The dining room is on the south side of the house and since there is little shade on this side, it gets warm in the afternoon. You can stand by the windows and feel the heat pouring through. Admittedly, we need new windows. But we can't quite afford them yet. We still have so much left to do that will require moola. So, I got to thinking about how we are multi-purposing this room. We are using the serving counter as office/workspace and we are thinking about using it as a multi-media room, too. We figure that you could put a flat screen tv on the wall directly opposite from the windows. We could replace the dining room chairs with something more lounge-y like and it would be quite comfy. Obviously, though, the windows would let in more light than we would like. We would need good drapes to block the light. Drapes that block light are usually good insulators, too. So I went shopping.
I learned that buying such drapes can get quite pricey. However, at Hancock's Fabrics I found beautiful fabric on sale and ordered it. Then I went to JoAnn's Fabrics and found blackout fabric on sale. Some thread, labor, rings and a curtain rod later--we have blackout drapes. I completed them this past Tuesday. They are quite heavy and they definitely will block light, heat and cold. When open, they are a substantial counterbalance to the deep terra cotta wall and the bookcases.
One huge plus right now is that they give the dining room more of a finished look. I need something to look finished around here. We still have tons of trim work to do in the three rooms we have "finished". And the dining room and kitchen still need to be grouted, I need to finish the backsides of the cabinets under the serving bar. A few of the shelves for the bookcases need to be recut (I was tired and made a few sloppy cuts--now I pay for that.) And everything needs base trim and quarter rounds. So, I keep working.
This week I am beginning the grout work in the dining room. Grout work is not especially mentally challenging but it is physically challenging. Since I can't kneel--too many injuries to the knees--I stoop/bend over. I can only do that so long. Since I grout in small batches though, this isn't really a problem. It does strengthen my back and shoulder muscles. Yep, I noticed that this morning. I finished half the dining room yesterday. If the weather will cooperate, I'll keep working on it today. Oh, yes. It rained this morning. Still looks a little ominous out there. Obviously, I don't grout outside but I do my clean up out there and I try to keep the pups outside while I am working so that they don't get into the grout and leave little grouty prints everywhere. I can't make them stay in the mud and rain all day. So, I am waiting to see if the weather will clear. Chances are good for a little sun this afternoon. In the meantime, I can do a little prep work.