Specht Harpman Architects
Architects & Designers
Manhattan Micro-Loft modern-staircase
 

Manhattan Micro-Loft

Located at the top of a brownstone on Manhattan's Upper West Side, this apartment had a tiny footprint of just 425 feet, but the space stretched vertically for approximately 25 feet, and had access to a roof terrace.

Our solution created four separate "living platforms" inserted within the space that provide room for all the essentials and still allow the apartment to feel open and light-filled. The lowest level is an entry and kitchen space, and a few steps up is the main living area. Above the living area is a cantilevered bed pavilion that projects out into the main space, supported on steel beams. A final stair leads up to a roof garden. All the spaces flow into one another, and the idea of distinct "rooms" dissolved.

Given the miniscule size of the apartment, every inch of space is put to use. Stairs are not merely for circulation through the apartment, but feature built-in storage cabinetry and drawers below. The main bath and shower, in fact, are also built below the primary staircase. The kitchen features fully concealed appliances, flip up high storage units for easy access, and a countertop that wraps into the main living space, becoming a virtual 'hearth' with built-in entertainment system. There are no traditional closets in the entire apartment.

Materials throughout are selected to emphasize the spatial characteristics of the project. The perimeter is light, with painted (existing) brick, glass backsplashes and shelving, and white lacquered kitchen cabinets, stair cabinets, and fittings. The cantilevered bed pavilion is clad in dark wood, and anchors the space - a central object around which everything revolves. A dark wood floor and wood stair treads lead through and around the apartment, spiraling up onto the wood deck at the room. Given the number of built-in features, furnishings are minimal in number, with only a couch, coffee table, bed, and a side chair necessary.

Design Team: Scott Specht, Louise Harpman, Amy Lopez-Cepero, Sheryl Jordan, Devin Keyes

Photography: Taggart Sorenson
URL
http://www.spechtharpman.com

This photo has 6 questions

lydiarosevanadia wrote:
Very cool - Not a question but a comment. It's beyond cool, practical, efficient, we have closet that is underneath the stairs going upstairs. The closet door is opposite the steps, the closet door is a full door height and width. Inside the ceiling tapers down as you walk in towards the back. The staircase is next to a hallway and has a full wall like this one. I'm wondering if I can do this and would it be harder or easier considering the open space of the closet that is on the other side of this wall. I hope I haven't confused anyone.
   Comment   March 28, 2014
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Specht Harpman Architects
There were actually a couple questions there in your comment. You can do this if the structure of your stair allows it. If you already have a stair in place, you most likely will have to modify the structure below it and rebuild the entire stair. Your current closet shouldn't make it easier or harder, it's typical for wood stairs to have empty spaces below them.
March 28, 2014 at 2:03pm   
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nonutnation wrote:
What color stain is used on the stairs and floor? Jacobean?
   Comment   November 22, 2013
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Specht Harpman Architects
It's probably a walnut stain, but didn't keep track of what it was called. Every wood/stain combination gives different results, so it's best to find a few colors you like and test them out on the actual wood you are using.
November 22, 2013 at 11:28am   
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Specht Harpman Architects
This was actual Walnut with a clear stain.
December 12, 2013 at 12:48pm   
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sewfinw wrote:
Great job! - Love the before pics & last elevation of the whole unit. Wonderful use of space.
   Comment   November 19, 2013
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Specht Harpman Architects
Thanks!
February 3, 2014 at 1:28pm   
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Intelligent Design wrote:
What materials are the treads & risers and how is it finished?
   Comment   September 1, 2013
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Specht Harpman Architects
solid wood with a dark stain
September 12, 2013 at 3:20pm     
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megglesmcd wrote:
Love the vertical lines running up the stairs. Are they cables? - These stairs are amazing, they look perfect for the space. I love everything about how you've designed them. I'm just wondering what kind of material the vertical safety bars are made out of and how do they attach to the ceiling? Thanks!
   Comment   July 26, 2013
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Specht Harpman Architects
these are standard stainless steel cables. they are attached to a metal strap that is then secured to the ceiling structure.
July 26, 2013 at 11:13am      Thanked by megglesmcd
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Linda Fulghum Goodman wrote:
Why can't I share this on FB? - Hhh
   Comment   April 10, 2013
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Specht Harpman Architects
I don't know; that is a question for houzz.com. You could share this link if you'd like to: http://www.architizer.com/en_us/projects/view/manhattan-microloft/1673/#.UWXahcrJKF_
April 10, 2013 at 2:34pm   
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What Houzz contributors are saying:

One can see from this vantage point just how cleverly the architect has concealed an enviable amount of storage beneath this stair. The stair stringers, the sloping wood framing supporting the stair, are set back from the face of the cabinet doors. This allows the cabinet doors to follow the rectangular sawtoothed profile of the treads and risers and not the angular underside of the stringer. When the doors are closed, they form an understated patchwork on the face of the wall and complement the architecture of the room.
Need help visualizing storage options? Designers have a lot of practice finding opportunities in unexpected places.6 Reasons to Hire a Home Design Professional

What Houzzers are commenting on:

Debra Restifo added this to debra_restifo's Ideas
7 hours ago
Storage
Lisa Rademeyer added this to Lisa Rademeyer's Ideas
10 hours ago
Stairs
Nathalie Fagan added this to Staircases
18 hours ago
Clever storage and well hidden within staircase.
mct4336 added this to mct4336's Ideas
22 hours ago
annewilson4769 added this to idea book
22 hours ago
some doors some drawers - STORAGE UNDER STAIRS
karinstorm added this to stairs
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cables
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Basement?
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Staircase with drawers
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Yesterday
Under the stairs storage
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drawers excellent ideas
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Yesterday
staircase storage
Susie Hewitt added this to Susie Hewitt's Ideas
on Tuesday
Storage
clinnyc added this to clinnyc's storage ideas
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good use of wasted space when you have to have large stairs
nana2220 added this to nana2220's Ideas
on Tuesday
Aprovechamiento del espacio de escaleras
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on Tuesday
solid tread; storage idea
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Great storage idea
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Cajones
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on Monday
mmm
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storage under stairs
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Under stairs storagse
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Future planning
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Emmagatzematge escala
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Cool storage idea!
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under the stair shelfing
pinpie added this to basement storage soultions
on Sunday
Not favorite
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on Sunday
espace de rangement sous l'escalier
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last Saturday
Así se va a ver!!
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basement storage
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understair-storage'>Understair storage
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Cabinets n draws
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Utilizing under the stairs
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Efficient use of space
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Staircase
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Staircase
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Storage in the guestroom
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Storage
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symmetry
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Stair storage
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Great storage idea
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July 17, 2014
Storage space
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July 17, 2014
Cabinetry as wall architecture
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July 17, 2014
Stairs storage
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July 15, 2014
idea
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July 15, 2014
modern under stairs storage
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July 15, 2014
Storage in an odd space!
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July 15, 2014
Built ins
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July 15, 2014
Le rangement sous l'escalier
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July 14, 2014
storage
Cheryl Golden added this to cheryl_golden's ideas
July 13, 2014
Makes me wish I had a staircase.
annec2003 added this to Basement
July 13, 2014
Storage under stairs
isabellesirois added this to isabellesirois's Ideas
July 13, 2014
pratico pratique
jwong41489 added this to jwong41489's Ideas
July 13, 2014
Monica likes invisible drawer underneath staircase
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July 13, 2014
H
carolyntayl added this to Exterior Ideas
July 13, 2014
adelemcalear added this to Tiny Home & Small Spaces
July 12, 2014
Under stair storage has uniformly sized doors for a cleaner aesthetic.
حلا العطيات added this to webuser_4523213's Ideas
July 12, 2014
درج وتخزين
kikibee1 added this to kikibee1's Ideas
July 12, 2014
Bookcase storage in stairs
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July 12, 2014
Guardatutti
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July 12, 2014
Stone & storage
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July 12, 2014
storage
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July 12, 2014
staircase storage 3
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July 12, 2014
Under stair storage
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July 11, 2014
STORAGE
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July 11, 2014
cool!
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July 11, 2014
Meluha
DSL Furniture & DSL Property Developers added this to Mr Lam
July 10, 2014
storage solutions
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July 10, 2014
storage
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July 10, 2014
stairs
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July 10, 2014
Storage under stairs
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July 9, 2014
Staircase
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Escalera. Almacenamiento
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July 9, 2014
Hidden storage
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July 9, 2014
like
arehrone33 added this to arehrone33's Ideas
July 9, 2014
Possibilities for the living room with more storage
kelseynathan added this to Living Room Ideas
July 9, 2014
cabinets under stairs
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July 9, 2014
qq
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July 9, 2014
nen shkalla
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July 9, 2014
scari
Lynne Miller added this to basement storage ideas
July 8, 2014
More stairs
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July 8, 2014
Pared, escalaera y gavetas
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July 8, 2014
Basement stairs
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July 8, 2014
Do this under our basement step
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July 8, 2014
Stairs
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July 8, 2014
Clever storage
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Armários
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metal
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July 7, 2014
escaleras
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July 7, 2014
color cabinets
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July 7, 2014
Organisation, ligne verticales, coté des marches
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July 6, 2014
Stairway storage
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Stairs case and rangement marches design
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July 6, 2014
пространство под лестницей
Ira Zega added this to ira_zega's Ideas
July 5, 2014
Stair with function
Nestor Bercasio added this to nestor_bercasio's Ideas
July 5, 2014
Built in cabinet looks cool
mattyt85 added this to hall
July 5, 2014
Love, love, love, love, love this storage!
mcmullia added this to mcmullia's Ideas
July 4, 2014
Great storage
terry9smith added this to terry9smith's Ideas
July 4, 2014
storage
Faraway added this to Stairs
July 4, 2014
Love the use of the hardwood overlaying the stairs. Can somehow coat it with different materials or even color for better effects.
Lisette Simard added this to --_--/--
July 3, 2014
Chalet
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July 3, 2014
Skapet
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July 3, 2014
Stair storage
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July 3, 2014
staircase detail
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July 2, 2014
Painted brick wall
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July 2, 2014
Storage
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July 2, 2014
Storage
tamifrench added this to Stairs
July 2, 2014
stair storage - over hang step? possible with current placement and door?
ajar36 added this to ajar36's Ideas
July 2, 2014
Under staircase
mccnory added this to mccnory's Ideas
July 2, 2014
This is so brilliant, no wasted space
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July 2, 2014
Hidden storage
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July 2, 2014
C2
Tamer Mina added this to tamer_mina's Ideas
July 2, 2014
Storage under stairs
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July 1, 2014
schodiste
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Heaven's Garden
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storage
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June 30, 2014
stair cajones
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June 30, 2014
Stairs, drawers
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June 30, 2014
Under stairs
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June 30, 2014
under the stairs cabinet
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June 30, 2014
Stairs
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June 30, 2014
The cupboards
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June 30, 2014
Stairs
avajoyinfante added this to Stairs
June 30, 2014
simple stairs with storage
elletomay added this to elletomay's ideas
June 29, 2014
the storage space on the side of the stairs
tjpatchell added this to tjpatchell's Favorites
June 29, 2014
Stair storage
poppyfloppy added this to poppyfloppy's Ideas
June 29, 2014
The cupboard under the stairs
Ariadna Saenz added this to Ariadna Saenz's Ideas
June 29, 2014
Ejemplo 2
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June 29, 2014
Painted brick
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June 29, 2014
Stairway
heartmindspirit added this to Great Storage Ideas
June 29, 2014
nice contemporary storage
alimas44 added this to alimas44's Ideas
June 29, 2014
Stairs - metal hand rail
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June 29, 2014
Stairs
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June 28, 2014
utility
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June 28, 2014
Armários embaixo da escada
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June 28, 2014
understairs
lilache2004 added this to lilache2004's ideas
June 28, 2014
amenajare sub scara
manjapa added this to manjapa's Ideas
June 28, 2014
Love the idea for stare case
Maski Srikesh added this to maski_srikesh's Ideas
June 27, 2014
Step boxes concept
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June 27, 2014
Storage
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June 27, 2014
steps redo
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June 27, 2014
Storage
Rachel Irwin added this to Clever wee ideas
June 27, 2014
Like the modern storage under the stairs.
Fran Gourdet added this to Lower Great Room
June 27, 2014
This could be camouflaged storage space.
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June 27, 2014
Keren
Jacqueline Cameron added this to jacqueline_cameron4600814's Ideas
June 27, 2014
Interesting staircase
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June 26, 2014
Table leaf storage
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June 26, 2014
Storage under the stairs
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June 26, 2014
nice
nk2gm added this to nk2gm's Ideas
June 26, 2014
Use of space
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June 26, 2014
lépcső alatti tároló
Jared Cooper added this to jared_cooper's ideas
June 26, 2014
lockers under stairs
Vernisha Charles-Jones added this to webuser_2276089's ideas
June 26, 2014
very handy
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June 25, 2014
Unique tread & risers
Akram contractors added this to akrama's ideas
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Space
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June 25, 2014
Storage
Cindy Ellman added this to Cindy Ellman's Ideas
June 25, 2014
Andrea base stairs
juditka65 added this to juditka65's Ideas
June 25, 2014
Side staircase storage
henrykazalma added this to Nike and Henry's Dreamhome
June 25, 2014
Use of underneath the staircase
banafsh61 added this to banafsh61's Ideas
June 25, 2014
Cute and cool storage idea!
dorman added this to basement
June 25, 2014
perfect for our basement
cathadougl added this to Storage Ideas
June 25, 2014
Under staircase storage
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June 25, 2014
Clever storage
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June 25, 2014
Stair cubbies
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June 25, 2014
unique
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June 24, 2014
Storage under stairs in basement
tescoffery added this to My Basement Ideabook
June 24, 2014
stair storage idea.
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June 24, 2014
stairs
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June 24, 2014
Under stair storage
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June 24, 2014
If your tight for space
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June 24, 2014
b id
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June 24, 2014
storage between beams
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June 24, 2014
built in storage. great for stairs in playroom
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June 24, 2014
Stairs
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June 24, 2014
storage underneath the stairs
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June 24, 2014
Escalera cajones puertas
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June 23, 2014
Great stairs
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June 22, 2014
Cool storage idea
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June 22, 2014
Storage under staircase
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June 22, 2014
storage
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Storage
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Staircase
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June 22, 2014
Storage
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June 22, 2014
Storage
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June 22, 2014
place to store things, but maybe basin hallway if cabinet is open by mistake
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June 22, 2014
Stair storage
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June 22, 2014
laiptai
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June 22, 2014
Cabinetries under the stairs
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June 22, 2014
Innovative and simply creative.
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June 20, 2014
Cupboards under stairs
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June 20, 2014
Like draws under stairs
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Escaleras
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Under the stair storage
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Under stair storage
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