The hallway renovation project last year – replacing the hallways doors, papering and painting the ceiling, installing vinyl flooring and constructing a built-in bookshelf along one wall was such a resounding success that we are now engaged in doing the same in the front bedroom, which will also serve as the nursery when the Daughter Unit’s son is delivered, sometime in late May. Part of having the new windows installed also meant having a French door replacing the double window in that room – and that hasn’t happened yet, since the door itself is still somewhere out there. But in anticipation of the door being delivered and installed sometime in the next two months, we decided to go ahead and do much the same kind of bookshelf built in between the studs on either side of and above the window. It’s a smallish room, about 11.5 x 11.5, and the three inches of space behind the drywall … well, it’s saved space, especially when it comes to bookshelves, which need only be six to ten inches deep. In a small room, or a narrow space that extra depth is a bonus.

So, this week, while the Daughter Unit is between courses for her real estate agent’s license, we started in demolishing drywall along that wall. We really can’t make any plans for the size and arrangement of the shelves, or what kind of decorative trim or how to accommodate the electric wire until we actually took down the drywall and saw what was behind it, the position and spacing of the studs … and all that. The shelving will go from floor to ceiling, all around the French door. (Eventually the little space outside will be fenced off to create a small private patio.) So, we buckled down and did a good chunk of that this morning – and the usual messy work it was, too. Ugh – plaster dust and chunks of broken drywall all over, along with very decayed fiberglass insulation behind the drywall, and much evidence of past insect life having taken up residence within the wall space. The outside of the wall is all faced in brick, so we judged that replacing the insulation won’t really be necessary. Closely-spaced and stacked books themselves are quite insulating enough. In the next few weeks, I expect to be able to buy vinyl flooring for the room, and bead-board for the ceiling to cover the ghastly popcorn texture and have Roman the Neighborhood Handy Guy come in to do the heavy install work. The Daughter Unit and I had already painted the walls, the closet door, and the wooden trim around both closet and room doors – a very pleasant blue-gray and ice-white combination, so that bit is accomplished already. Pictures to follow, when it all looks a bit less like an earthquake had struck.

The Finished Hallway, from earlier this year.


  1. Will the books themselves be affected by the lack of some sort of insulation?

    • They shouldn’t – there’s a layer of some kind of thin insulation, a void and then the brick wall.