Remodelista:  A Bewitching Old Stone House                                                            Old House Dreams

                                  In the Fields                                                                  Madeline Stuart

I was talking with someone about renovating an old house a few months ago and I came to
the conclusion that my goal isn't always "renovation" as much as it is "restoring charm."  One 
of the things I love about old houses are the details, sometime quirks, that they have.

Darryl Carter's Living Room

Darryl Carter, same room, different view

Some of my favorite details are shutters and moldings.

(While Darryl's shutters seem more decoration than original details, I like how he's paired
the shutters with roman blinds of the same color as a window treatment.  I also notice he
typically uses shutters that cover about 2/3 of the window.  I need to add, I love this room!)

Shutters, in particular, are really common on old New England houses.
I wish I could find the photographs of my old condo; it had shutters that
folded back into the wall.  I'll show you if I can find them.

This is one the charming old houses in Marblehead, Massachusetts that
looks still has its original shutters.

Shutters are also great for privacy if your house is right on the street.

I believe my house was originally built for laborers so there aren't a lot 
of fancy details; in fact, in typical Yankee style, the detailed mouldings
were installed only in the living room where guests would see them.

Now that I've replaced all of the windows downstairs, I thought adding shutters 
to all the windows would be a way to add charm and provide a privacy solution 
since my house is so close to the street.  So last summer I took down my drapes 
and rods so I could try living with the windows open and uncovered during 
the day.  I found that when it's light outside, you really can't see in at all.

I had just a few months earlier, seen Loi install shutters in his Maine house
so I contacted his source, Shutterworks in Lewiston, Maine, to see if they'd (A)
provide me an estimate and (B) be willing to work with me long-distance.
The price seemed really good and yes, if I measured carefully, they would
make the shutters and I would drive up to pick them up so save shipping costs.

Fred at Shutterworks does almost every style of shutter imaginable 
so my task was to choose something that "fit" the house.  I decided to
base the shutter panels for the windows on the panels in my tiny basement 
door which I believe to be original to the house.

Just to make sure I liked it, I asked Fred to make
me up a sample so I could see what it looked like.

And the "Urban Cottage" shutter was born.

I carefully measured each of the windows--three times each--and
sent the measurements off to Fred.  I think it took about two months
for building and painting the shutters and I drove up to Lewiston the
week before Christmas to pick them up.

And here they are!

Fred works with a painter so I was able to get them spray painted before the pairs
were assembled.  I used Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray.

So my first project of the year is getting these installed.

I'm looking forward to the old New England charm these 
will bring to my downstairs.  
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