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d*s reader recs! [ayse needs your help]


d*s reader ayse has a really interesting design dilemma. read on and see if you can solve her drafty door disaster..

"Dear DS, We just moved in to our lovely apartment. We are using a separated part of our living room as a bedroom. It has the second door on one of the walls and the sound of the hallway plus the cold air coming through is a real problem. We are looking for a solution which would preferably cover the whole wall, isolate the sound and the bitter cold. We got estimates on a sheet rock wall, they say it would cost around $1000!!! Can you guys recommend a solution which is cheap and would look good as well? I know I need a miracle, that's why I'm asking you... Any ideas other than hanging a carpet??"
so, how would YOU fix this problem? thanks in advance for all your help! [and thanks to 2modern for sponsoring the column today!]



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you use the second door for entry?/Are there access concerns if you block up the door? For the noise, you could get a noise machine. My friends in Murray Hill whose bedrooms overlook Madison avenue have one, I thought it was the air conditioning...

Could you try making it a closet area, placing floor to ceiling wardrobes (like the Pax ones from Ikea) in front of the door? I know it doesn't sound ideal, but you'd get extra storage space, wouldn't have to do anything structural, you could hang a thin curtain or something (i think ikea has those wire lines to hang a curtain on) to catch the draft), and just deal with it that way. If you purchased the apartment, and there are no building rules (fire safety) prohibiting it, you may just want to save up and and redo the wall. At the end of the day though, seems like whatever solution you choose, from rehanging a better door to sound proofing, you will still spend close enough to the $1000 figure that you may as well go ahead and do a thorough job. You'll also make the apartment more energy efficient.

10:39 AM  
Blogger oatmealandcinnamon said...

How about a curtain? since the wall is fairly small, it might not be that difficult. I"m thinking a curtain made of heavy fabric hanging from the very top and covering the entire wall... and if you put it on a rod, you could slide it back when you're not sleeping so you could access the door. but, i'm still sad you have to cover a pretty door!

10:44 AM  
Blogger BionicValkyrie said...

I'd think about making cornices and hanging panels of fabric from them. You could display artwork and objets on the cornice; you could find interesting fabric at outlet and thrift stores.

Another possibility -- put a wardrobe or bookshelf where the dresser is now, one taller than the door. Then you could put a tension rod from the side of the wardrobe to the wall, and hang a panel of fabric from that.

Since it's an apartment, I'd want to keep construction to a minimum, and I'd want to keep that second exit usable in case of emergency.

10:55 AM  
Blogger Moxie said...

For a super simple solution, you could seal up the door with clear, removable calk. It does a great job of stopping drafts. To muffle the noise, you could hang some heavy duty curtains across the entire wall.

11:07 AM  
Anonymous Eric jean-louis said...

Use a large (4'x8') deep (2"-3") canvas that could be painted in an accent colour. You could then fill the back side with pink or blue insulating foam.
Angle brackets at the top and bottom should allow you to secure it pretty tightly against the opening. When you move you still have a large frame that makes a nice accent as a headboard or over a sofa
Total cost approx $200(?).

11:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You might consider installing a pressurized wall. It's usually a small monthly fee ($100 to $200 a month). They install the wall, it does no damage to the existing structure, and when you're done, they hall it away. This is a company my friend used.

11:21 AM  
Blogger ayse said...

Thank you for the post-10:39. (And thank you D*S)

No, we don't use that door at all.

We thought of buying a wardrobe too, but that will make the space even smaller.

We don't own the apartment, so we're not going into a big production. But as you mentioned, I think eventually we will have to hang a curtain or a material to catch the draft and isolate the sound.



11:22 AM  
Blogger Vajra said...

Twin Draft Stopper

11:35 AM  
Blogger JennyN said...

Just a thought -- for what it's worth, $1000 sounds like mostly labor costs to me. It's not that hard to put up a wall yourself, if you're handy, and there are self-help books out there. :)

11:46 AM  
Anonymous Laurie said...

I would also suggest curtains...I'd suggest velvet or velvet-like, as those are the heaviest you can get - and available at ikea. And, then I would suggest getting a curtain rod that you can hang from the ceiling...I've seen them quite a bit in magazines lately, although I'm not sure where you would get them (the wire one at ikea is in my house and I don't think it could hold a really really heavy curtain).

11:55 AM  
Blogger mintyfresh said...

One solution some friends of mine used for a similar problem is to pick up some foam (2 - 3 thick foam you can get at any fabric store) that's the height/width of the wall you're "insulating" and cover it with some simple or bold fabric depending on your own personal style. It's easy to turn it into an art piece, and just as easy to take it down when you're ready to move.

The canvas backed with foam idea (mentioned above) would work too. You could make it a collaborative art piece - buy a large canvas, some foam and some paint, and invite friends over to help you "decorate" your new wall!

Best of luck!

12:49 PM  
Anonymous jay said...

try http://www.thewallpeople.com
i just used them to build a really complex room out of temporary walls (5 sided with 2 doorways). about 18 feet of wall, painted white, set up in about a day and a half, all for $1900. i'm guessing your wall would cost a fraction since it's much smaller/simpler and you'd only need sheetrock and paint on one side. and it's all temporary using tension rods, so no screws or nails in your floor or ceiling, and they'll remove it when you move out.

there's also http://livingspaceinc.com
i went with the Wall People because they could do corners at odd angles, not just 90 degrees.

12:50 PM  
Blogger Raj said...

I'd screw narrow 1x lumber to the walls, floor and ceiling around the entryway, creating a frame maybe 4-6 inches in front of the door. Then screw 1x furring strips to these battens spaced every foot or so. They will run horizontally across the door opening. To these, attach rigid foam insulating panels. Home centers have them for insulating basement walls and the like. You can finish these however you see fit: Fabric, wallpaper, venetian plaster. Should work. Quick, cheap, seals the draft, doesn't eat up the space, easy to accomplish in a couple of minutes with common hand tools.

1:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i used to live in a place with windows that (ugh) faced out over a fire station. i went to loew's and bought 2-inch thick styrofoam insulation, cut it to fit the windows, and hid them with curtains. it didn't block all the noise, but deadened it considerably. i seem to remember it costing less than $100. just be careful when you trim the foam--it makes a mess.

2:53 PM  
Blogger Audrey said...

How about corrogated plastic?

It is semi-translucent and acts a practical divider while looking chic.


3:28 PM  
Anonymous Charlotte said...

You can insulate the door with weather stripping. Then, cover the entire wall with cork, which can be purchased cheaply by the roll. The thicker, the better when it comes to sound and weather insulation. You can cut it with a utility knife. You can mount it on the wall using "liquid nails" (in a tube just like caulk), or a staple gun(if your wall is drywall, i.e. sheetrock). Then you can prime and paint the cork whatever color you like, or leave it natural. And then, of course, you can put pictures up on your wall.

Good luck!

3:29 PM  
Blogger ayse said...

Your brilliant ideas are much appreciated. I'm confident that our problem is already solved.

Thank you all and thank you d*s – love this blog!

3:54 PM  
Blogger shiso mama said...

I don't know how much it costs exactly, but homasote is an inexpensive (and recycled!) material which soundproofs as well as insulates. You can cover it with fabric or paint it to make it attractive and attach it to your walls. It's also sort of soft so you can use it as a cork board. I've heard from architect friends that they used homasote to create inexpensive walls between work spaces during school. You can read about it at www.homasote.com.

Also, I'm not sure if you're crafty, but here's an attractive homemade version of the twin draft stopper:

12:30 AM  
Anonymous Silentspring said...

If you're handy build..or if you're like me buy, a shallow (10" or less) solid-backed bookcase. The furniture should be painted a light color to blend in with the wall behind.
Here's a very cheap example from Ikea:

Line the back with cork for soundproofing. Ordinary insulation could be tacked on the back as well, if it's cut a little short of the perimeters of the case. Use the shelves primarily for pretty things and avoid overloading, since you may need the door for emergency exit.

I like putting inexpensive low watt uplights on top of my tall bookcases and chests--you get the effect of an accent sconce without all of the wiring and hassle. Put dried flowers, twigs, or other interesting objects behind the light and you get a beautiful shadow cast up on the wall and ceiling.

10:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since you don't plan on doing constuction. The best solution is fabric curtains. I have experience with this problem as i worked as a designer for a fabric store doing custom jobs in a mountain town.
Here are some things to remember whether you make them yourself or have them made. I suggest finding a seamstress and buying the fabric yourself in the garment district or online. Get your required yardages from your seamstress.
-Get the curtain panels INTERLINED (this is a thick lining that will totally block light and will add weight to them to block more sound. Usually curtains are just lined on the back so you aren't looking at the back of the fabric, ask for lined and interlined. It costs more because of labor but its worth it.
-Make the curtains 2.5 to 3x or more the width of the space they will fill. Thats sounds like a lot but honestly if you skimp they won't cover the sides enough and the more folds the more the curtain panels will dampen sound
-Have the curtains pool slightly at the floor or pool generously at the floor. This will help with the draft issue. (Refer to this month's issue of DOMINO magazine ,they have an illustration of the different curtain lengths)

1:04 AM  

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