Under Stairs Pantry Ideas for Your Home


Are you eyeing that unused space beneath your stairs, thinking, "I can do something with that!" Not only can you turn it into extra under stairs storage space, it can become a design marvel.

Choose from hideaway cabinets that roll out, embrace the space with open shelving, create a pantry nook with closed doors, add a study spot, or make a dog house under the stairs for Fido.

Many people become a little stumped when looking at the limitations of under stairs storage. After breezing through these clever ideas, you'll soon realize that under stairs storage ideas are plentiful. You may have arrived here with thoughts about an under stairs pantry, and will leave with ten more possibilities - enjoy!

How do you maximize the space under stairs

Space under stairs can be maximized with open shelving, enclosed cabinets, rolling or pull-out cabinets, and framed-in closet space.

Space under stairs can be put into good use in a multitude of ways:

  • pantry
  • desk station
  • modern bar
  • wine cellar
  • shoe storage
  • nook
  • library/bookshelves
  • general storage
  • bed
  • dog bed/station
  • toilet

I wouldn't actually recommend the last one. The very first (old) farmhouse I lived in had a toilet installed under the stairs - the user had to duck and back up everytime they used it! Needless to say, that toilet was gone in a hurry.

As a person who has the experience of two storage units under stairs, I have advice to share. It can get really dirty under the stairs if the stairs are not sealed in, such as with drywall. If you are using the space for food storage, you must enclose it. My odd storage space was under our basement stairs, so of course we were not going to put money into finishing the stairs.

My, oh my, the dirt and dust shook down out of the unsealed, rough carpenter stairs. If your stairs are especially high-traffic, there will be more than average stomping and shaking of the stair unit.

Below are plentiful ideas for storage under stairs. The great thing is that they are all interchangeable whatever your needs are. Steal to your heart's content!

A sleek, and modern bar and wine storage was built under the stairs in this example. Look at the detail of the reflective chrome finish that is carried through to the wall shelves.

The telltale signs of a set of stairs can be seen in this hidden pantry. Under the stairs is an awkward space to build around. The smart designer moved the run of kitchen cabinets away from the wall so as not to deal with working around the staircase. The result is that the under staircase space is turned into pantry space, which is one room that handles awkward space well.

This example of under stairs storage clearly shows that you can maximize with style. Wine cubes are perfect here - the geometric shape adjusts no matter where it falls in the angle of the stairs.

I found it curious that the builder chose to angle off the drawers on the left - I wonder if those are only faux drawers? This design is enhanced by the finishes in the room, the beautiful wood of the stair stringer, the columns on either side of the curved door, the whitewash of the cabinetry matching the white of the stair railings - all beautifully working together.

Who wouldn't want a pantry nook? A step away is a "dog house" - this one with a kennel. Pet centers are ideal spots to make the most of unused under stairs space. This pantry shelving under stairs idea couldn't be more well done! The shelves are a joy to access.

No one minds the angle in this pantry nook. Again, another successful example of pantry shelves under stairs. Nothing is wasted in this design.

Stairs are deep. The average width of stairs starts at 36" - that's creates a cavern to reach in. Having pull-out or roll-out storage makes sense.

Every part of under the stairs is an opportunity for storage! This appears to be a stairwell leading to a basement. This might not have been the exact pantry shelves under stairs that you were thinking of, but it is important to show all creative solutions.

Always keep safety in mind in this arrangement - reaching for items while standing on a stairs can be dangerous!

Bravo! These bookcases disguises the hidden attached storage revealed when the bookcases are pulled out. Recessed wheels are part of the trick in hiding the real use of the bookcase.

Notice the far left bookcase, which is a lower height to fit the stairs. Likely it is just a regular bookcase... or is it??

Panels are a tried and true design trick to hide things in home construction. When closed, the cabinet doors would blend in with the wall.

Note the deep roll-out pantry shelves beneath stairs. Stairs average 3' deep, so why not use all of it? Three feet may be a bit hard for heavy-duty extension slides to handle, in reality, this might only be two feet deep for all we know.

Ta-dah! Very impressive roll-out storage under the stairs. From this perspective, one can appreciate the heavy-duty slide rails used to implement the design.

This builder approached under stairs cabinet doors in a unique way - "if you can't beat them, join them!" Cabinet doors are notched to fit with the stairs themselves, a very unique solution! Take notice of the very bottom step, the masterful carpenter was able to squeeze out one more bit of storage.

Note how the pantry/breakfast center is recessed into the wall, not using the direct space under the stairs.

Many pantries are not in the kitchen footprint, but a step away. The designer carried on the feel of the modern cabinets in the kitchen, but chose a different color to transition to the hallway space. The frameless doors are a nice way to blend in a wall of cabinets, making the space less busy.

Note the ergo-friendly curved pantry shelves under the stairs.

About the author 

Renee Matt

Renee is an Iowa farmwife with a background as a former kitchen designer. Supporting the family farm with hearty meals has been key to Renee's pantry readiness. She uses her professional IT background and expertise to bring the Everything Pantry website to life. Read more about this farmwife on her about page.

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