How to Create a Window Wall Feature
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: I'LL LEAVE IT AT: IF I CAN DO IT, YOU CAN DO IT!
Hey Modern Farmhouse Girl!
First of all, can I just say how excited I am that Joanna Gaines is coming out with a HOME DESIGN BOOK?
I love that her goal with it is to help people figure out their own home decorating style and create their own perfect spaces—she's so humble, she didn't make it all about her! Also, apparently the book includes "a fold out design guidebook" at the back for you to sketch plans for yourself! LOVE!!!! (As you may know, I'm a proponent of sketching home design ideas—no matter how 'bad' of an artist you think you are!)
P.S. You can still pre-order the exclusive edition from Magnolia.com for $40 vs. the $24 book for pre-sale on Amazon. Ch-Ch-Check!
OK, so all of that wasn't totally off-topic because I'm pretty sure Joanna invented the whole "window wall" decor feature I'm going to get to in a minute, i.e. an antique window pane framed by two antique shutters. But I've watched too many Fixer Upper episodes to remember (add to that pretty much every home design show on HGTV for the last three years...shout-out to Property Brothers—my favorite bros!) and you can see why I can't quite place the inspiration/origin for this fun wall trick.
Some general comments: I think this wall feature is super cute, super modern farmhouse style of course, and super worth the elbow grease that goes into this decorating project. But there will be elbow grease! SUPER...
(Maybe tears too. I had a rough time actually attaching the things to the wall.)
I also think it's always helpful to browse Instagram or Pinterest for an "inspiration image" before you start a decorating project, so you can at least to see what other people have done out there and hopefully commented on, so you can gauge difficulty. Just search for "shutters" and the possibilities are endless!
Here was my inspiration image:
Once I had my inspiration for the Window Wall Feature, I went to the Brimfield Antiques Show last September on a mission: find two perfect shutters and one amazing window pane.
No luck AT ALL. Actually, I do remember seeing LOTS of shutters, but the dealers were asking no less than $40 a shutter. That's crazy folks! (And I picked up some other cool scores that year so I was goooood.) But it just so happened my uncle, who is a contractor, had a pile of shutters he'd pulled off a construction site *just sitting* in his barn. He also had a VERY COOL window pane in MINT condish. And he gave this all to me for free. Obviously, we don't have the same uncle, but I do encourage you to hunt around at tag sales, on Craigslist, on Facebook Marketplace and at local vintage/antiques stores for shutters and window panes to keep costs down.
Here were my (very dusty) finds:
So! After cleaning off my window pane and my shutters, I took them home to Vermont. My next steps were to:
- Order two mini wreaths (one to hang on each shutter) from Wayfair.com
- Buy black spray paint at the Home Depot and paint both shutters a fresh coat of paint
- Visit my local hardware store (I love you Aubuchon!) and have a very long conversation with my DIY guru there. She's pretty crafty herself and had hung shutters in her own house before, so she advised me on all the right nails/brackets/hanging gadgets and gizmos to buy.
My mom came to visit one weekend and she was on hand to help me hang the shutters and pane. (Small aside here: Mom, you're making it into most of my blog posts! This is why your picture is on display in my pantry! Tee hee hee.) It's GREAT if you can have someone else on hand for this. You definitely need to use a level to make sure you're hanging things straight. You also need a tape measure and pencil so you can mark your walls to figure out proper distance, etc. And it's always good to have someone around to encourage you to "go for it" while you're on the verge of chickening out about making marks in your downy white walls!
That's it! I know this wasn't as specific step-by-step as my usual posts, but I lost the original photos and completed this project last fall when I didn't have plans for a DIY blog. Please feel free to ask me if you have any specific questions—I would love to help!
Happy shutter and pane hunting!