For thirteen years, I've dreamed about adding exterior shutters to the house, and now finally my dream has come true. I’m so excited to show you my new improvements!
Our house must have had shutters in its earlier days. You can still see the indentations on the window frames where the old hinges used to be. Nearly all the houses in Quincy’s historic district have dark green (“Quincy green”) shutters.
Our new shutters are 78 inches tall and 16 inches wide and made of cedar, to resist rot. I just love the way they play up our beautiful old windows, which are original to the house (I've been told). They’re like tasteful eyeliner around lovely eyes.
I know this post is supposed to be about shutters, but I want to take just a minute to rhapsodize about the beauty of old windows—because they’re becoming more and more rare as people rush to replace them.
Our windows are six-over-six, meaning there are six window panes in each sash. Narrow strips of wood, called muntins, divide the individual panes of glass and hold them in place. Because each pane is a separate piece of glass, each reflects light in its own unique way. This special play of light is part of the appeal of old windows. Aesthetically, the muntins are just as important as the panes because they’re slightly raised, not flat—so they add depth to the windows and cast delicate shadows on the glass to add even more visual interest.
Now back to the shutters. They went up yesterday while I was at the office. I was so excited I couldn't concentrate on my work, and when I got home I ran around with my camera in the fading light, frantically snapping pictures, Rob following me and recommending different angles.
“You should get one here with the lemon tree,” he said. “It just looks so Florida.”
Unfortunately, my lemon-tree shot didn’t turn out (which is the case with about 99 percent of my pictures), but here’s one with the persimmon and the silver saw palmetto: