The Dursleys’ home at No. 4 Privet Drive in the Harry Potter movie franchise looks like a cosy affair. Their living room is a little small, albeit, the furniture is on the bulky side. They have a compact kitchen as well, and a narrow stairwell leading up to the second floor.
Although the fictional home looks small, some might even say tiny, the Dursleys knew how to maximise what little space they had. The prime example? Harry’s cupboard under the stairs.
The area under the stairs is one of the most underutilised spaces in most homes. With the rising cost of real estate, you should not pass up on an opportunity to make use of what available space you have. After all, why build a new structure when you have an unused room somewhere inside your home?
Below are some of the most underused spaces in homes and a few ideas on how you can transform and make the most out of them.
Under the Stairs
Let’s start with stairs since the space under them really is one of the most underused in any home. We don’t blame you. Not everyone thinks about wasted space in new staircase installations. But with a little repurposing, it becomes valuable square footage with so much storage potential.
If your staircase is near the kitchen or dining area, the space under it can be your wine closet. It provides easy access to wine on nights where you wish to have a glass with dinner or dessert. This space can also be a hidden cubby for your other alcoholic beverages that should be kept from your underage kids.
If you’re not the alcohol-drinking type, you can take out some of the stuff collecting dust in your attic, like holiday decorations and other bulky items, and tuck them away under the stairs. Then, you can repurpose your now clutter-free attic.
A lot of people tend to use the attic as more of an in-home storage locker instead of an actual room. Boxes and pieces of old furniture tend to accumulate here. With the right mindset, though, you can look at this space as less of a graveyard, where old things go to get buried under dust, and more of an extra room in the house.
First up, if you’re a work from home type, the attic makes for a great office space. Paint the walls a light colour, let the natural light in through a window then place your work desk in front of it and voilà: a quiet and distraction-free home office.
Speaking of quiet, introverts looking for a place to hole up to can find that in an attic. You can turn it into your own tiny fort, with a comfortable sofa and shelves of books. If you’re looking for a different kind of quiet for yoga, simply clear the space and lay out your mat for a serene session every time you want one.
Much like the attic, the garage gets the bulk of the stuff you don’t want inside your home. Apart from your vehicles and your kids’ bikes, this is where you typically store old machines, car repair equipment and even gardening tools. But your garage can be more than that.
If you’re tired of having your kids scatter mess inside your home, why not create a special place for them in the garage? You can install a DIY sandbox or a painting space if your kids are more creative. Of course, you should still supervise their activities and not leave them unattended in the garage.
If you want to use the space for you, why not turn it into a home gym? Normally, it’s not very smart to use an entire room in the house only for your gym equipment, which you’ll use only a few times a week. But, if it’s in the garage, there’s no wasted space.
Instead of letting them gather dust or sit empty and idle, you can turn underutilised spaces in your home into some of the most functional areas. With proper inspiration and a bit of patience, you’ll be able to create storage, work and living spaces from once-underused areas.