May 6, 2015

French Shutters

I love our French Shutters that we added to our home a few years ago.  
When I originally began redecorating our main floor I made drapes for all the windows. The fabric I chose was a sand-colored faux silk. I spent a lot of time sewing yards and yards of drapes, lining every one, sewing a valance for the bay window and when I got all done I didn't like them.
At all.

When I made the change to shutters, I finally had the look I wanted.  I can't ever imagine going back to drapes and the wonderful thing about them is if I should ever change my color scheme, I can just paint my shutters.
These shutters sat on the floor for a few weeks before we got them hung.

Most of the shutters are nothing but bi-fold doors made for closets.  They come in three or four different sizes and I've used the widest ones in these rooms. I originally wanted my husband to help me build all the shutters but he looked so tired when I brought it up that I immediately dropped it. (It can be hard work for a husband to have a decorating/blogging wife!)

He did make the shutters that are in our bay window.  I couldn't find any other solution that had the exact dimensions to fit the window and I have never been surprised that I actually like them the best!

I recently added a handle to each side of these shutters.  I got these gate handles at Lowe's.

The only ones that are functional are the ones in the bay window and the windows flanking the fireplace.  The rest are decorative and we are still hoping to figure out a way to make them open and close easily.  The windows are so wide and the shutters are so heavy that the only way we think would work is to attach the original hardware for the bi-fold doors to the window frame.  We'll see. I'm happy with them the way they are right now.

The bay window is on the front of our house so we need privacy there at night.  The windows on either side of fireplace face the house next door and we also like to close them at night.

The shutters that are just decorative are all on the back of our house.  There's nothing behind us but rolling hills so I never worry about privacy. I have moved them by hand during the winter when it was really cold. The wonderful thing about all the shutters is that they keep the heat and the cold out so well.

The doors were already primed white. I started by painting them SW Interesting Aqua and the next lighter color on the paint swatch, Racing the Rain.  I would paint whole sections in each color always leaving some of the white showing through in places.  I wanted a very uneven look. When the two shades of blue had dried, I dipped a damp rag into SW Chateau Brown and rubbed it into the corners and edges, getting an antique, old look.

We added gates hinges to the outside shutters on each window.  They are also just decorative and don't function. We couldn't figure out how to get these to function because of the width of the shutters.

I was disappointed that we could not add the hinges to the shutters that function.  The shutters would not open and close all the way with them on. We were fortunate that these doors fit the width of these windows perfectly but I would love to see these hinges on them when they're open.

The decorative shutters are sitting on the floor but I have the right amount of shutters to actually close off each window.

Our shutters have dramatically changed the look of our house.  It's much brighter without any drapes or valances and I love rustic feel it gives to our house, balancing out the feminine colors and furniture.

Our son's bedroom is upstairs and has a very large window facing South and he's asked dad to put a shutter on it to keep out the summer sun.

love and blessings~

"I will sing of the lovingkindness of the Lord forever; to all generations I will make known Your faithfulness with my mouth."  Psalm 89:1

Bi-fold doors - Menard's (they are significantly cheaper at Menard's than at Lowe's)
Hinges and handles- Lowe's (Menard's did not have them)
Paint Color - SW Interesting Aqua, SW Racing the Rain, and SW Chateau Brown

I'm joining these linky parties:
Savvy Southern Style
DIY by Design
Common Ground
From My Front Porch to Yours
Stone Gable
Home Remedies RX
French Country Cottage


  1. Your shutters catch my eye every time you show this room Lynda. They are beautiful!

    1. Thank you, Stacey! I'm so glad you like them!

  2. I can't imagine how sick you must've felt after spending all that time making those curtains only to hang them and realize you didn't like them! Ugh! The shutters look fantastic; I love the pretty blue color of them!

    1. Thank you, Angelina! It's ok! It's not the first time I've made a decorating mistake and it probably won't be the last. :)

  3. I bought an expensive chair about two years ago having ordered it from a fabric swatch. When it was delivered my husband had it set in place. The moment I walked in the room I knew I'd made a mistake.
    Last week I sent it out to be recovered deciding that life is too short to live with something that bothers you every time you look at it.
    I was so taken with your shutters the first time I saw them and enjoyed your posting about the process. Have you considered buying the hinges you need and having them cut so that only the part you need can be used to decorate the door. Just an idea.

    1. Thank you, Connie! I have thought about trying to "break" them and just use the part I want. Unfortunately, they're made strong for gates. I've got another idea and if it works, I'll post it. I really appreciate your suggestion!

  4. O, I just did a post on shutters and their use and wish I'd known about your post...I would have asked to add a photo of your gorgeous blues....

  5. Lynda,
    The patina on your shutters adds sophistication to the windows, dear friend!!!
    Here on the Prairie, I have a double patio door opening and a living room window
    all West facing. The heat and the sun in the Summer months are nearly unbearable
    in our dining and living room. Like you, I have considered shutters, but don't know
    how to make them functional.
    Your living room is elegantly designed!!!
    Thank you for sharing a great solution to privacy and insulation!!!

  6. Thanks so much, Pat! If you do figure it out, please let me know! I think the original hardware might work if we get a chance to focus on it. Then hide it with moulding. Maybe this summer?!
    love and blessings~ I always appreciate your sweet comments!

  7. Lynda, I love the shutters! They are perfect in your home. Could you possibly paint black hinges onto your shutters? You could use a real one for a template, no one will know it isn't the "real thing" unless they are right up against it. You are very talented!!

    1. Thanks, Deb! You're so sweet to try to figure something out for me! I think I did it. Check today's post. Love

    2. lol! I guess I shouldn't get so far behind on my reading! It looks great!

    3. I was probably cutting and painting while you were posting! :)

  8. How beautiful! I love the way that looks. It's a nice departure from the usual draperies that you expect to see there. Love the color you chose too! Thanks for sharing this on Share Your Style.

  9. Lynda your home is lovely! I went back a few post and discovered that we have been on close to the same path in many cases. I lived in Muncie, then CO then a home in Eufaula AL and in Virginia. So I wasn't surprised to dicover the same pillows on your couch that I have. lol But the best one is you are a sister. God is good. Blessings to you!

    1. Well, that's just incredible! It sounds like the order is different but that's still so fun! Thanks for telling me! God is good!
      love and blessings~

  10. Fabulous repurpose! I adore shutters!!! The paint job really made these bi-fold doors look fantastic. Great job!

  11. What a beautiful room and a brilliant idea! Who knew bi-fold doors could look so good?! Visiting from Savvy Southern Style

    1. Aw, thank you, Brenna! I'm so glad you visited!

  12. Wow! What a fantastic idea!
    I have made drapes for years and like you have made them and hated them. Right now I have dropcloth drapes, and they are ok, but hummm, I think your shutters are amazing.
    So, just to clarify, you used regular hinges to attach to the wall for use, and "fake" hinges for looks?
    Your windows are beautiful and as lovely as those drapes were, those shutters are vastly superior. Perfect!

    1. Thank you, Nancy! Most of the shutters are not functional. We think we can use the original hardware for the bi-fold doors, attach them to the wall and have them open and close just like they would on a closet. Then cover the hardware up with moulding. But we haven't gotten that far. I used fake hinges on the functional ones because the decorative ones interfered.
      Hope that explains it well!
      Thanks for visiting!

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  14. "Wow"!! I love everything!!! Love all the different sized shutters...can't wait to see the finished product!!!
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