I’m sharing before and after photos of 3 relatively small home improvements that made a HUGE difference in the look and feel of my home.
We’ve been in our home for almost 20 years, so naturally we’ve made updates along the way. The most recent update is one that really made an impact, so I decided to share in here on the blog.
Our home is situated near heavy trees with a backyard view that looks almost like a treehouse. We couldn’t enjoy the view, however, because of the bulky plantation shutters. So, I decided to take them down, which led to a few other changes as well.
First Change: Plantation Shutters
We’ve lived in our home almost 20 years. When we first moved in, we had plantation shutters installed on all downstairs windows and several upstairs. I loved my shutters for awhile but started taking them down in stages about five years ago. I was so tired of them and happy to see them go.
Why I Took All My Plantation Shutters Down (and Couldn’t Be Happier)
- Plantation shutters gave me a closed-in feeling and made the room(s) seem smaller.
- They were bulky and heavy looking.
- They had to be dusted/cleaned often~slat by slat.
- They blocked the lovely view of tress that we have in our back.
- They began breaking here and there (after decades of use), and it is HARD to find someone to repair them.
How to Take Down Plantation Shutters
If you are handy, you can do this yourself. Neither Zane nor I happen to be handy, so we hired this job out to our friend Roberto.
- Remove shutters (it is fairly easy to do with a drill).
- Patch and paint the windows where the shutters were attached.
- Clean the window sills; you may be surprised at how dirty it can get.
My Shutters are Gone: Now What?
- I had professional window tints installed to minimize light and add a degree of insulation. I used the same tint on every window in the house (if you tint one window, you need to tint them all to be consistent).
- In the den and our master bedroom, I put rods above the windows for ceiling to floor panels.
- In the bedroom, we close the panels at night for privacy.
- In the den, we leave the panels open but have the option to close them if needed.
My Den Before and After Plantation Shutters
In the (primitive) photos above, you can see my den before. There are several things about it that I wanted to change.
- Remove plantation shutters.
- Remove the drapes on each end.
- Put return rods above each window with panels on each side (big enough to close if needed for privacy).
- Change black rods to an antique gold.
- Use return rods with no finials for a more streamlined look.
- Use a light neutral linen blend fabric for drapes.
Savvy Friends Who Helped Me Implement the Changes
- My friend and decorator, Donna Frazier, helped me pick fabric from several samples I picked from King Cotton.
- Donna measured, ordered rods, and had window treatments custom made.
- My friend Lisa Davis removed old rods/treatments and installed new ones.
Fresh new look now that plantation shutters are gone.
You can see how much lighter and more airy our den is now. The trees in our backyard can now be enjoyed.
My Kitchen Nook: Removing Double Pane Windows and Door
Donna has told me for years to replace the double pane windows in my kitchen nook for a huge impact. Now that I’ve done it, I see exactly what she meant. HUGE difference!
We also replaced the paned door with a single pane door for again, a huge difference.
Our Kitchen Nook With Double Pane Windows (Before)
Our Kitchen Nook With Single Pane Windows and Door (After)
A HUGE shout out to my friend Jim Nutholland in Birmingham who did the windows and the door. If you look up “friendly” in the dictionary, there’ll be a picture of Jim’s face LOL. He is the best. I highly recommend him for anything window or door related. Tell him that I sent you:-)
I hope that despite my poor photography, you can see what an impact you can make in a room by replacing double pane windows (and doors) with single paned. If you’re a DIY’er, you can do it on a budget as well!
If you have questions or comments, please leave them below. As always, thanks so much for stopping by. Wishing you a joyful, blessed, and savvy day!!!