I shutter to think…

where my next design inspiration is stolen coming from.

The backyard deck is really starting to come together as an actual outdoor room.

Our deck, mostly finished

Our deck, mostly finished, circa Summer 2013

Last year, after it was installed and painted, I didn’t know what to do with myself on the deck, besides have meals.

So that’s all we did.

I had a nice loooong winter to think about how I’d really like to use our new space, and what it would take to get us from just a dining area to a more usable space.

The long winter of 2014, or my deck dining room waiting for spring

The long winter of 2014, or my deck dining room waiting for spring

And after much pondering and thinking and Pinteresting, we concluded there wasn’t really any place to hang out, have iced Arnie Palmers and relax.

To remedy that, we splurged on two all-weather wicker chairs with Sunbrella cushions.

The second Allen & Roth wicker chair

New Patio Chairs!

They were a big hit at the mother’s day party I hosted for Tim’s family…

but once everyone left, and we put the furniture back into every day mode, it seemed to be missing something.

I have all the elements needed for a well-functioning deck: a great grill for burning, err cooking, a comfortable dining table & chair set, and a hangout spot with oversized wicker chairs.

But its still bor-ing.

The Visual Vamp solves a problem with shutters,

The Visual Vamp solves a problem with shutters, Source

I wasn’t sure what was missing, but I knew the germ of the idea, once formed, would make sure its presence was known, until it was finally acknowledged as brilliant.

And then Friday night, while reading the The Visual Vamp’s blog something compelled me to look at her living room, again.


Valorie’s unique method of dealing with awkward windows in her living room. I’ve seen it in person, and its genius.

And then I recalled KariAnne of Thistlewood Farm’s use of shutters as a wall covering in a bedroom, and loved the look, and the texture that recycled shutters create. More genius!

Lots and lots of shutters on the wall

Lots and lots of shutters on the wall, Source

A light bulb must’ve been blinking like crazy over my head when it came to me — what was missing from my deck decor…

SHUTTERS! my mind whispered, over and over again.

shutters! SH-sh-sh-UTTERS! Shutters! SHUTTERS! S-H-U-T-T-E-R-S!

Each whisper getting progressively louder and L O U D E R

until it was plain old yacking at me

and I had to tell it to shut up.

But I digress.

Shuttering it Up

On Father’s Day, I cajoled sweetly convinced, Tim to join me looking for shutters at our favorite local salvage yard, Community Forklift.

Because you know, there was nothing else he wanted to do on his special day, but go salvaging with me…

A quick reminder of what we had Sunday morning. Not bad, but there was something nagging at me, something staring me right in the eye, that I really, REALLY HATED.

The deck before

The deck Sunday morning

Commmunity Forklift is great, they have all sorts of modern, vintage, and antique housing salvage materials, and I’ve been known to get lost in their door section for hours on end.

4 used shutters

Yes, I paid $20 each for 4 used shutters

Because its Spring/Summer, their stock of shutters is understandably, low,

Marking the shutters for the drill holes

Marking the shutters for the drill holes

After our visit on Sunday, CF is now 4 shutters low.

Measuring the shutters to hang on the brick wall

Measuring the shutters to hang on the brick wall

It took a bit of convincing Tim that I wanted to mount the shutters on the wall to create a faux window effect and not create a floor standing screen. — e.g. that I (or the voices in my head) knew what I was talking about…

Screwing them in tight

Screwing them in tight

But, as with most design and decorating matters, I manage to get my way, as I am the ‘one with the vision’, or in this case, the voices in my head, shouting at me that I.MUST.HAVE.SHUTTERS…

Hanging the Shutters

Tim Hanging the Shutters

The new seating area after the addition of the shutters. The voices were right, I did need shutters.

The seating area after

The seating area after

Total time spent:

– 30 minutes picking through the shutter bin at Community Forklift
– 30 minutes convincing Tim my way is the right way, i.e. talking through the how to hang ’em high
– 30 minutes to prep and hang the shutters on the wall

I’m very happy with the effect, they’re a little chippy, because that’s what salvage and vintage means.

There’s a BUNCH more to do to make the deck into my little slice of paradise, but we’re well on our way:

  • Change the industrial lighting out for more festive look, and add more lighting in general
  • Paint the window and door trim
  • Paint the bricks – I can hardly wait to cover that ugly red brick COMPLETELY!
  • Add one more seating area
  • Landscape the perimeter of the deck
  • Possibly paint the shutters another color – I’m not sure if the yellow will stand the test of time.

In addition, I’m on the hunt for something to layer on top of the shutters. Maybe a mirror or some wrought iron scrolls?

What would you put there?