By Nicole Jacobs, Houzz
Stair landings — those resting spots in the middle of a staircase or at its top — are often underused real estate in the home. But a little planning can help you make better use of it, whether your space is on the small side or quite large. From adding a dedicated game table to creating a laundry area, there are many possibilities if you’re considering a remodel or building a new home. And a few of these ideas might work for your existing landing, with minimal changes. Read on for inspiration that could take your stairwell to new heights.
Martha O’Hara Interiors, original photo on Houzz
1. Seating nook. This is a classic way to make use of the space on a stair landing, particularly if there’s a spot in your home (or planned home) to build in a window seat, as shown in this photo. If your landing has additional space beyond what you need for the bench itself, you can add more features.
If you’re not remodeling or building: You can still create cozy stair landing seating if you have sufficient space. One option is to add a comfy daybed rather than build in a banquette.
Visbeen Architects, original photo on Houzz
2. Game table. If you have sufficient room for both a table and a pathway for walking, another fun option is to build in a table and two benches along the perimeter of your stair landing, as this photo shows, to create a spot for playing a board game or round of chess. The booth-style seating nook shown here is reminiscent of what you’d see in a restaurant, which would also make it conducive for cocktails or a cup of tea. Installing drawers or cubbies beneath the seats provides storage for games, toys or your martini shaker.
CWB Architects, original photo on Houzz
3. Office. Squeezing out room for a home office can be tough when you have a smaller floor plan, but if you’ve got enough square footage on a stair landing, this can make for a good spot. Here, a modest built-in desk, open bookcases and task lighting create an efficient workstation. This setup could function well as a work-from-home niche or a homework station, depending on your household’s needs.
If you’re not remodeling or building: This is one of the simpler options to implement even without a remodel, as you don’t have to use built-ins. You could use a freestanding desk and wall-mounted shelves to create a similar setup.
Becker Architects Limited, original photo on Houzz
4. Library. Many landings are simple, small platforms that serve as a transition between stair flights, but some lead into hallways, like the landing-turned-hallway pictured here. The long wall is a great place to install floor-to-ceiling bookcases, transforming what could otherwise be a plain landing and hallway into a useful place to store books.
If you’re not remodeling or building: You could also consider using freestanding tall shelves. You’d just need to be sure you have enough clearance to walk around them.
Traditional Mudroom, original photo on Houzz
5. Mudroom. Having a family means needing a place to store all the coats, hats and footwear that go with your brood. If you don’t already have a designated place in your home, consider adding one to an available stair landing or making space for one on a landing if you’re remodeling. This landing is situated off an entry, making it a good place to kick off wet boots before leaving tracks through the house. Hooks and shelves help keep outdoor paraphernalia corralled, and even in an attractive way.
If you’re not remodeling or building: This solution could work great still using a combination of freestanding benches, wall hooks and shoe racks. Again, you’ll want to make sure that you have the depth available at the landing to be able to maneuver around it and for it not to look clunky. It’s a good idea to test it out before installing anything.
Beach Style Living Room, original photo on Houzz
6. Living area. This stair landing is large enough to function as a full living room, complete with built-ins, a fireplace and comfy chairs for relaxing and reading. It’s easy to conceive of using it as an additional living space or teen retreat. This type of landing zone is typically best to plan for as part of a remodeling project or new build, as many homes otherwise won’t devote this much square footage to the landing area.
7. Laundry. If you’re one of those folks who prefer laundry on the floor level the bedrooms are on, a landing laundry closet could work well for you. This is definitely something to remodel for, or to plan ahead for if you’re building a new home, as you’ll need to have the washer and dryer hookups and waterlines installed.