20 Creative Ideas To Use The Space Under Your Stairs

Posted by Harshad

20 Creative Ideas To Use The Space Under Your Stairs

20 Creative Ideas To Use The Space Under Your Stairs

Posted: 26 Dec 2013 07:01 AM PST

Fans of the Harry Potter saga would know that he slept in a room under the stairs, a place where normal folks use as closet space. As these 20 examples will show you, there is more than one way to use the space under the stairs, and while they are not to house a teen wizard, that space, no matter how little, can be put to more practical use.

You can reinvent it as a place for reading, storage, work or a quiet nap (with an excellent view). There are surely more great ways to save space in the home and if you know more of these inspiring ideas, let us know.

For more great home design ideas you can try out:

Green Urban Housing in Philadelphia. Have no room to keep your bicycles outside? Just hang them up under the staircase.

Farmhouse Restoration (Photo by Laurey W. Glenn). That’s a nice place to chill out and read a book or two.

Open Plan Living Space by Kia Sunda. Fancy a mini library? Just place a chair there and you have your own reading corner.

700 Palms Residence by Ehrlich Architects. You can also put together a nice shelf for exotic things you get from your travels.

Copake Lake House by Thom Filicia. Here’s one that has been turned into a small kitchen with a sink and shelves for tableware.

Twin Peaks by John K. Anderson Design. Here’s another reading corner with a touch of motherly love. It also looks like a great spot to unwind (and for mom to hide from the kids).

Kirkland Residence by Rhodes Architecture + Light. Add a window, a sofa and you have the perfect place to nap under the warmth of the sun.

Hamilton by Randal Kurt Photography. Aside from storing books, you can also use the space under the stairs to store wine bottles.

Grant Park Interior Renovation by Renewal Design-Build. You can always choose to turn it into a study room or play room for the kids. At least the toys and lego bricks stay in there!

Manhattan Micro Loft by Specht Harpman Architects. Put a few drawers in and you have places to store your umbrella, golf clubs, shoes, bags etc.

Home Desk by Hus & Hem. So long as nothing falls through the cracks between the steps, this home office idea is pretty cool.

Staircase with Bookshelves by Hand Werk. One more home library under the stairs idea, this time with a comfortable reading spot near the window sill.

Fridhemsgatan Loft by Fantastic Frank. The space under the stairs in some homes can be big enough to house not only a library but a whole living room. Perspective FTW.

Beach Cottage by Juliana Lahoz. Need a spot to put the TV?

Waukesha Lower Level by Brillo Home Improvements. For the bulk of the area, working sink; for the smaller wedges, wine!

West Loop Aerie by Scrafano Architects. I’m not sure which came first, the storage spaces or the staircases.

West Village Brownstone by Billinkoff Architecture PLLC. At the first glance this understairs niche seems to be a wall, but in fact it's a hidden storage. Love the detail they put on the doors to suit the staircase design.

Annie Street House by Tom Hurt. This small office nook looks pretty cool and cozy to work, and get some quiet time to yourself.

Sugar Bowl Residence by John Maniscalco Architecture. A warm spot to marvel at the scenery (and snow) outside.

Harris Powder Room by Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects. Why waste the space when you can turn it into a powder room?


Get SMS Chat Heads On Android Phone Using Ninja SMS

Posted: 26 Dec 2013 05:01 AM PST

If you’ve been using Facebook Messenger over the past few months, you’re probably familiar with the Chat Heads feature. For those not in the know, Chat Heads are floating icons that appear on your screen whenever you receive a new message.

It’s a great feature, since you can read and reply to messages without having to switch between apps. But did you know that you can also have Chat Heads for your SMS contacts? Yes you can, with an app called Ninja SMS.

Ninja SMS Intro

Ninja SMS is an SMS app for Android that brings Chat Head-like functionality to text messaging. In addition to Chat Heads, it also has a number of other features such as message encryption and Emoji support, as well as a nice-looking and elegant interface. If having Chat Heads for your SMS contacts sounds like it’s up your alley, read on.

Getting Started With Ninja SMS

Ninja SMS works on any Android device running Android 2.3 or newer. First, download and install the app from the Play Store. Once you have it installed, you have to set it as your default SMS app. This will differ according to device and Android version. If you’re on Android 4.4, it’s as simple as going into Settings > More… > Default SMS app and selecting SMS Ninja.

Setting Ninja SMS As Default SMS App

It’s a bit different for earlier versions though, as you don’t have this option. Instead, you’ll have to go to your default messaging app and disable Notifications and Auto-retrieve for MMS. Once you’ve done that, go to Notifications Settings in Ninja SMS and make sure that notifications are enabled.

Using Ninja SMS

By far the biggest appeal of Ninja SMS is of course its Chat Heads feature. You could even argue that Ninja SMS actually does Chat Heads better than Facebook Messenger. One of the best things about Ninja SMS’ Chat Heads is that you can choose which contacts will appear as Chat Heads.

That way, only your most important contacts’ text messages will appear as Chat Heads. Of course, if you feel like it, you can also enable the Chat Heads feature for all of your contacts.

Ninja SMS Contact List And Messaging

In addition, the floating message window has more features than you get in Facebook Messenger. Each message window has quick toggles to maximise the window, toggle transparency and enable the encrypted messaging service. You also have a choice of color themes, although Ninja SMS doesn’t allow you to create your own themes yet.

Ninja SMS Floating Message Window

As far as settings go, Ninja SMS offers some contact-specific settings such as Chat Head shape, custom notifications and encrypted messaging. There’s also an Advanced Settings menu where you can access the usual settings related to SMS, MMS and notifications. You can also tweak global Ninja SMS settings such as chat head shapes, themes, transparency levels and fonts. There’s even an option to have Ninja SMS wake your screen up every time you receive an SMS.

Ninja SMS Contact Settings And Advanced Settings

To use Ninja SMS for encrypted messaging, both you and your recipient need to be using Ninja SMS, which is just a small obstacle if you’re determined to keep your text messages away from prying eyes. Also, if you’re a fan of Emoji, you’ll be glad to know that Ninja SMS comes with Emoji support built-in.

Ninja SMS Encryption And Emoji


Ninja SMS doesn’t exactly play nicely with other third-party SMS apps such as Go SMS Pro, Handcent SMS or MySMS. These apps will conflict with Ninja SMS when it comes to receiving SMSes from the system. The developer recommends that you either disable these apps or make sure that you install Ninja SMS before any of these other apps.


If Chat Heads for SMS is something that you’ve been looking for, Ninja SMS is definitely the messaging app for you. Even if you’re not too keen on Chat Heads, the other features Ninja SMS offers and its clean, minimalist interface make it an SMS app that’s worth trying out, at least.

There’s also a paid version that costs $1.50, which gives you more customization, including a larger variety of Chat Head shapes and fonts to choose from.



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