Before & After: A Mini $250 Makeover for That Awkward Space Under the Stairs

published Mar 13, 2019
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(Image credit: Studio Felix)

The little nook at the bottom of these stairs wasn’t really serving a purpose. The steamer trunk is undeniably cool, but it couldn’t do the heavy lifting of filling out the otherwise blank question mark of a space. Suzanne was transitioning into her new life as founder of a design company and really needed a place to work until she could move into an office. She thought about using the basement, but it was dark and sparse. The two problems became one solution: Suzanne measured the space and realized that the small IKEA desk she had purchased would fit perfectly.

(Image credit: Studio Felix)

The curvy sheepskin rug makes the office look like it is spilling out of the tiny crevice. Slowly building the height from the computer to the sconce to the simple sketch on the wall, the office accents the diagonal lines instead of fighting against them. The spunky colors of the chair, desktop picture, and postcards peek out of the sparseness.

This is one of those quick things you can do to improve your home. Here’s what it took:

The entire process only took a couple days. I purchased the desk and assembled it, purchased the chair and assembled it, hung the artwork, and added all of my office supplies. Once the desk was set up and I had started to work, I realized while it was very bright in the afternoons, the workspace was dark in the early mornings and evenings, and I could barely see anything. My husband is an electrician (and a very handy guy), so I purchased an articulated sconce and he installed it for me. Since we rent our home, we didn’t want to pull wires for a permanent sconce, so I opted for a plug-in that we can take with us when we go.

(Image credit: Studio Felix)

Because she was able to snag a few decorations from other areas of the house, Suzanne spent a mere $250 on the tiny office. She doesn’t have quite as much workspace as she would like, but it’s a perfect (and totally cute) solution until she moves into her new office. Says Suzanne:

I love the amount of light it gets during the day. This little workspace backs onto our south-facing living room, which is my favorite room in the house. The only downside is the small size of the desk; it doesn’t leave a ton of room for spreading out floor plans. That said, this isn’t a permanent solution by any means (eventually I’ll be moving into a small office), but it works great in the meantime.

Thanks so much Suzanne!