When it comes to smart, minimal design, Japan often takes the cake. If you are going nuts due to the lack of storage space, you gots to take at look this!
This project design by Architect Kotaro Anzai is seriously brilliant. It's everything at once: a set of stairs, a storage area, and a little bit of an art installation. In places like Japan where having lots of space is out of the question, this kind of design couldn't be more suitable.
Even if you do have room to put away your things, this set of stairs/drawers would look amazing. The use of bare wood and black accents makes it very modern - even if you change your decor, they'd remain neutral and compelling.
If you need more storage ideas, check out this great roundup over at Dwell: 7 Under-stair Storage Solutions