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I know I said that once I’d decorated the last couple of rooms in the house, I’d down tools for a little while. I had every intention of doing exactly that, but when I get an idea in my head, I just can’t get it out again. For a while now I’ve been thinking about maximising the potential of the space under the stairs. Since we moved into our home in December 2019, the space under the stairs has housed Mia’s desk and extensive craft materials, but I wanted it to be a space that both of the children could enjoy. With very little room to work with and a tight budget I wasn’t sure how or when I’d transform the area, but then I found a small range of wallpaper samples from B&Q and my vision of an under stairs den began to become a reality…
As you can see from the image below, our under stairs space is quite narrow, but it had so much potential. I think the hardest thing about DIY projects aimed at the children is striking the right balance between their individual tastes. So, using a mix of feminine and masculine wallpaper samples I created an under stairs feature wall.
To do this I used a small plate to create a template. Once I’d drawn the circles faintly with a pencil using the plate I began to stick each circle to the wall using a PVA glue and water mix (50/50). If you decide to commence a similar project in your home, it’s important to remember not to make the paper too wet otherwise it’ll bubble and possibly rip. Also be weary of any excess PVA mix dripping down the wall upon application. Most durable paints won’t be affected but it may leave water marks on other matt or silk emulsions. Wipe away as much as you can with a soft cloth.
Once I had filled the wall with an eclectic mix of wallpaper circles, I started to focus on the edges. I like things just so, so I had to make sure it was just right! So, using the same plate I used for the first stage, I created several ‘half moon’ shapes. I placed each ‘half moon’ shape around the edges of the wall. Then, to fill in any gaps, I used a ramekin to make smaller circles which worked perfectly.
I left the wall to dry overnight. Meanwhile, I focused on making our under stairs den a comfortable space for the children to relax and unwind. They already had a chair bed similar to this one (aff) which, when unfolded, fitted perfectly against the back wall, what are the chances?! It was all coming together and I was so excited.
The addition of a chunky throw and some cushions made the space look so much more inviting. It looked great, but didn’t feel like an under stairs den. It needed to be cosier, it was inviting, but not relaxing. Thankfully, fairy lights soon added the cosiness it was lacking. I stuck copper wire fairy lights (aff) to the underside of the stairs using white tack. Finally, it looked like the vision I had in my mind.
The kids were over the moon with the space and stunned at how quickly I achieved the transformation. I love being able to show them what they can achieve with a little imagination. If you want to create something similar in your home, head to your nearest DIY store and collect a range of wallpaper samples you like. Try and ensure the colours of each sample work well together. Once you have your samples, some glue, some fairy lights and a small paint brush you are all set!
I’d love to see images of your under stairs den if you have one. Please feel free to leave a comment below or send your images to email@example.com. I will try and share as many as I can on my social media channels.