The New Doors to the Den

The New Doors to the Den

“You should be very glad,” I told my daughter a couple of weeks ago, “That I used to help my brothers assemble airplane models.” I did, too – JP was quite fond of putting together detailed 1/48 and 1/72 scale model aircraft, which he bought with his allowance money. He paid great attention to detail, fitting the parts together so that only a hairline crack showed – and often filling in those with plastic putty and sanding the piece so it that the join was invisible after being painted. He was just as careful in painting the models and their visible component parts, even to painting a miniscule silver zipper down the front of the pilot’s flight suit. At a later date he went to the extent of fabricating battle damage with fine wire and bits of tin-foil. So that was my introduction to following instructions and identifying the bits and pieces involved. Eventually my brother put away childish things like Airfix models, and moved on to tinkering with real automobiles, to the horror of his first wife, whose family was wealthy and in their world, one just didn’t pop up the hood in the driveway and investigate the mysteries within.

Myself, I moved on to another form of kit-building – that of miniature furniture, and then of full-sized functional furniture. Dad’s facility with, and collection of a wide assortment of hand-tools meant that I had a fair grasp of their various uses, and a tendency to have a bash at fixing whatever might need fixing. And following Dad’s many examples – once I became a home owner, there I was, replacing light fixtures, re-wiring table lamps, applying a finish to unfinished furniture, painting the house (inside and out), putting in new faucets in the kitchen and bathrooms… Piece of cake. Just follow the instructions.

What brought on the recent round of assembly was a jaunt through the Ikea store in Round Rock two weeks ago to collect some shelving units for my daughter’s work area/office. She has a corner of the living room for her computer desk, the various office items and storage for the materials for her origami art. Much of this was previously stored in plastic tubs and a couple of plastic drawer units which had been cheap to begin with and now looked even worse. So – a pair of shelf units, with some cupboard door, drawer and basket options were in order, all of which came packed with fiendish ingenuity in an assortment of flat cartons. I do have to say the assembly instructions were quite logical, and the language hurdle was gotten over by being completely pictorial. Still – all the side and shelving panels had to be sorted out, and the various connectors identified. It wasn’t a patch for thoroughness on the last bit of office furniture I had put together; a pair of wooden filing cabinets from Amazon, which had every single panel and piece identified with a little sticker, and the hardware packed in a blister pack with everything labeled. With Ikea and the usual kind of flat-packed items it’s more often a process of having to sort everything out of a bag, and identify by measuring, counting and matching descriptions.

This weekend’s assembly was a pair of bi-fold closet doors, to sequester the den from the cats. I was able to have some furniture reupholstered; two chairs and an enormous tuffet, and the last thing I wanted after having gone to the trouble and expense was to see the cats sharpening their claws on it all … as they had shredded them before. (The den used to be closed off with a pair of louvered doors, but I repurposed them in the last remodel and used them for my bathroom and closet, and used a long pair of curtains in the opening.) So – I was off to the Home Depot website, to order a pair of wooden bi-fold doors to fit – and with generous free home delivery, instead of having to pick them up in the nearest store, too. The doors were delivered Friday, we stained and finished them on Saturday, and installed them today – again, carefully following every instruction. They fit perfectly, met in the center and matched up exactly – and now I may rest assured that the chairs and tuffet will be safe, once they are delivered on Wednesday. And that’s my weekend …


  1. I love that wall around the doors. Books are the best wallcovering ever! 🙂

  2. And that is only ONE WALL in my house – a number of others are also covered with books!