My husband and I moved into a new home and wanted to remove the walls surrounding our stairwell which sat directly in the center of our home. We had to carry the load with a large LVL and post. After securing the half walls we added some character with wainscoting and a walnut cap. We think the light from the front windows really brightens up the entire kitchen and family room and serves to truly open up the entire living space. Not to mention now that the stairwell is open it makes the basement feel like a part of the living area.