I’ve pottered about the place this week, cleaning and tidying, I wanted to jot down all the ways you can get the most out of what is frequently the least utilised space in the house, under the stairs.

Making this space work depends on where in your home your staircase is located, so I’ve split my ramblings into some rough areas.

In the hallway

Hallways are high traffic areas and it is not difficult for this area of the home to become a ‘dumping ground’ of shoes coats and school bags. The solution is really easy. Fitting pull out shoe racks to the lowest part of the under stairs area immediately resolves the majority of the issue, perhaps a second drawer for boots and wellies, or divided into deeper ‘bins’ which allow the dumping of school bags with minimal effort. Where the space is taller we can make a range of coat storage including rails and pull out racks (and there will still be a spot big enough for the hoover).

In the kitchen

Particularly in period cottages the staircase can be found in a less conventional place such as the kitchen. Using this space for large horizontal drawers to house pots and pans can free up lots of cupboard space. Because the under stairs space is so deep, we can use double extension runners with a very high weight allowance to ensure you can store the heaviest of pots in an accessible location. Of course, this is a space which is also perfect to house a wine collection!

In the living space

When a staircase is situated in the living space, be that dining room or sitting room, the space can still be used effectively for storage. You might feel that cupboards and drawers will feel a bit ‘heavy within this space but what about open shelving or a combination of open cubby holes and a few with doors too. This can then provide a space to store books and display possessions. It can also provide the perfect spot for a lamp to brighten the room.

On the upstairs landing in a townhouse

Some clients are lucky enough to have two staircases, often between the 1st and 2nd floor where both levels are bedrooms and bathrooms. In this situation fitting drawers into the under stairs area can provide a wealth of storage for towels and bed linen. The drawers are nice and deep so they are much easier to access and organise that a traditional airing cupboard. Being in the hallway means that these are accessible to anyone at any time (no more creeping into a sleeping child’s bedroom to find bedlinen). With the super depth of the drawers, we can even make the space to store out of season duvets and bedspreads.

So, what do you think? We are always happy to discuss ideas and we have years of experience making and fitting storage. We offer a range of styles for tradition shaker, modern and can even hide your storage away behind panelling.

Hambledon Staircases

A Carpenter’s Wife Blog

Nick and I share a passion for creativity and design. We have renovated several houses together and as I was regularly drafted in to help with his carpentry work. It was a natural step to go into business together. For many years this was an informal arrangement with me learning on my feet, including CAD, web design, tax and admin. I was itching to get involved practically so it wasn’t long before I joined Nick on-site.

We’re very lucky to enjoy our time working together. My blog is a reflection on what we are doing, what we have learnt and where we are going. It’s nice to keep a written record of our journey together and life in Dorset with two young daughters.