The newel post in this photo was installed where a closet used to be. Why? Because planning codes required that the upper access
to the stairwell be an open space. It could not be closed off with a door. Why again? Mainly to make it difficult to create a closed stairwell if a future owner
wanted to rent the lower space.… which would be illegal! The codes also required that a person be able to see above and below without having
to open any doors. That makes sense especially with such a steep staircase and the U-shape.
You also might be interested to know that the recessed lights on the upper right “ceiling” is the floor of the kitchen.
Such a small space, and such a lot of details to consider when designing just one aspect of this home remodel — a stairway.