Or build a niche into a windowed wall on a wide stair landing or in an upstairs hallway.Tip: Got space under a window near the front entry?A long run of surface-mount, low bookcases transforms the space at the top of the stairs into a library.The second-to-last one on the right (not shown) is set on casters, so it can be pulled out to access crawl-space storage.
A spiral staircase is a compact alternative to a traditional one.
Build in a flip-top bench and you've got room to stash extra scarves, gloves, and other coat-closet overflow.
How to do it: Refinish the treads and paint the risers white—or get creative and paint a runner-like pattern.
Estimated cost: 1 gallon of white paint, sandpaper, wood putty to fill tack holes, 1 quart of stain, and 1 gallon of clear polyurethane, about ; Lowe's Install a compact spiral staircase to conserve floor space.
Here, a little window seat instantly turns what might have been dead space into a secret hideaway any kid would love.
For a similar effect, exploit under-the-eaves space in an attic for a laid-back homework zone.