What should I do with this space by my stairs

NorthlutAugust 26, 2012

My new house has this neat little space by the stairs, but I'm not sure what to do with it. If you have a similar space, I'd love to see pictures of what you've put there. Or even if you just have ideas, let me know. The only real constraint is that there is no power outlet there, so no lamps or anything that needs to be plugged in.

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Let's see:

-Round or octogonal table -- dark wood -- with a creamy ironstone bowl filled with rocks, moss and orchids ...

-Pretty wingchair ... covered in plain creamy linen and a small brightly colored pillow ...

-lovely little chest of drawers ... top with ironstone pot and silk fern

-large round sturdy basket -- fill with pot of seasonal plants ...

-antique rotating bookstand -- fill with black-and-white family photos or shells or a collection of small tortoiseshell boxes ...

-old fernstand or lectern holding a treasured book or keepsake

-antique garden statue

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 2:30PM
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I have no dea if this fits your decor: there is great bookshelf wallpaper .
Use that and add a small stool or ..... If you like whimsy: find a. Small table and cut the legs down. Place a book or two, cup and saucer. Make it a minerature room .

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 2:40PM
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Hmmm, took a second look and see it is larger/ taller than I first thought.
I like tea cats wing chair .

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 2:42PM
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Fori is not pleased

Suit of armor?

It's a nice "problem" you have. Interesting space!

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 2:48PM
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I assume this is in your entry area. Would someone really sit there and read or have tea? If so, a wing chair is a great idea.

However, if that is unlikely, then I think a wonderful round table, either with a lovely pedestal base or skirted in a great print or textural fabric, would be super there. A tall floral arrangement or a piece of sculpture, perhaps a few framed photos and a tray for keys?

You could also see if there is an outlet on the wall in the room to the left, and see if they could punch another outlet through on the entry side. Being able to add a beautiful lamp to add a warm light in the area would be very nice.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 2:49PM
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What a lovely space. I like the antique garden statue idea but most anything you do will look great.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 2:50PM
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It's near the entry, but not immediately in your face when you walk in the door. When you come in, the stairs are to your left, you have to walk a short way to them and past to come to this.

We definitely could add an outlet there, and I've considered it, but it would be somewhat involved because there is no electrical on the opposite side, so it would require pulling it in from some distance. Which I'm not sure is worth it.

I don't think anyone would realistically sit there, except perhaps to take off/put on shoes. There are no windows visible when you're sitting there, nor any of the large common areas (living room, family room, kitchen, etc.), so it would feel pretty lonely.

Thanks for the great ideas so far, keep them coming!

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 3:24PM
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Here's a sketch of that area of the house. The red shape is this space (not to scale. I just freehanded it). If you go in the front door, go left and keep walking, you'll come to the family room and kitchen. Through the laundry is the garage.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 3:35PM
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Does it get any natural light?

I'd put a tall ficus tree toward the back, with a battery-operated uplight behind it.

Then a slender little chest of drawers in front of it with a tray for keys, mail, and the like, and the drawers for things you can never figure out where to put, like your gloves, and candles, and light bulbs for the LR lamps, and an envelope for tips for the pizza delivery guy, and extra reading glasses (if you are now a trombone player like I am) and stamps and a notepad and pen for when you suddenly want to write down the email address of someone who is leaving.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 4:46PM
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No direct sunlight. Some indirect natural light from the living room windows, but it's not super bright. I'm not sure if that would be ok for a ficus or not (I'm not very good with plants), but I do like the idea.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 5:37PM
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I'd bring electric in and then put in an indoor fountain with maybe a plant or two.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 6:51PM
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Interesting but very unusual space. Have you looked at the stairs thread in the gallery? There isn't a space exactly like yours, but if you scroll down through the whole thing you will find lots of pretty ideas, I think.

Here is a link that might be useful: Staircase Eye Candy Blowout!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 5:50AM
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There is one other thread you might find perhaps even more helpful, and that's the thread on foyers and hallways. It has a lot of little vignettes meant for not too big spaces and again you might get a good idea or two.

Hope these two links help!

Here is a link that might be useful: Foyer and Hallway Eye Candy!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 6:16AM
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I'm all about function so... Do you use this door to go in and out of the house? Would it be helpful to have a place to put on shoes or a mirror to check yourself before you leave?

If you normally use the garage or side door, so you don't need a shoe area here, then I would put a smallish table and something you like on top that isn't a dust catcher. I'd guess that because of the stairs you might find a lot of dust falling in that area.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 7:05AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

How about a tall clock...I love clocks...we have several and I enjoy every one....living pieces of history.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 7:29AM
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Very unique space..... maybe a round table with a small stack of books, a vase of your favorite flowers (I too am not good with flowers, but you could use some very realistic looking silk flowers) and one or two photos.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 9:24AM
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PIcs # 19 and 31 in the gallery thread that oceanna just posted a link to...for foyers..exactly your space !

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 2:32PM
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Round vintage table(tall, not an end table), and vintage birdcage filled w/greenery and a few birds. On the back wall, a collection of small vintage mirrors, the Italian florentine ones are nice, EBay or Etsy . ;o)

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 2:54PM
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I would not put in a fountain or a large fake or real tree. It is a home, not an office lobby. If a chair won't be useful, don't do it. I bet nobody will ever sit there to read, with so many other places available.

My great-grandmother's house had a little area just like that next to her stairs in her old victorian house. When everyone got telephones, she had hers put there on a little table with a little chair. I always loved what she called her "telephone parlor."

Of course, you don't need anything like that, but try to think practically. Keep it simple, and avoid the lobby look or restaurant feel. Don't fill the area just to fill it. Be patient and you will find the right thing, the right use, for the space.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 4:56PM
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Thanks everyone, these are great ideas! I had never seen those galleries before, so helpful!!!

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 7:42PM
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Maybe a weird idea & not cheap but maybe a creative designer could fashion a built-in something in that space w/ a table surface or bend, some shelves, a cabinet or cubbies (if you went the mud room route, a cushioned bench on top) underneath... use the shorter wall for small prints or something... it could be really interesting & useful too.
Or some built in bookshelves could be interesting.
Put "nook by stairs" into houzz.com and there are a lot of cool things.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 9:17PM
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You're welcome! If you go back to the list of questions/comments, the link for the Gallery can always be found at the top/right of the question list, and also bottom center of the page. There are some very cool threads over there, if you know what to look for. There are a lot of room ones, a porch one, a cottage decor one, and color ones (blues, greens, etc.). Those are my faves and you can always find them with the search engine at the bottom of the Gallery page.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 1:04AM
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a hall tree - not the huge kind with mirror, just the kind with hooks for a coat, jacket or hat and maybe a place for a umbrella. like in pic #60 at the link above.

or you could put a strip of hooks on the left wall. It looks straight and wide enough for a few hooks for coats, hats. Have a small bench made for the 'corner' area as a place to change shoes when going in or out. I like to wear different shoes inside than I wear outside (in hopes of less damage to my flooring).

i'd probably put a piece of sculpture there on a table.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 3:47AM
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IF it's deep enough have a banquette made - with drawers, if you use the area you can sit there to put on shoes, etc.
If not deep enough, and you don't want the expensive of adding an outlet, you could use the tall battery operated pillar candles on a small table or shelf that have timers. It would give you some lightening, which it sounds like you want.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 12:52PM
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We have a similar space, maybe ours is smaller......yes, it is a fake plant, I don't love them but it seems to work here. You look at the top and sides of whatever is in there when you walk up or down the stairs and although there is much natural light, the real palm I tried there "reached out" towards the light and wanted it to be reaching up" .....

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 4:01PM
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There's a couple idea's at Overstock, they have many idea's for corners, of course you would need measurements, they even have elec. fireplaces, corner low chairs, and corner tables.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 4:53PM
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Really think use. My sister put a really cute table at the end of her stairs, just as you come in the door. I loved it and was sad it was gone the following year when I visited. Turns out her family drove her crazy piling it with crap. A flat surface invites piles. Why a chair/bench/seating where no one will sit? Why a fountain, inside? A plant, just to fill a hole until it dies? Do we know if this is near the front door? Why does an umbrella stand come to mind?

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 5:56AM
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lv_r_golden - Sorry, to be off topic here, but does your floor stop at the entryway or go into the living area? I'd love to see some pictures if it goes into the living area, because I've been thinking about doing the same thing.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 8:08AM
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Sorry to be putting this here.....I don't know how to post a new message, only how to respond. Yes, the tile (travertine) is in most of the house, including the upstairs (extra bedrooms, theater room and game room have carpet)...the family room has a large sisal rug and our bedroom and bath have wool area rugs. The house has some angles that make the pattern be diagonal rather than straight in parts of the house. We are in SoCal so the bare floor works here. SOOO sorry for the big pics, I have been trying to shrink them for 20 minutes and this is as good as it got...and again so sorry to add this to the original post....

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 2:41PM
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Northlut, How about posting some pictures of the area around the space in your stair turn....seeing the larger area might be helpful.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 2:57PM
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This would probably be better with elec. so you could have light, but I thought this was a great idea, esp if you could inset the bookshelves between the studs

fabulous clock?

Traditional Staircase design by Salt Lake City Architect Alice Lane Home Collection

something like this in your own style? table, floral arrangement and sculpture

objet d'art??:

sorry to be irreverent here but I saw this and couldn't resist:

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 3:30PM
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"Why does an umbrella stand come to mind?"

that's something a lot of people use when it rains. You need a place to put a wet one until it dries.

A bench? a chair? so one has a place to sit down to change shoes. A lot of people don't wear their outside shoes in the house. I remember needing a place for my kids to sit while I put their shoes on - or their boots. Sometimes both.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 10:58PM
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Thanks, lv_r_golden!

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 8:28AM
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