Our Storage Spaces: Under the Stairs Progress

Forgive me if I am full of obnoxious exclamation points today {yes, more than normal even}.  I am THRILLED!  We finished under our stairs!

As you know, we decided to take on the most neglected areas of our home, which included our utility room, under our stairs and the garage.  We are still in the middle of finishing all of those spaces as this has been no small task.  Our home has never looked worse... We have piles everywhere, have been eating quick dinners and falling behind on our everyday household chores.  That said, the progress has felt nothing less than amazing.  So far we have emptied all three spaces, sorted through every last bin, taken numerous trips to the donation centers and started tagging items with post-its as a temporary labeling system.

When I left you last time {you can read an entire jumbo update on the process here}, the area under our stairs had been cleaned out, and all of the items were temporarily living in the kid's playroom.

Because this closet is right off of my studio, I decided to dedicate this area to storing everything related to crafting, blogging and projecting.  Hoping for a gift wrap and packaging station and drawers full of happiness, this little space would have to pack a lot of storage punch.

We work in random ways around here, and divide and conquer when we can.  Finishing under the stairs was all about that.  My hubby owned this one for the most part, while I was on mommy duty by day and hutch painting duty by night.

I would quickly pop in and see the night-and-day progress as he worked, I would try to snap a quick photo each time.  Although I am sure it was much more exciting for me to see the progress, I thought I would share a few of the in-progress shots here as well.

This space is incredibly challenging to photograph.  Small, funny angles, no natural lighting, limited places to stand....

Here is the space after the sheetrock was hung.  It instantly made the space feel different, and I couldn't tell if it made it feel bigger because it was lighter with clean lines, or smaller because all of the open studs were closed off.

The Mr. walled off under the slope a little early, as it was easier than trying to sheetrock all of the way down the angled slope of the stairs to the floor.

Although it doesn't look big, this area is 3 1/2 feet wide.  Above you can see it after it was taped, mudded and sanded.

Once my hubby was done finishing the walls, I gave the entire interior a couple of coats of paint.  I went with the same color that is on the studio walls, Behr's Reflecting Pool.  Because the ceiling sloped, I decided to paint the entire interior the same color, which actually made it feel so much bigger!

Oh yeah!  We also trimmed it all out!  That was all it took for me to start bustin' a joyful move.

We also installed a new light.  Finishing touches are what these types of projects are all about.  I went with a semi-flush mount chandelier and it makes the little closet area feel nice and glam.

I love just standing under it!  It lights the space wonderfully and even casts fun shadows around the walls.

And that is where we left off last night!  Finished walls, trim, details and lighting.  And one over the moon wife!

As I mentioned, photos are not displaying the size of the space adequately.  It is actually pretty spacious at 3 1/2 feet wide by 8 3/4 feet long.  After triple measuring, here is the plan I came up with for phase 2 of this project:

I am still on the fence about whether or not I want to keep the door to the closet area.  It opens out into the studio so the benefit is that it doesn't compromise storage under the stairs.  However, it also hides clutter, which could be a good or a bad thing.  And the space is essentially going to be an extension of the office so I kind of like the idea of removing it all together.  Only time will tell I guess!

Looking directly into the area, I am going to add a cabinet/bookshelf, which I am hoping to turn into a packaging/gift wrap station.  Directly to the right of that, all of the drawer systems shown in the playroom photo above, will stack and run along the slope of the back wall.

This plan should hopefully allow for me to maximize the potential storage space, while also keeping everything easily accessible.  The problem I have had with all of these storage areas in the past, is that nothing was easy to get to or maintain.  Bins were stacked on top of and in front of one another which would cause things to pile and make it more challenging to get to the items towards the back.... The new setup creates a little path in front of all of the cabinets and drawers, giving me zero excuses to not put things away when I am done.

Over the next couple of days I am going to be putting everything back into my super fantastic finished storage space.  You can bet the kids are going to be excited to have their playroom back; their toys have taken over every other area of our home.  And mom is going to be excited to have a good system in place because chaos and I go together like oil and water.  Let the happy dancing commence!

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