The Understairs Storage Metod

finished storage

Materials: METOD kitchen units, Maximera drawers, Veddinge doors and drawers

The cupboard under the stairs had a narrow doorway, just two shelves inside and the area at the far end (the bottom of the stairs) was just inaccessible and, therefore, wasted.

I ripped out all the old woodwork, checking as I went that the cupboard door frame wasn’t structural and that the staircase would stay up. Next I put in a Metod 60x60x80 kitchen base unit, the only item I used which wasn’t hacked. Next to that, I put in a 20x60x80 shelf unit to fill the space between the wall and the drawer units. I couldn’t use 80cm wide drawers because the radiator on the wall would obstruct their opening, but there was room to open the 20cm wide door, once the unit was raised up by 40cm to clear the radiator valve.

The top of the 20cm unit was cut to match the rising treads of the staircase before being fitted alongside the drawer unit. The 20cm unit is screwed to the adjacent base unit and the top half-unit is screwed to the 20cm unit. The top half-unit is fixed to the base unit using one of the angle brackets supplied by IKEA for fixing the unit to the wall. The bracket had to be cut in half, the sharp edges filed off and one hole drilled out to use the supplied fixing screws.

20cm unit cut top half-unit and 20 cm unit mounted toe-end drawer 2

Next, one side panel of the second Metod 60x60x80 base unit was cut in half to make two 40 cm sides which were cut the same way as the 20cm unit to match the stair treads and attached to the top of the first base unit. I’d bought 3 60×40 drawer fronts and “high” Maximera drawer units to go in here, but found that with the stairs at the back, the height at the back of the top drawer was restricted so I had to replace the “high” Maximera drawer unit with a medium height drawer.

At the toe end of the stairs, I cut the remaining side of the second Metod base unit into two unequal sizes, 26cm and 54cm to fit under the stairs as closely as practical, then built it using the remaining parts. The back panel had to be cut to match the stairs again. It wasn’t possible to use the metal cross-struts at the front of the unit, but I put one on the back of the unit as high as possible, given the unequal heights of the sides. The drawer-front for this unit was made from a Veddinge door, 60 x 80, cut down to height and with a sloping top to match the stair unit sides. An off-cut from this was also used to make the final in-fill piece at the bottom of the stairs.

The large panel on the side is another Veddinge door, 60 x 120 cut at an angle to match the stairs with the offcut used to make the infill panel above the drawer unit. The spacer is a length of beading of the appropriate thickness, painted white to match.

As we didn’t want a handle sticking out into the hallway, we bought beech inset doorhandles and routed out the Veddinge panels accordingly.

The final item is the small 20×40 Veddinge drawerfront used to cover the inaccessible bottom corner beside the radiator, held in place with two magnet catches.

Jules Yap