Looking for a big project this spring? Consider opening up one of your closed staircases. Your home will appear lighter, airier and generally more open.

An enclose staircase is one whose base extends from the top to the floor, effectively creating two walls on either side of the staircase. Most staircases, unless they have some special treatment, are closed – but they can be opened up with a little remodeling know-how.

By knocking the wall down, you give yourself so many additional options for your home. Think about all the space that could be used underneath for storage now. You can put a lovely shelving unit or some storage boxes under your stairs, and expand your storage space by a significant margin.

Or, try using that space as an architecturally interesting design canvas. You can display plates, artwork, collectibles or any number of things beneath an open staircase that would have to find another home otherwise.

The whole room will seem larger if you knock out the wall beneath your staircase. More sun will filter in, and you’ll find yourself wondering how you managed before all this new space was available.

An open staircase can also be used to architecturally connect one room to another. As staircases often separate rooms, opening them can bring two spaces together harmoniously.

Just a word of warning: this can be a rather large project to take on, so be sure that you have professional help or advice before you get started.