Creating a new workshop (and beer cellar!) in the unlikeliest place (pt. 2)

Because of the floorplan design for the basement were going to lose the space under the basement stairs until I came up with a way to keep it usable. Read part one of this story here.

With the basement-stair-lift-up-rig complete, I needed to finish out the space underneath the stairs, add in shelves to the back of the basement kitchen wall along the stairs, and add some organization to the entire affair.

Looking back at the photo of the stair rig when first complete, you can see that the back wall inside is flush across the wall (above the compressor.)

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Let’s look back at the plans again.

Basement Plans Final

You might notice that little nook of wasted space on the other side of that wall between the space under the stairs and the nook for the bathroom.

Along the way, I had the subcontractors just add that wasted space to the bathroom storage nook. But after I got the stair rig built, I realized I should use some of that space for this storage area — it was so deep in the bathroom that even with slide-out shelves, it was going to be tough to access all of that space.

basement bathroom storage nook

I knocked out the drywall separating the nook from the stair space, framed it into the bathroom about 12-15 inches, and put up some drywall and finished it out. That provided some extra space for the under-stair storage area. (Photo above after taking the space away from the bathroom nook.)

The next step was twofold: (1) adding as many shelves as possible into the back of that kitchen wall with 2x4s and whatever scraps I had lying around…

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…and then (2) adding shelves and organization into the space under the stairs. You could think of them as very tiny workbenches. Definitely a downgrade in the workbench area compared to the old one, but it is actually big enough that I can climb in and stand up straight at those shelves and do a little work.

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Ok, maybe’s that’s not going to happen all that often, but I can definitely get inside and get to all the shelves. And the new little nook that sticks into the bathroom space? There’s the beer cellar.

For now, the top shelf there in the picture above is full of the 15-18 bottles I have stored away now, with a lot more room to add in more bottles. Every can of paint I empty out by painting something in the house means room for 2 more bottles.

The other part of this project was creating a home for the more frequently accessed tools, so I don’t have to lift up the stairs and climb down there every time I need a hammer or screwdriver. With the entry door to the apartment (from the laundry) swinging open as it does, the wall behind the door has some available space.

Laundry plans detail

So I bought a lot of pegboard and filled the entire wall floor to ceiling with space for all of my most frequently used tools and supplies.

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Can I just say that the people who sell pegboard accessories know exactly what they’re doing with all the options and kits and combination packages? It feels specifically designed to appeal to even the most latent OCD tendencies, because I spent at least an hour arranging and rearranging all the hooks and holders and fasteners to best organize the tools.

And I’ll probably do it again. Several times.

My favorite bit was avoiding the overpriced part buckets made for the pegboard, and just buying some blue plastic electrical boxes for a couple bucks and screwing them to the pegboard. There are two big magnetic strips that can hold onto the biggest heaviest items, provided they’ve got some metal on ’em.

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Rachel’s one request was to paint the pegboard yellow so it would match the walls up at the top of the stairs. (The laundry room itself is all white.)

And there you have it. Thanks to some ingenuity, we have space under the stairs rescued from inaccessibility and returned to us as usable storage space. Tools and supplies are hidden away from view. Pegboard with tools are hidden behind a door. Beer cellar complete.

Definitely one of my proudest moments not only with the basement renovation, but among all the projects we’ve completed over the last three years.

How long until this starts being used as a hiding space for hide and seek? Uh oh.

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