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If you’re like most people, the room under your stairs is one of those spaces that gets neglected and underused. But the fact is, a little bit of thoughtful design can turn that often-empty space into an important part of your home’s function. Here are eight ways to make your staircase’s underside a true asset, from simple storage ideas to luxurious hideaway nooks.

Create a Mini Library or Reading Nook

If your living space is cramped, the room under your stairs might be just the solution you’ve been looking for. Invest in shelving and soft furnishings for this cozy spot that you’ll love to sit and read or chill out in. Then, simply add a few soft pillows and lighting to really make this space feel comfortable!

Become a Mini Playroom for Kids

If you have young children, a playroom under the stairs is a great place to let them run loose without worrying about messing up your main living areas. You can put toys, books, games and more in this fun hideaway, then decorate the area to reflect your child’s favorite themes.

Convert It to a Home Office

If the space under your stairs is large enough, consider turning it into a home office where you can work on school projects or pay bills in peace and quiet. Whether you want to utilize the space for your own personal use or as a way to provide an extra work space for guests, this idea is a good option for any home!

Turn It into a Linen Closet

If your closet is too small for all the towels and bed linens you need, converting the understairs space to a linen closet is an excellent solution. With a few shelves, you can keep all those beach towels and washcloths organized and easily accessible!

Organize Your Shoes

Are you always running late, but never find the time to grab your shoes? A pair of drawers under the stairs can serve as an effective shoe organizer, especially if you have a lot of different styles and sizes to store.

Rather than letting clutter collect in your hall, John Bynum Custom Homes suggests installing a series of drawers under the stairs, which offer a discreet way to stash items. With a stylish cabinetry design and clean lines, this storage idea can fit in with any décor.

Make It Your Own

A few well-placed shelving units can make the space under your stairs into a private retreat for your favorite books or other reading material. If you have a lot of books, consider installing multiple shelves or a bench to maximize the space.

Build a Phone Booth Under the Stairs

If you have a smart phone or other electronic device that doesn’t have a landline, creating a space under your stairs can be an ideal place to charge up when you need it. Just make sure you don’t put anything flammable in the space or it will interfere with fire exits.