Drawers in Stairs

Category: Built-ins

This photo actually showed up a while ago on our site. It was part of our review of the book Built-In Furniture, in which the photo appears. J and I both liked the ingenious concept of building drawers below stairs. Unfortunately, the space in our own stair case wont accomodate the concept because the stairs to the basement are directly below those to the second floor.

I'd promptly forgotten all about the idea until a similar concept showed up the today in a web-design blog I follow called Signal vs. Noise. Their version comes from a magazine on Japanese design concepts, and is decidedly more modern looking...

(click photo to enlarge)

Huh, how about that!? Importantly, this concept really doesn't take any extra space beyond the staircase itself.

Something to think about, once we actually get around to doing anything like that...

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I would give the Japanese design some second thoughts. As I'm sure you are aware, stair treads tend to sag in the center over time.This might render the drawers inoperable. Or difficult to open. I suppose if the treads were a very hard wood, it might work...POPS -30-

I like the drawers in the first picture. We're thinking of doing something similar in our basement. I will have to save this and put it in our long term "to do" or wish list! I would love to hear from someone that has put them in!

we have the luxury of having a closet under the taller stringer of our staircase and have rammed so much crap under there all the way around and up under the lower stringer that no drawer or built in could possibly work. Wonder could it help us tidy up the clutter?? Make the the tools have a better home? ie make them easier to find?? uhm something to think about.

We have the under the stairs closet jammed full too.

One category of furniture I've always been enamored with since seeing them in Asia are the under the stairs chests built to fit under exposed stairways or even function as stairs themselves. I think the japanese call them kaidan tansu. Someday when I win the lottery...

Depending on how much room you have between the stairs and the ceiling underneath, even those little drawers might not work. My ceiling is attached directly to the stringers, which means I just have a little triangle of space under each stair. You could make a really shallow drawer, or actually have it triangle shaped.

I can't remember where I saw this, but an alternative is to have the tread on a piano hinge, such that it can flip up and expose a little storage area underneath. I'm thinking about giving that a try.


Does anyone know where I could pick a drawer runner off that size shown in the first picture?? Its just that I have incorporated the design into my stairs and cant seem to find any runners that extend out as far.

Any help would be glady appreciated.

I have had pull outs under my cellar stairs for years and think they are great. Each one is divided in half vertically and they have varying number of shelves depending on the height of the pull out. They are on casters with wooden "channels" bolted into the floor to act as guides for them rather than typical drawer slides. highly recommend them for extra storage in an often unused space.

Check out this product. it is able to go under most stairs (if they are open) and provide storage. They are only 16" deep and could be restrictive. We are looking at this versus having custom closet built underneath.

Do you have a brochure you could send me?
7 Rostrevor Gardens
Iver Heath


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