Windows: Again!

The neighbors may just pitch in to buy us shades but until then we continue to live in this house without a single thing on the windows.

So, here’s a lousy picture of a window in our bedroom.  As you can probably see there are 5 houses and an entire hospital that can see into this room.  My window treatment situation may qualify as an emergency to some most.


The windows cannot support panels so I will likely inside mount shades.

Option A.

Roman Shades.  This is my favorite kind of window treatment, especially the relaxed style, and may end up being our best option.  I love the soft look but also know we will lose light because Romans look best when they are not pulled tightly and left to fall like below:


Option B.

The cornice/shade combination.

The cornice would likely only be for the window in our room pictured above as the bed wall windows are too low.  I do like the bamboo shades and there are so many different versions to choose from at great price points.

Option C.

Plantation Shutters.  Plantation Shutters are low-maintenance but often need softening with a fabric layer.  If this were the beach, I wouldn’t hesitate to use them.

Phoebe Howard

A pretty plantation shutter look with a panel on each side.  This would be perfect on our bed wall except for our dormers.  No room to hang panels – sigh.

Fox Hollow Cottage

Here is one of the pesky dormers on our bed wall.


Option D.

Wood Blinds

Wood Blinds are a good option as well.  We had these in our last bedroom but I think they look better with a fabric layer in a bedroom.



Any preferences?



A Relatively Quick Fix & A Relatively Quick Sale

It was a small thing but it was bugging me to no end.  The floors were sanded and refinished just before we bought the house.  I am guessing there was probably carpet on the stairs for most of this house’s prior life so when the crew came, they simply sanded and stained the stairs, including the risers.  And this is the part that bugged me.  A lot.  So I finally did something about it.


The taping was the worst part. I don’t know why I cannot keep a straight line with a straight edge!  The trim around the stairs is next on the paint short list, but here are the stairs after one coat of primer and the first of 2 coats of BM White Dove.  Already much better.

The plan is to paint the surrounding trim in White Dove as well and then the railing in high gloss black, maybe.  I still haven’t made up my mind on that one yet.

Speaking of moving – our rancher which went up last week, SOLD!  Five offers in roughly 48 hours and we close in a month.  The open shelving garnered mixed reviews as I suspected but ultimately it didn’t hinder the sale. Though the Buyers did ask for the existing cabinetry’s make and model.  Hmmmm.  My guess is either they are busting through the dining room or adding uppers.  IMG_0342

Back to the stairs.  I have been thinking about runners, especially after our youngest fell down the stairs again the other afternoon.  Fortunately no injuries but I suspect we’ve depleted our luck.

Here are a couple that have caught my eye lately:





I love the look of stair rods but I wonder if they would get in the way of our big feet.

As much as I love the sisal it may be a little too slippery. Leaning towards wool.  Our last wool runner served us well.  A little bit of pilling but after 6 years it still looked nearly as good as the day it was installed.

I am focusing on the rug because I cannot make a decision on the window treatments in this house!!!  I need custom for every single window in the house.  Every single window – ouch.  I can’t even get away with ready-made panels as there are radiators and baseboards in the way.  Custom means I probably shouldn’t switch them out when I get sick of them in a year.  Stay tuned for musings on window treatments up next.

Shutters or Shudders?

I have a knack for choosing houses with shutter problems.  This house is no exception. Wood shutters are an investment and can add quite a bit of curb appeal to a house, but it is so important to get the proportions and style right.

This is a combination found quite often on the older houses in Wilmington.  For safety and weather, the lower shutters are paneled while the uppers are louvered.  The shutters on this house look operational and are hung correctly so that when closed they cover the window proportionally.

Often the upper, louvered shuttered referred to as “blinds” were a dark color for daytime napping.  The bottom shutters were lighter in color to allow for the candlelit interiors to appear brighter at night.


I love the different color shutters, especially on the stone houses.  Here is another example.


More typically people choose a single color shutter.  This house below features historically accurate shutters with the solid paneled shutters on the lowers and louvered on the uppers.  The shutter hardware is in place but not a standout feature.  A classic, timeless look.

One of my very very favorites.

Again, the louvered, paneled combination.  If you look closely you can see the lower shutters have a decorative candle cut-out.  This was a very popular feature starting in 1915 that lasted well into the 1930s.



The shutters on our own house were installed in the 1930s and followed the trends of the time, though more typical would have been solid panel top and bottom versus the combination panel-louvered.  We know the shutters are original as they were drawn out with the tree cut-out detail on the architect’s plans.

Front of house

The S-style shutter dogs were mass produced during the 1930s and are historically appropriate for houses built during this time and afterwards.

Unfortunately for our wallets, we will have to replace nearly all the shutters on the house top, bottom, front, back and more to come with the house expanding.

When I do replace the shutters and hardware there are a couple of things I will keep in mind as we have become so accustomed to seeing improperly sized and fitted shutters on houses these days.  The shutters should fill the entire window when closed.  They should also be hung directly on top of the window casing with hinges.   The shutters should never ever by hung to the side as became the norm once vinyl siding and shutters hit the market in the 1950s.

This is a good example of what to do and not do.

Pic from


The shutter to the left is mounted properly while the shutter to the right is not.

Here is another common shutter hanging mistake.  According to the purists, triple windows should not have shutters as if they were to be shut they would not even come close to covering the window!  This practice is pretty standard however and some people would argue that the lower shutters on this house add to the curb appeal.  The upper window shutters fit perfectly and absolutely add to the charm of this house.


Another example of a gorgeous house with some shutter issues.  The only shutters that would fit to close would be those hung on the center window on the second story.  The rest of the windows should not have shutters.


Our 1970s rancher pre-paint with a very common shutter issue.  The shutters are hung to the side of the window frame and are not quite the right size.  This means they lie flat against the siding and there are no pleasing shadows.  These louvered shutters are also very flat.  There are better vinyl shutters out there with more realistic louvres.  Even if you choose vinyl they can still be hung correctly and with realistic hardware.

Off to the paint store!  I have decided to tackle the knotty pine in the basement  myself.  I have a feeling I will regret that about 2 hours from now.

The Last Few

Here are the last few houses from the tour.  Wawaset deserves a bit more attention in the spring as the neighborhood has some of the best gardens around.  This neighborhood was a bit trickier to photograph as the streets are narrow and busy.  I may have to do a walking tour with my iPhone (a bit more discrete) next time!

Look at that lamp post!





Hope you enjoyed the tour and were able to glean some ideas for your own houses.

Next up is a post on shutters.  Barbara pointed out some rather unique shutters while on our tour and it is interesting to note the different shutter combinations and styles.  More on that to come.