Room Divider with Panache

Blog entry by ReubenD posted 08-12-2014 03:38 PM 3774 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

That was the detailed description I was given for what my wife wanted to fill in part of the open space between the dining room and family room. With that extraordinary amount of detail, that it should have “panache” I set about planning and searching. While I was happy with the retro 70’s look idea of beaded curtains my daughter had or even the swinging saloon doors my son recommended, neither seemed to have the correct amount of something that my wife seemed to be looking for.
Searching the online design catalogs and walking the aisles of the big box home stores was not proving helpful either, so I decided to use my afternoon to go fishing instead as that is a weekend task nearly as important as my DIY projects this time of year. Getting my mind off it seemed a good idea. I sat on the pier and looked down at the water where my hook swung gently ignored and stared at several good sized fished gently floating around on bottom teasing me. While it would have been preferable for them to bite my hook I found it very relaxing watching them sway in the gentle current in nearly hypnotic fashion. I realized I could happily watch them for hours and finally I had my idea for a room divider.

A trip to a local restaurant was needed and my wife was pleased for the surprise dinner out. I did not want to try to explain my idea by myself and chose this restaurant specifically for the visual aid it would provide. I also needed to see for myself to get a better idea of what might work. I asked for the table in a section in front of the bar area- separated by a large aquarium teeming with bright yellow and blue and red fish swimming through intricate corral arches.

Once we were all settled and waiting on our order and all were pointing out the fish I went ahead with my proposal. Wouldn’t it be nice to have that same type of divider in our home? It was met with both interest and incredulity, but was agreed it would be spectacular. I began mental calculations and paced off the room in my mind and began the planning.

Unlike a regular wall or door, there is need for storage to hold the pumps and filters, substantially heavier would than used to hold up a sheet drywall, and noise insulation so the pumps and filters would not be a distraction. There are ample plans available by searching the internet and the professional aquarium sites listed dimensions and helpful tips. I needed a larger tank than what was sold at the local fish store so online aquarium supply companies seemed the best source of both information and needed things.

I followed plans I found online that were specifically for supporting a large fish tank – the engineering is a little tricky to do otherwise once you figure out that a 200 gallon 6 ft tank will weigh nearly a ton when filled with water and rocks and fish. It also requires several extra GFCI outlets to run the pumps and lights. While it took substantially more effort to complete than a simple divider wall, the results were spectacular. My wife got her wish for a room divider with panache.

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View joecot's profile


40 posts in 1998 days

posted 08-12-2014 03:49 PM

That’s wonderful! Great idea and great execution.

How to remodel a room:
Step #1: Go fishing.
Step #2: Take wife to restaurant.

-- Joe Cottonwood -- 99 Jobs: Blood, Sweat, and Houses

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157 posts in 1981 days

posted 08-12-2014 05:17 PM

Seriously nice work

-- Love woodworking and fixing most anything

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