I am going from carpet to hardwood in the living/dining/hall. The spindle half wall open to the stairs had so much movement, I was going to build a half wall and perhaps have a bookcase on the living room side . Since I am removing the particle board subfloor and replacing it with plywood, I got a glimpse at the enclosed feeling and I hate it ! What ideas does anyone have for the 3' x 9 1/2' half wall that would be stable yet open in feel?!? The "Showplace" magazine this month had sparce vertical posts with horizontal cable that was way cool looking...but too modern for this old house! My concern is that it is solid, since I have a father-in-law that will lean on it to decend the stairs . THANKS!!