Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Saga of the Wall Vent

In the chaos of re-painting and de-stashing my studio, my over active brain came up with a great space saving organizational idea.  Not just great; amazing. The voices in my head screamed: LOOK AT THAT WASTED SPACE BEHIND THE DOOR!  

So I looked and instantly knew just what would be perfect for that odd little wall: two letter press trays and a beat up garage sale shelf that I use to hold stamps.  A quick check with the measuring tape assured me that yes, I do have JUST enough room and it is genius.  The following is an accurate portrayal of the conversation Steve and I had about the above mentioned genius idea:

Me:  Guess what's going behind the door?  My STAMPS.  How genius is that?

Steve:  No response.  Meaning he's either ignoring me or wondering why I just screamed the word STAMPS.

Me:  Seriously!  Is that an amazing idea or what?  I'll have a whole other wall where the stamps used to be. I can put art on that wall and blah blah blah (I continue to prattle on until I realize I hear Steve saying 'vents'). What?

Steve:  Vents.  There's vents in the wall.

Me:  (becoming irritated because I know something logical  important  stupid is coming) So?

Steve:  You can't put stuff on the wall because the anchors will pierce the vents.

Me:  (becoming louder and even more irritated) So who cares?   This is where I want my stamps.

Steve:  If you put holes in the vents the air won't flow correctly.

Me:  You mean like in the bathroom in Hanover Park?  

I begin laughing maniacally, remembering Steve's first fix-it job when we were newly married.  The bathroom floor squeaked because the air vent was installed a bit too close to the floor boards.  No biggie to me but it bugged him a LOT.  So one day I come home from work and find a random throw rug on the bathroom floor in an area where a throw rug would never be. Before he got the chance to warn me I lifted up the rug and found the perfect imprint of an iron melted into the top quality vinyl tile.  It looked like when Lucy ironed Rickey's shirt and left the iron in one place too long. Apparently he read up on such things (squeaky floors, not ironing shirts) and found the solution was to screw a few screws into the floor, just enough to hold the vent away from the boards but not enough to puncture the vent.  The iron burn came from heating the glue under the tile so the tile would loosen and lift up.  I think the glue was probably heated enough. AND the screws pierced the vent.

Me:  (still laughing) Remember?

Steve:  No immediate response but if looks could kill...let's just say I would have died LONG ago.

Me:  I don't care if there's holes in the vent, I want my stamps there.  It's the perfect place.

Steve:  Blah blah air flow blah blah energy efficiency blah blah blahhhhhh...

The above argument discussion continued until I suggested checking to see if the screws would even touch the vent.  I mean, maybe it isn't even an issue? Maybe the vent isn't sitting directly next to the wall?  I was desperate and grabbing at straws but hey, let's just see, OK?  So Steve gets the ladder and unscrews the screws that I painted over and finally gets the vent cover off and guess what?  There is no vent in the wall.  No vent at all.  Really.  No vent.  Just the inside of the wall.  Someone took the time to put two vent holes in the wall and attach covers to the holes and never installed a vent.  


Steve:  (shakes his head and walks out of the room)

Me:  You're coming back, right?  Steve?  Come on. You're coming back, aren't you?  Steve?  

He did eventually come back and graciously attached everything to the wall.  We've spent 25 years in a house that's missing a wall vent so I figure we'll be able to survive a few more.  I painted the grungy shelf and it looks brand new.  My stamps (not all, just some; oh my, not even CLOSE to all) are happy behind the door and the former stamp wall now showcases art.  So all is well. 

For now.

Two vent covers looking for a vent.


  1. It sounds like a discussion I would have with my husband. In fact I liked your shelf idea so much I was going to mention it to my husband when we redo my "craft space". We have a vent (I think air return) there so I might get the same response.

    On another note, I KNEW that wasn't all of your stamps!!!!

  2. Yes, our "vent" is an air return, too. I guess our air is just hanging around with no where to go. On the stamp issue, I'd need a room with 12 doors to store all my stamps behind them! Maybe even 13 doors. Is that a problem?


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