My husband and I are working with an architect to design our new home. The home is two levels with the staircase in the centre of the home. We are debating whether or not to enclose the stair case or open it up.
If we were to enclose the staircase behind doors, it would improve our energy efficiency because we could zone the bottom floor off from the top, to heat and cool it. I grew up in a 2 storey house and the top floor was always too hot in summer. We are planning reverse cycle aircon for the house. The bedrooms are upstairs. We live in a moderate climate in the ACT.
Alternatively, we could open up the stair well to let it bring light from the top storey into the dark centre of the lower floor of our floor plan. I think this would feel welcoming and allow me to keep a better ear on the kids upstairs while I was downstairs. It would also let our stairs be a little less tight, because we could use the hall as the landing to meeting the building code, rather than needing a landing inside the doorway used to close the stairs off.
I would be very grateful for any advice. I dont want to make the wrong decision!!!