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bulkhead over stairs to second level

I have a "story-and-a-half" house (Cape Cod w/ a partial second story). I finished out the second level for a billiard room but have yet to remove the enclosed stairwell. I would like to maximize the floor space up there by avoiding a guardrail. I'm intersted in something that can be closed more-or-less flush when not in use but easy to open when using the stairs - similar to a bulkhead-type cover on a boat. I have searched books and the internet and have yet to find a reasonable solution. Anyone have a good idea? Thank you.

Re: bulkhead over stairs to second level

Thanks. That's a good idea. I'd like to keep it open, but this is a good alternative.

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