What about making some type of sliding door moving in a track? Use rope and pulleys to open and close it. You could build a channel of wood around the sides to limit light leakage in the closed position.
Why not sheetrock the opening? It's not all that permanent is it? Unless you actually want to use it or something. If you want to use it, why not a version of a sliding door like a pocket door or something if you don't want to use blinds. It'd probably have to be custom made...
Bergie, Don't know if this will work, but here is an idea.
Does your skylight have a square "light box" that comes down from the roof and meets your sheetrock ceiling? If so you could put some nice molding, like crown molding, inside the light box just above the level of the interior ceiling.
Then cut a piece of wood smaller than the light box, but just larger than the size of the opening created by the molding. Slip the wood up into the light box and rest it on top of the molding. You could paint it, cover it with fabric......
It would look like a "raised ceiling" with molding around it.
I have a similar situation. Velux has a skylight with built in black out cloth that can operate manually or automatic. It may nessesitate putting in an entirely new skylight or possibly you can take a look at the velux and retrofit yours. good luck.
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