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This apartment building was built a while before the advent of air conditioning – the 1920s by one friend’s estimation. One advantage to this, at least in my imagination, is that the apartments seem planned to have some measure of circulation if a good north wind gets moving, better if helped along by fans.

The drawback, however, is that in this 900+ sq. ft. apartment, there are only two major interior doors – one to the bathroom and one to the bedroom.* And, the window in the bedroom is so wide that the expandable fans on the side of your standard window unit don’t reach the edges of the frame.

So, the lone window unit sits in a living room window, trying desperately to cool far too much space because I can’t shut off any of it. Finally, with temperatures this week expected to hit the high 90s F (two days ago, it was 99F/37C), I made a room divider.

It’s an old fitted sheet that I trimmed of its elastic. I sewed together its opposite sides to create a double layered curtain, and folded down the top for the tension bar. I might add some fabric to the bottom so I can raise the bar to the top of the doorway, but for now it seems to be working well. The dining room and kitchen remain at least 5-10 degrees warmer than the living room when I have the air on and the curtain pulled.

*I’m not counting the three closet doors, those don’t lead from room to room.