These are all great ideas. I did think about the insultation on the furnace wall, but I had a set budget in mind and wanted to stick to it, so some things had to go. I'm excited about the shelves actually, because I also do scrapbooking and I have some really pretty containers of paper and dried flowers that I can put on there. I also have a bunch of old wooden spools that I will put in a glass jar. And there are all kinds of knick-nacks and whatists that I can put there as well.
I'm going to use the wall that divides the furnace area from the new room as a design wall. I was thinking that I would get a long drapery rod and hang it neat the ceiling. I bought some curtain rings with clips on them, and my plan is to use a flannel sheet for the design wall that I can just push back behind the family room door when I am not using it. (I don't know if I will ever not be using it, but for now I am enjoying entertaining the thought that the room will be neat and tidy always!)
My guy is doing a great job. I got 6 quotes for this work. He was recommended to me by a friend who has used him a couple of times. My friend's husband is just about as anal as they come, so I knew that if he was happy with my guy, I would be happy with my guy. And it just happened that his was the lowest quote, although it was the personnal recommendation that got him the job. It was between him and a guy who was $2,000 more.