Quick bonus post: Part of the staircase renovation necessitated remodeling the hall closet a bit.
Here’s what it looked like originally:
The closet had this little opening on the left that led to extra storage under the stairs. The Harry Potter area, if you will. Should my sister ever be murdered by an evil wizard, I know just where to keep her children. We would never have bothered to change any of this, but it all had to be torn out to accommodate the new stairs, and there was no compelling reason to re-create this weird tiny opening.
Instead we opened it all up and now we have this huge area under the stairs that we can access for extra storage. It was very handy for Christmas gifts, and there’s still plenty of room for boy wizards.
And as a bonus, the carpenter uncovered the original coat hooks that we polished up and restored to their rightful home.