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12 Genius Ways To Fill That Awkward Space Under The Stairs (PHOTOS)

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Not all homes were blessed with an extra bedroom, giant basement or walk-in closet to play around with. But most houses have a secret spot that's just waiting to be used -- under the stairs. And we're not talking about turning it into a cramped closet or using it to display those photos you've been waiting to hang. Instead, we're taking it to the next level, turning them into home bars, bathrooms and so much more. Granted, it can be an awkward space to envision putting an entire room you didn't know you had, but that's precisely why we've rounded up the inspiration for you.

1. Turn it into a home bar. Adding a home bar doesn't have to be as complicated as a whole kitchen renovation, nor does it have to be simplified to just the introduction of a cart. Presenting... the happy medium.

2. Ditch the other spirits and just stick with wine storage. Unfortunately, not every home comes with its own wine cellar. So instead of dreaming about it, carve out some space for your best bottles in some already carved-out space.

3. Give everyone in your family a cubby. Kick it classroom style and make a place for all the things that would otherwise end up strewn throughout the entryway. And don't forget to add baskets for storage because nobody likes tripping over forgotten shoes.

4. Use it as a first (or second) pantry. Instead of letting those rarely used kitchen staples and special occasion dishes and platters take up precious real estate in your kitchen, stow them away under the stairs. Bonus points for stashing a cart to shuttle the items back and forth.

5. Take the space from cramped to cozy. And what says cozy better than a reading nook? Accent the space with comfy throw pillows on a bench, a selection of books and maybe even some candles.

6. Or go all out with a day bed. Any project that involves taking an unused area of the home and turning it in a place to nap is always (always) a win, especially when it eliminates the need for a guest room. Just don't forget the luxe throw!

7. And if you won't sleep there, let your dog. Your furry friend is pretty much guaranteed to actually enjoy being "in the dog house," while you'll enjoy having the shedding contained to an area he can call his own.

8. Make it a play-friendly zone. Sure, under the stairs is a pretty great spot for hide-and-go-seek, but let's be honest -- it works even better as a petite playhouse. And when the kids grow up, you can trade the quaint details for a large closet door and make it a space for storage.

9. Or make it a work-friendly space. A home office is a fantastic amenity to have, but you don't need an entire room to achieve it.

10. Add an extra bathroom to your home. Until now, not having enough baths was a tricky problem to solve if you weren't willing to go for a small addition or knock down and rebuild a couple walls. But with a little plumbing and electric work and some beautifully bold wallpaper, you too can have yourself a quietly hidden, yet oh-so-fabulous guest bathroom.

11. Sneak in some storage. Have you ever heard someone complaining about too much storage? We haven't either. Achieve the look by adding horizontal or vertical drawers (with shelves or hangers) to get some practical use of this majorly underutilized space.

12. Take your bookshelf to a whole new level. A good bookshelf can transform an entire room and that logic certainly applies here. But don't just limit the look to books -- add accents and decorative elements to bring some serious character in an unexpected way.

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