The infamous Staircase

The infamous staircase cubby and stage! When we started planning out our living room this project was one we were very excited about. We wanted a little “stage” for the kids to play on as well as the two cubbies to fill up the empty space under the stairs to store toys. I always had visions of Stone and Crosby putting on shows for the family during holiday get-togethers. Since I have boys and not girls I can now see the stage becoming a place to run wildly around and jump off of wearing a ninja outfit!

Normally, when you’re doing some projects you can make things work if things aren’t 100% perfect. Well, when it comes to finish carpentry there is no sort of in the equation. We went to Restore the habitat for humanity store and found those door fronts.  They were already attached to the front door piece. Our next step was to make the box to attach to the door front. We used finish plywood and painted all the pieces that would show.


Once we had the boxes built and we had their measurements we could begin framing out under the stairs. For some reason it was more difficult than we thought. We covered all the 2×4 studs with beadboard painted white so we had to make sure we offset the framing to accomodate the 1/4 inch beadboard. We also had to make sure the back of the cubbies were supported so our box structure wouldn’t fall back. We also wanted an outlet inside the cubby so when the boys were older they could plug in all their electronics and still keep them tucked away. That was a feat lining up the outlet with the box and having it all fit together. Once we were done framing and the bead board was nailed on we slid the boxes into their holes with our fingers crossed that they would lay smoothly and fit.  When we got them in we had to face nail the front doorframe to fit them in securely.


After all our other projects we’ve come to realize that the most important part of any finish woodworking project is the detail trim work. We used to throw some trim up, nail it in and call it a day. Now after all these projects we now take our time and actually use wood filler and fill the nail holes or any gaps in the wood sand it down and repaint parts. This is how you make a project “Pop”! It makes a world of difference to take the time to do that detail work. It takes a DIY project and turns it into a project that looks like you hired it out.


About mauledbydesign

The story of a growing family experiencing farm life, design and everyday chaos..


  1. Very lovely. What a clever use of typically wasted space.

  2. Nonni

    Don’t you have a daughter now too! Where is her pic?

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