Monday, April 28, 2014

a little off the top, a little off the bottom, & definitely a pop ofcolor.

You thought I was talking about a new hairdoo didn't you? 
I'm talking about shutters in the first installment of posts chronicling "before & after" projects on our 1960's ranch-style home we've been renovating since January.  

I am a big advocate for proper scale & proportion. Just like Golidlocks, I needed to find the right fit when starting to spruce up the exterior. I felt like the shutters were just too long for the overall height of the house & size of the windows. And while I'm at it, so was the light fixture. Generally I feel like the solid wood building materials on older homes are of much better quality than those you get today, so I didn't want to go the replacement shutter route. I asked my very handy Dad if shortening the shutters would be an option. Since they were louvered, he thought it wouldn't be too difficult to do.  So my wacky idea was added to our long to-do list, & waited for a warmer spring weekend to tackle it.
{1st Update: New Doors!}

I am lucky & quite thankful to have a handy & knowledgeable husband and family. While the hubs tackled spreading new topsoil and grass seed, my dad, "Daddy J" in grandparent speak, hung the newly shortened shutters. "Cece" (my mom in grandparent speak), Ford, & I headed to my favorite garden center to pick out flowers and a couple new coconut liners for my window boxes. 

It can be overwhelming trying to decide which plants to fill your window boxes with for spring & summer. You have to take into account maintenance, water, & light. Being my first summer in this house I wasn't exactly sure what to expect. All winter the front of my house got a great amount of sun, but that was without the canopy of leaves the big old oak tree provides in the summer. The first step was to select a color palette. I knew I wanted bright pops of warm colors to go with my aqua door. Coral was my first choice but wasn't easy to find in the window box appropriate flowers for my varied light levels. We played with color & texture combinations as long as a pouchy kept Ford happy in his stroller, and ended up with a nice grouping that follows the "golden rule" of container gardening:


Recipe for The Perfect Windowbox {at least at my house!}

++ Thrillers ++
Dracena Spike
{dark green & grass-like}

++ Spillers ++
Dwarf Marguerite Sweet Potato Vine 
{lime green}

++ Fillers ++
Madness Rose Petunia
{flowers hot pink}
Dusty Miller
{grey/green interesting leaves}
Easter Bonnet Violet Alyssum
{small purple flowers}
Quartz White Verbena
{fluffy white flowers}
Bandito Orange Sunrise Lantana
{orange & yellow cluster flowers}
Orange Gerbera Daisys

{shorter shutters, Pete peeking out the window, colorful window boxes, & a new light fixture...hooray!}

Have you checked out your local habitat restore? I picked up that light fixture for $15! I liked the aqua patina & size. When mom helped me clean it up (not nearly as pretty on the shelf) she discovered its solid copper. I looked up a new similar sized one and it sold for $400! 


Nat said...

The flower boxes with the shortened shutters look great! I love your advice on how to fill them- as someone who knows zero about gardening this is so helpful!

melissa said...

The shortened shutters look great and I love window boxes. Our recent trip to Charleston made me wish we had windows that would accomodate them. All our windows are basically floor to ceiling so they're too low for window boxes. Makes decorating indoors a little tricky sometimes too.

KatiePerk said...

What pretty window boxes! Hooray for handy family members too!

Greg Arnett said...

You'd never know when you'll need your mom and dad for a DIY renovation task! While you may be right on the current wood quality, if it came up that it's not feasible to shorten them, replacing them could have been a totally different task. Good call too on partnering them with window boxes, as it gives them an added charm.
Greg Arnett @ Sunburst Shutters & Window Fashions