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Small-Space Living: An Office Under the Stairs in Tokyo

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Small-Space Living: An Office Under the Stairs in Tokyo

September 19, 2014

A media artist couple living in a small duplex space in Tokyo needed a designated work space large enough to accommodate a workbench with sewing machine and drilling mill. So they called on Tokyo firm Mamm Design to come up with a clever strategy; read on to learn about their solution.

Photography by Takumi Ota courtesy of Mamm Design.

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Above: Mamm designed a staircase of concrete and reclaimed wood to create a small but functional under-stairs office space.

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Above: The stairs themselves do not lead to the second floor but instead function as seating, display space, and to divide the office from the rest of the house while allowing natural light to flood in.

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Above: A sliding glass door Intersects the staircase and the office and leads to the exterior patio; in this way the office/studio is both inside of the building and out (allowing for woodworking and building in open air).

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Above: A sewing machine, drilling mill, and workbench.

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Above: Facing on side of the staircase is a built-in work table complete with a folding chair for moving out of the way when not in use.

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Above: By claiming the space underneath a staircase both the exterior and interior of the structure prove useful for the couple.

For another vertically oriented small space, see our post Living Above the Shop: Scandinavian Sundries in Tokyo. And for more in the same city, see our Tokyo City Guide and our post The Outsider’s Guide to Tokyo.

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Frequently asked questions

What is this post about?

This post is about creating a small office under the stairs for small space living.

Why is this post helpful?

This post is helpful because it provides ideas and inspiration for utilizing the often overlooked space under the stairs for a functional home office.

What types of spaces are suitable for this idea?

The idea can be applied in any space with a staircase, as long as there is enough room under the stairs to accommodate a desk or workspace.

What are some benefits of having a home office under the stairs?

Some benefits include utilizing unused space, creating a quiet and private workspace, and saving money on rent for a separate office space.

How can one incorporate storage space under the stairs in a small office?

One can incorporate storage space by utilizing built-in shelving, drawers, or cabinets under the desk, or by installing floating shelves above the desk.

What are some ways to make the under-stairs office look visually appealing?

Some ways to make the space visually appealing include painting the walls a bright color, adding artwork, and using decorative storage solutions.

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