Going Dark

This is my bedroom window:

window1 (800x600)It’s quite a large window, more than 3 x 5 feet, and it faces mostly east, a little southeast. You can’t tell from that photo, but when the blinds are open like that, the room is very well lit. This is the window with the blinds closed:

window2 (800x600)Still a lot of light coming through. My bed is in the corner on the far right of the window, and because of the slant of the light, I have a varied array of sarongs, etc. that I use to keep the light from shining right on my face during the hours I most want to sleep:

window4 (600x800)I am struggling with this. Last week, with a combination of lightweight sleeping bags, towels, sarongs, shawls, and binder clips, I managed to almost obliterate the light in the room during the day. Of course, my room looked like some crazed vampire had rushed in and was hurriedly trying to escape being vaporized by the sunlight a la Christopher Lee in “The Horror of Dracula.” Not exactly the design statement I was hoping for. So I have been thinking a lot about how to block more light. Of course, everyone says, light blocking curtains or shades. Good idea in theory, but here’s the problem. I have this fake valance thing across the top of the window, as you can see above. The curtains would have to be on a rod that extended far enough out from the wall to go over that, which means that there would still be a ton of light coming in at the top of the window. When I did my experiment last week, I ended up having to lay two folded sarongs along the entire top of the window just to block out the light from there. Anything on a curtain rod is not going to block that out.

Okay, then, shades. Set inside the window. Might be a better option. I had those shades at the other house and they mostly worked well. However, we have the top of the window problem still, and even after a few weeks, the shades start to curl at the edges, and here comes the light creeping in again. Also, my windows at the other house faced west and north. The north window never got direct sunlight and by the time the sun came into the west window, I was ready to go to work. This window faces east and let me tell you, mornings in Pueblo are BRIGHT.

I’ve been giving this a lot of thought. I started with the idea of some kind of carpet or rug or even some of those windshield things that you put in your car to keep it from getting boiling hot. They’re lightweight, foldable and would be easy to put up and take out. I want something I can take down on my days off when I’m keeping “normal” sleep hours and get up before the sun gets so bright. I don’t want to live in a cave 24/7. I also want something that will slide in behind the blinds right up against the window itself so that it will cover the entire opening, thus solving the light coming in at the top/sides problem. I even went to Lowe’s and looked around for something plausible. I found the folding thingie I wanted in an appropriate size (it would have to be cut down), but it’s an underlayment for Pergo flooring and it cost almost $100.00. I’m not quite ready to lay out that much cash. Then I thought of plywood…very thin…so I went over to the lumber area and I found sheets of very thin wall board. It’s white and it’s only $13 for a 4 x 8 sheet, and they will cut it to size. So, I need to measure carefully. I think 1 inch beyond the perimeter of the window itself will work, so I can lean it up against the window behind the blinds and there’s enough room on the window sill to prop it without worrying that it will fall out.

window3 (800x600)Then I got to thinking, well, how would I move it easily? It is a pretty good sized piece of board even cut down. I thought about some kind of cabinet hardware–screwing a couple of handles in, but the board is really thin and I don’t want to worry about scratching myself on sharp screws. Then, I had a brilliant idea…bungee cords! Two bungee cords around it, making “handles,” easy to lift in and out. AND, if anyone says anything about the look of it (I doubt they will, as the window is below eye level when anyone walks past and isn’t seen from the street, but still, property management), I can cover the board with one my colorful sarongs, and voila, a pretty window covering.

So, there’s my makeshift idea to give myself a room I can really sleep in, without having to so anything hugely permanent. I’m not sure when I’m going to get this done, as the plate is kinda full right now, and the budget is tight, but I’m hoping within the next couple of weeks. I’ll keep you posted and let you know how it turns out.

Oh! And I found my Buddha!

Blessed be. Life is good.

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About GratefulGran

A little bit of this, a little bit of that...
This entry was posted in DIY, Home, Sleep and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Going Dark

  1. jill says:

    i had to darken a window at some point in my life and i ended up using a thick piece of foam core board…it is light and easy to move…and i just taped handles onto it to place it and remove it…i also looked at the foam board used for insulation..good darkening to you…

  2. GratefulGran says:

    If I could find something like that in the right size it would be ideal! I’ll keep looking. Thanks!

  3. Foam core board. I used that also when I was working a back shift years ago. These days I have a blackout blind.

  4. efrompdx says:

    I use a sleep mask.

    • GratefulGran says:

      Oh, yes, sleep masks, towels, extra pillows to cover my head, all of it. Part of it is the joy of being a natural-born morning person whose body says, “YAY! It’s DAWN, time to get UP, NOW!” Even when said body has already BEEN up all night. On Saturday and Sunday I’ve been going for short walks right after work and that seems to help a little, but nothing will fix it completely. That said, now that I’ve been working this shift for nearly 2 years, I think I would find it very difficult to have to work during the day. I like just hanging out, not having to do much when everyone else is slaving away. I’ll put up with the sleep stuff and keep this schedule, at least for a while longer. Hoping the darker room will help.

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