AmandaCarlisleDesign - Widget
Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Our Own Cupboard Under the Stairs

Happy Midweek!

While I was sewing up the Harry Potter quilt block, "Cupboard Under the Stairs", I kept thinking about our own cupboard under the stairs.



About three-ish? years ago, we decided we needed more storage in general, at the time more for our son's Lego sets so we weren't tripping over them, or trying to eat around them at the kitchen table. (But in the long run, just more storage in general.)

Any more Lego fanatics out there? I have to admit that it's not just my son, it's kind of a family thing. We had a "Lego Family Build Night" one Friday night, where we each had picked out a set to build and sat around our kitchen table building together. So fun! Now and then my son, now 12, asks when we are going to do that again. The problem is, the older he gets, the more complicated (translate: expensive) the Lego sets that he wants to build. Some of those sets.. Yikes! But they are so fascinating and well engineered and you get such a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment when you finish! And once they are together, where do you end up putting them? 

So we decided that there was a big wasted space under our stairs. I wish I had better pictures.



We had a contractor come by to look at it, and it was a small job, so it was pretty quick! He cut a hole in the wall, and you wouldn't believe it. Yuck. Dust, spider webs, and TRASH. Trash that the contractors that built the house had left there and just covered up with the build. Gross. 20 year old trash. Living under our stairs.

He cleaned it out, framed out a little door, rewired it to put a light in there, and installed an electrical outlet in case we need to charge anything in there ever. Then, he had the foresight to put a little button passthrough vent that lets air circulate, just in case my son was ever in there building with the door closed, or wanted to sleep in there if we have guests that need his bed, etc. It vents to the laundry room which is on the other side of the wall and ensures that no one would ever suffocate in there. Maybe he was afraid we would lock our son in there like Harry Potter? haha In the pic below, you can see the button vent to keep air circulating.




Then there was a bit of a crisis when our contractor told us that the dryer vent pipe (from the laundry room to the outside, which exits the house to the left of our front door on our porch) passed straight through the space. And it needed to go diagonally right through the middle of the space at face level. Which ruined the open space we were hoping for. You wouldn't be able to get in there  without ducking anyway, and now you had to crawl underneath a giant pipe? You wouldn't be able to stack anything in there if we use it for storage later. It totally ruined it. No way! 

Ack! Okay.. this is why sometimes men need a woman's eye to help them out. I was so vehemently opposed to the big pipe through the middle. I had to get in there with a pencil and draw my idea on the wall for my hub and the contractor, because when I was explaining it to them, they looked at me like I was nuts. 



But it worked! Curve the pipe so that it follows the wall. Curve it again in the corner to follow the adjacent wall, down to the vent to the outside. Basically the pipe hugs the wall, and it's not a big ugly plastic pipe, it's a cool galvanized metal! And it goes downhill for the most part, so gravity can keep any lint that gets in there from the dryer from collecting in there.



Then I painted! It was so much fun! Because it's under the stairs and not visible to the rest of the house, we could pick fun colors. So I let my son help and we settled on Indigo and Tangerine. It's so happy in there! I love to paint. Esp. when fun color is involved. And the colors look so good with the galvanized metal. And they perfectly matched a little storage cube that had formerly been in my son's room. I 💖 it!!!

I bet he's grown a foot since then!!

We joke about it being his "cupboard under the stairs". Much Lego building has gone on in there, and even some homework!



So if you have stairs, and there's not already storage under them, think about opening it up and seeing how much extra space you can gain! Even if it's not that much space it might make a great art nook or fort space where kids can have fun, and when they outgrow it you have extra storage! Now that our son is 12, he's doesn't get in there much, but it's still a great storage space and it's a relief to know that it's usable space now, instead of dark wasted space with contractors lunch wrappers and trash left there. 


It's space that's there anyway, might as well be using it. I think a lot of newer houses have started making that a usable space. Our house is probably 25 years old now? So that was some OLD contractor's trash. 😖

Do you have a cupboard under the stairs? Hope all of you are staying warm, esp. if you are in the midst of the polar vortex! Yikes.

See you back here for the next Harry Potter block on Saturday! Looking forward to it!




Happy Stitching!
xoxo

13 comments...:

So cool, what an amazing renovation! Our main issue is because we have a victorian house, the basement is only 3 1/2" high, so it isn't terribly usable. Definitely above ground space becomes preferred.

That is AWESOME!!! DS1 would have hated it, but DS2 would have turned it into his own personal library!

Rani said...

Very cool! Too bad we don't have stairs. The house I grew up in had a tunnel like room under the stairs that led into our finished basement. But it was creepy and cold and I stayed away from it. Nicely done!

We have an area under the stairs. It's "very" small. Hubby built a rolling cart, of sorts and he has it packed full of papers, stuff from his childhood, etc. It's a great storage. LOVE your space though. How fun!

lisa0116 said...

Love it! I get the woman needs to draw a map thing. Recently I had to draw one for my husband and a contractor that knew everything yet knew nothing. Contractor refused to look at and even listen to me and even said some ridiculous things about me to my husband behind my back. Suffice it to say, I own the tools around here, not my husband. My husband is my best friend and has my back as I have his and he knows I know what the heck I am talking about. My ex for 10 years was a carpenter and I helped him build those homes he built at times when I got off of my regular office job. Contractor thrown out and I did the job. We have no steps though. Wish I did have steps to make a cool spot like you did.

Been wanting to do this for years! Our girls are grown and gone but I would still love the extra storage and the yet-to-be-born grandkids would love it! Exactly what I thought of when I read Harry Potter. You are a cool mom. :)

Patti said...

Cute post! I hope he doesn't outgrow it anytime soon. We have two grandsons that are into Legos also. Yes they can get expensive but it really is a great pastime. Our under the stairs storage is where we keep our Christmas decorations. Our good luck it was finished when we moved in.

Very very nice hidey hole. I love it.

I know what you mean about builder trash, it is disgusting. Have you checked your attic? I am sure there are some "treasures" up there as well. bleh

Beth said...

Great idea! We have eaves upstairs in our guest rooms, and I'm thinking we might be able to bust through the space where the roof angles down and turn the empty space into some built-ins, for storing quilts and blankets, which guest invariably need during winter up there in those old, cold rooms, and for bookshelves, which I never have enough of. I think it would look great--those slanty-celing rooms always seem so romantic to me that I just want to tuck in with a book and ignore all the responsibilities calling to me from downstairs. Guests might as well have the fun!

Jean Craig said...

Wow! Great idea - our family loves legos too!

tahoe34 said...

We love our cupboard under the stairs! And Legos? My son is 28 and they are still his favorite pastime. And yes. He just finished the Harry Potter castle.

Liz in TX said...

Oh if you love legos......you need to get that Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle! I have to say its by far the coolest lego set we have (and we have LOTS at this point - son is 11). It's pricey but I have to say I'm really glad we got it. It was hours of family fun putting it together.

Closet is great, love it!

Great space. Our stairs has the basement staircase directly under them, so no 'cupboard' for us. My boys would have loved something like that when they were little.

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