The original barn staircase wasn't particularly child safe, nor did it have enough design Ooomph, so I recently decided to change it.
We added 'risers' to the metre-wide steps, we've put in a balustrade, and taken out any squeaks caused by the previous metal supports. In doing so we have found space for a tiny but very useful pantry (bottom of stairs on left), and created a small area at the back of the landing for book shelves. It's altogether a much better job.
I have always said that a stairs, or even an exterior flight of steps, should make a major statement. I hold no truck for mean-spirited building in these areas.
At the top of the stairs the wall to the right was a mess; too many competing beams created a mish-mash of wood and plaster, which detracted from the simplicity of the whole design.
It has now been simplified, and is in harmony with the rest of the upstairs. There are still skirting boards to be fixed, but otherwise most is done.
p.s. I've just found this picture of how it was before.