To Shutter or Not?

The living room window on the east side of the house originally had a shutter on it.

The east side of the house looked like this before the renovation.

Then we built an addition, the conservatory and bathroom, that almost touches the window frame.

The conservatory fits up against the first floor window now.

The question now is should we put the shutter back on the window?

The space on the right side of the window is limited.

And what do we do with the right side of the window where there is no longer room for a shutter?

Correct placement for shutters in tight spaces.

The recommends this approach so we’ll definitely be hanging both sides of this shutter set.

How do you decide on debatable décor placement?


Four Beautiful Days

Even though Hurricane Irma is supposed to slide up the east coast our weather has four cool, clear, dry days forecast.

Hurricane Irma is causing havoc in the Caribbean but in Maryland we’re having great weather.

It sounds like perfect painting weather.

Charlie, Sug, and I all worked on scraping the shutters.

We’re going to make a concerted effort to finish scraping, priming, and painting the exterior shutters.

I scrubbed the dirt from each shutter, front and back, with enzyme cleaner.

By my count we need 6 more pairs of full-sized shutters (3 pairs are finished) and 1 pair that needs to be cut down to fit a casement window.

We need 3 more pairs of shutters on the front of the house which are now scraped and cleaned. Today — priming.

In total 7 pairs, 14 shutters, need prepping and painting.

The west side of the house gets 3 sets of shutters.

We’ve also decided not to use the shutters beside the front door.

Our old front door was decorated with non-functional shutters.
The shutters are leaning against the front door. There is not enough room for them.

They just don’t seem to make sense nor enhance the area.

What fall event do you look forward to?

Handy Tools

While we were replacing the shutters 2 hinges on the upper story of the house had the hinge pinned together because we couldn’t get the pin out.

One shutter needed new hinges because the original hinge was stuck on the house.

We replaced the side of the hinge that went on the shutter with an extra hinge.

Charlie pounding up on a stuck hinge pin.

The tricky part was removing the flapping sides from the window frame.  The pins were stuck.  We couldn’t knock the rusty pins out with a hammer and a screwdriver.

The vise grip pliers held tight to the head of the hinge pin.

Charlie was more successful with a pair vise grips squeezed around the top of the pin and a hammer pounding up on the pliers.

The conservatory bathroom roof was handy for working on the window.

Unfortunately the lower hinge wouldn’t budge.  In fact the screws holding the hinge into the window frame were failing which gave too much play to the hammering.  When one of the screws actually fell out we were afraid we’d have to remove the storm window in order to replace the hinge.

Offset Phillips screwdriver.

Instead, in our pile of tools was an offset screwdriver which allowed us to replace the screw even though we didn’t have a straight shot to the screw head.

Offset screwdriver

Once the hinge was secured in place the hinge pin could be hit hard enough to remove it.

The window frame still needs to be primed and painted.

Then we hung the freshly painted shutter.

Charlie installed screw eyes to hold the shutter tie-back hardware that keeps them from flapping in the wind.

We could have heated the hinge with a blow torch and it would have easily come apart.  Unfortunately we couldn’t find our blow torch. I’m sure it will show up in the near future.

Another shutter complete.

Are your tools and supplies organized and readily available?

Yard Carts

We have 2 yard carts for hauling things at the back of the mower around the yard.

We’ve been storing the yard carts behind the Cottage. The door and windows leaning on them have been sold on Craigslist.

Unfortunately the red one has started to rust so I’m planning to list it on Craigslist for someone who can reinforce the bed of the cart.

The red cart is still in good enough shape to be useful.

We’ve decided to store the black cart near the shed instead of behind the Cottage.

The space behind the shed is getting cleared up from clutter and being used as a storage area.
The cart is backed into the area behind the shed and not visible from the house.

Actually we keep the mower there too so it’s the obvious storage spot.

We might transform the cart into a little chariot for fun rides around the yard.

It is easily hauled around the yard with our tractor mower.

Do you have yard machinery to help with your chores?

Painted Shutters — Finally

With some help from Sug I finally got some (OK 3 sets) shutters hung back on the house.

Sug primed all sides of 3 sets of shutters.

Early in the week she primed three sets of shutters that I thought went on the windows on the second floor and the front of the house.

I tried to maintain the shutters in an organization that would match the shutter with the correct window.

Yesterday was a perfect weather day to spray paint all sides the final color. I painted the back first then flipped them and sprayed the front.

The front of the house was beautifully shaded all morning.

In the meantime Sug finished priming and painting the exterior window frames on the front of the house that Charlie had begun.

Some of the hinge pins were stuck in the knuckle.

Sug removed the hinge pins we had been storing on the hinge-halves attached to the house.  I sanded the rust off the pins and oiled them to deter future rust.

If the shutter is paired with the correct window hanging is easy.

Then I climbed our tall ladder and hung each shutter.

The second-floor shutter on the conservatory (east) side of the house is challenging.

Unfortunately I mistakenly painted a set of shutters that go on the side of the house.  We couldn’t hang the pair because we cannot get the hinge pins out of the hinges.  We’re hoping that oiling them well will loosen the pins and allow us to pry them out.

I just love how the shutters enhance the character of the house.

A taste of shutters on the windows displays just how decorative they are.


We’re working on getting all shutters hung this fall, 3 sets at a time.

Does your house have a detail that gives it style?

Now I Know the Difference

We are thinking of putting in a gravel path in the front of the house.

The front of house preliminary foundation plan.

I was corrected by the president of a local sand and gravel pit that gravel is not good for a path because when it gets wet it’s slippery.

Pea gravel is slippery when wet.

I was told, instead of gravel, to use crushed stone. Crushed stone is more angular than gravel and it not slippery when wet.

Our driveway has black stone.

I wanted to use crushed stone from this local company but they only have black stone remaining in their quarry.

We want crushed stone under the downspout water diverter.

Charlie visited a local stone emporium to see if we could get something that would blend better with our bluestone porches and field stone dry waterfall.

Sandstone is a lighter than we want but much cheaper than regular stone.
Grey and tan crushed stone blends well with our stone.

He brought home pea gravel, crushed sandstone, and crushed tan and grey stone.

Grey and tan crushed stone on our field stone.

We’ll be making a decision soon. I fear my choice will be the highest priced.

What’s your favorite path material: cement, brick, stone, crushed stone, sand?

Small Changes

Happy birthday to my favorite sister!

Yesterday I said I would change up some décor to make the house a little cozier.

The end of summer.
Fall colors in the living room.

First item: change up the pillows.

The rattan divan is now under the large painting with Casper lounging lazily.

I removed the summery yellow flowered pillows and moved around the other ones putting the blue ones from the sofa on the rattan divan and replacing them with the chartreuse ones and other darker pillows.

Vintage items all inherited from my mother’s collection.

I cleared the mantel and placed an old dish and some other vintage items.

Blue hydrangeas turn purple and green in autumn.

I cut fresh hydrangeas from the yard.

A copper coffee pot on the coffee table ties to the copper sunflowers on the mantel.

I couldn’t take photos in natural light because it was so dreary all day.


Final stamp of approval: Charlie fell asleep on the sofa almost immediately after I finished switching things up.

Where’s your cozy spot?