How To Baby Proof This Stairwell?

Good Questions

Q: We are buying a new place, and the top of the stairs is proving a bit tricky. That said, I don't have a staircase now, so those of you with stairs may think this one is easy. The stairs have a 1 foot wide beam at the top - just begging my three year old to walk on it (and then plummet 10 feet down the stairs). So, I guess my question is two-fold:

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1. What type of gate will work here (wall to banister is 52 inches)? Will I need a carpenter to build one?

2. What can I do to make the beam/platform at the top of the stairs less appealing to my kids? Potted plants? Something besides the lights that the current owners have? Any ideas are welcome!

Sent by Claire

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Regina is an architect who lives with her husband and children in Lawrence, KS. As a LEED Accredited Professional and longtime contributor to Apartment Therapy and The Kitchn, her focus is on healthy, sustainable living through design.