Friday Randomness — Shutters, a Proper Introduction, and a PSA

Good morning, all! First, let me say a big “thank you” for your sweet comment about my house, my voice ( 😀 that was unexpected!) and my very first video house tour in yesterday’s post. It was fun to do, so if I can get better and faster with the video editing process, I’d love to include more videos in the future.

So now that you’ve gotten the up close and personal view of the front and side exterior of my house, you can help me with a decision about shutters. I have a total of five windows that I want to put shutters on — the two front windows and one side window on the studio…

…and then the two front-facing windows on the other side of the house…

I did a little mock up of shutters on the studio a while back…

…but at that time, there was basically no progress on the front porch. So now that the porch has a wood floor and white columns, and the portico has its new pretty brackets in place, I’m really at a loss about what style shutters will go with the elements I currently have in place. And I have a feeling I may be overthinking it a bit, but I can’t seem to get past my overthinking.

The shutters I did on the mock up above are very simple in style. They’re basically board and batten shutters using two widths of lumbers instead of using all of the same width, which is the standard board and batten style. Most board and batten shutters look more like this with the uniform widths of lumber used, and they can be stained or painted…

via The Space Between

Board and batten shutters are the go-to for DIYers because they’re so simple to make. They’re basically lengths of lumber glued and screwed/nailed together. It doesn’t get much easier than that, but they can give your house beautiful curb appeal. There are probably hundreds of tutorials on Pinterest for making these, some with slight variations in details. In fact, I tried searching for DIY shutters in a style other than board and batten, and they’re pretty hard to come by.

If navy blue board and batten shutters will work on my house, that would be great news for me. I could get those suckers made in a day, spend another day painting them, and be done in two days. Easy peasy. But with the traditional elements I’ve added (especially the style of my front porch columns), I just can’t make up my mind if board and batten will work, or if I need to go with something a little more traditional in style. I searched “traditional shutters” on Houzz, and that brought up mostly louvered shutters (which I do NOT want) and panel (both raised and recessed panel) shutters. I could go with one of those. Something like this would be nice…

But that would also take more time to make. Heck, I’m not even sure how to go about making something like that. I’ll have to give it some thought.

So what do you think? Can navy blue board and batten shutters (either in the varying widths like the mock up, or in uniform widths like the other picture) work on my house with the traditional elements? Or does my house require a more traditional style of shutters?

Anyway, switching gears a bit, I wanted to give a proper introduction to our newest family member. You caught a glimpse of him in yesterday’s video house tour, but this is Cooper.

His name was Connor, but I just couldn’t make that work for a dog name. Cooper seemed to fit him more. We’re told that he’s four years old (although I now doubt that — he acts way more puppy-like than a four-year-old), and that he’s a German Shepherd/Labrador Retriever mix. And clearly, he has the cutest ears ever. 😀

Tuesday marked exactly one month since our sweet Boo Bear died, so I headed to the Humane Society to look at the dogs and see if one of them felt like a good fit. I had already been up there several times, and just didn’t feel a connection with any of the dogs (probably because I didn’t want to yet — I just wasn’t ready). And I personally feel like that’s important, since having a dog is a big committment, and they become a family member. The fit needs to be good.

I had seen Cooper during those previous visits, but I passed him by because he wouldn’t come close when I called him or looked at him. He just stayed in the small outdoor area of his kennel and paced back and forth, nonstop, the entire time. He didn’t seem social or friendly at all, so I moved on.

But then on Tuesday, I looked at the Humane Society Facebook page to look at any new intakes, and there was Cooper (then named Connor) on their list of 10 longest residents, and one of their “urgent/in danger” dogs. He had been there since December 25th without being adopted. Then his behavior made more sense to me. Clearly being locked up in a kennel for so long was driving him crazy. So I went and visited with him outside of his kennel, and he acted like a different dog. His nervous energy went away, he was friendly and curious, and he calmed down quite a bit. But as soon as he went back into his kennel, he started pacing again.

The guy told me that that’s all he does when he’s in his kennel. He paces all day long, every single day, and as a result, he had lost weight since he had been there. Well, that broke my heart, so I decided he was the one. He desperately needed out of that kennel, and he needed the safety and security of a forever home so that he would calm down, relax, release that anxious energy, and gain some weight back. Because right now, the poor boy’s ribs, spine, and hip bones are showing way too much.

It took about 24 hours for a lot of that anxious/excited energy to disappear, and his first night here was a very restless one. But after about 24 hours, he finally relaxed to the point of lying down in his bed and going to sleep. I loved seeing that.

And the past two nights have been peaceful. He’s still a bit of a handful. It’s clear that he’s had no training or discipline in his life, so he’s a jumper and he knows no commands (although he now knows “lay down,” so he’s a smart boy and a fast learner). But I can already tell he’s going to make a great addition. And he shows no aggression towards Peeve, which is good. He’s curious, but he’s also a little afraid of her, which is just as it should be. 😀

Anyway, I want to end with this little public service announcement. Please, I beg of you, if you have room in your home and in your heart, please take a trip this week to your local shelter and see if there’s a dog (or cat) you could bring home and make a part of your family. I really wish that more people were aware of the number of dogs in those shelters who need homes. I know it’s nice to go to a fancy breeder and spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a fancy pure-breed puppy with papers and all, but these shelter pups need homes. And I think there’s something about rescuing a dog who has spent time in a small kennel in a very loud shelter that makes them even more loyal and more loving pets. They understand what you’ve done for them and will be forever grateful.

And for the love of all that is good and furry, please spay and neuter your animals. We never got Boo neutered, and in hindsight (especially after visiting the shelter so much lately), I feel really bad about that. As far as I know, Boo never had any offspring, but I can’t be sure. He did escape the yard a few times during his lifetime, and I have no idea what he did between his escape and when we found him each time. But the stray dog situation is out of control in most areas, and these poor animals are losing their lives because humans aren’t being responsible pet owners. Visit a shelter, adopt a pet, spay and neuter, save lives. The end. <3



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  1. I love the raised panel shutters. And, welcome to Cooper. Can’t wait to see his progress too. Your home is gorgeous.

  2. He’s so cute and I just want to squeeze him! I love your PSA! Can I add to it? If you absolutely must buy a dog, at least research the supplier! If you buy a puppy online, or from a place that refuses to let you meet the parents, chances are very high that you are purchasing from a puppy mill! The dogs at puppy mills are treated terribly, they’re overbred, don’t receive proper healthcare, kept in small cages in their own waste, on and on. You can’t possibly call yourself an animal lover if you don’t do due diligence and support a puppy mill!

    1. Agree! Our state has a large number of puppy mills, which the state honestly doesn’t have the budget to properly supervise. Shameful. Our HS just had two recent cases of over 60 dogs each that they had to take in from mills, and the conditions of these dogs were awful; some didn’t make it thru processing! Please consider adoption instead. If these breeders stop making money, they will have to shut down.

      As for your shutters Kristi – I like the simpler board and batten. We made ours, and wrapped the horizontal boards around the side, for a bit more flair! Everyone says how much they like that, and it takes them from casual to a bit dressed up! Found the image on Pinterest, which showed them with square studs across the horizontal boards, but hubby didn’t like that. The image doesn’t lead to a source, so we just copied off the photo. ( I bought the studs too, but then never put them on! )

      1. I sent you a photo on your pinterest page of the shutter. I don’t know any other way to get it to you from there, since I’m not tech smart! LOL!

    2. AMEN TO THAT, I would never buy an animal, too many good ones out there that need homes. Just need to find the one that clicks with you. I always say the dog, picks you, you do not pick the dog.

      Cooper is adorable, lots of love will get him to be the super duper pet.

      1. Yes, yes, yes. The animals are out there, folks. We have non-stop natural disasters, each which leave animals lost and homeless. If you don’t see what you want in your local shelter, please look online. You can search for specific traits, breeds, etc. and still save a life. PLEASE.

  3. I have absolutely nothing helpful to say on the shutters, but Cooper, oh my heart. He is one lucky dog to have a family and a big back yard to play in. I have a Cooper, too. 🙂

  4. What a difference a stable home makes to a high anxiety dog. Cooper is very affectionate and so calm now. His personality is coming out more and more as his fears are drowned in our sea of hugs and kisses. He is supposed to live with us.

      1. Aww this makes me sooo happy! Connor is adorable! We have a Clancy that started out which the name Chandler we just couldn’t make stick. I have only had rescue pets and my life is so much fuller because of it! There are rescues dedicated to certain breeds so that can even be a option to avoid puppy mills!
        I like both shutter ideas!

  5. Love your house and I am in awe of your skills and creativity. Always look forward to your posts but today’s post about Cooper melt my heart! I have six rescued dogs myself and love each one of them. Can’t wait to see how Cooper progresses. Oh, and the shutters too. 😉

  6. Love the board and batten shutters and think they will look fab in navy blue on your house.

    Thanks for saving Cooper! We adopted Sugar 14 years ago, and we walked past her several times at the shelter. She had been abused and was terrified. We had to put her down in January and waited about a month before rescuing Biscuit from the shelter-we got him on Valentines day. I keep seeing the urgent list and am tempted to get another dog, but our cats are already upset with the addition of Biscuit. I’m so glad at least one more of them was saved.

  7. I just wanted to say thanks for PSA! I volunteer doing photography for my local shelter, and they (and all area shelters) are so full right now, and sooo many of the residents are puppies, it’s awful! My best friend just “inherited” a new dog because someone threw a puppy over another friend’s gate TWICE (because it got loose and ran back to them the first time) and nearly ran it over trying to get away. Another friend found a box of YOUNG puppies sitting on the side of the road on one of the coldest (and iciest) days this year. My sister found her dog as a starving 4 week old puppy in a ditch on the way home from the lake one day. Spay/neuter fixes those situations before they ever happen! I have no problem with responsible breeders, I have one papered purebred (retired gch show dog with his breeder) and one rescue, but most puppies aren’t coming from responsible breeders. If a handful of dogs had not bred just this ONE season, our local shelter woukd be at roughly 25% capacity instead of over 100%. Instead, shelters are maxed out and dogs are dying daily due to accidental and irresponsible breeding.

    Sorry, off my soapbox now!

  8. Thanks so much for including the PSA about the shelters. I’d like to add to it…

    My wife and I agreed neither of us wanted a pet. We felt we wouldn’t make good owners (weren’t home enough) and didn’t want the fur and odors that come with sharing your home with an animal. However, recently, we began to change our minds and went to the local shelters looking at cats.

    We ended-up adopting not one, but TWO loving felines who have special places in our hearts. Sam, our orange and white cat, is a “special needs” cat who has a heart condition that will eventually take his life. We don’t know when…he could live to a ripe old age or it could worsen suddenly. But we’re happy he gets to spend the time he has left with us. Nebby, a calico/tortie mix came to the shelter with her sister, who had diabetes and needed to be put-down. She’s also a lovable lap cat and as it turns out, had a form of breast cancer that needed an operation.

    The moral of the story is that there are so many cats and dogs in shelters that need loving homes. Whether you want a kitten/puppy, an older animal, or have it in your heart to take in a special needs animal, there’s a right one for you. If they don’t find good homes, most shelters eventually will need to put them down.

    They’re not all strays–each one comes with his or her own story. And it’s surprising (with cats, anyway) how many are just plain turned-in because their elderly owner passed away and nobody in the extended family would adopt it or because the owner needed to move to a no-pets apartment and had to give poor fluffy up.

    1. Good for you guys Justin. We too adopted two cats that came in feral and had been waiting two years for a home.

  9. All the feels! We have 2 rescue dogs and they are the best! We try to spread the word as much as we can: rescue/Adopt and Spay/neuter! Yay for Cooper joining your family!

    About your shutters, I think you could mix elements. I also think you could do traditional. From a business sense, if your blog is the only one with a tutorial on traditional shutters, maybe it’ll drive traffic to your blog. That would be good, right? 🙂

  10. I don’t really have anything useful to contribute to your shutter dilemma other than maybe do what you do best, which is wait until the answer presents itself. As for Cooper and your PSA – Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
    Matt is spot on. He is s’posed to live with you.

  11. First of all, congratulations on Cooper! He took no time at all to adjust to his new forever home. So happy for you all! I like the look of the navy blue shutters – I think they would work. The batten type seems a little too rustic for the look of your house, yes?

  12. Cooper is so handsome and cute. So happy for you and Matt. I look forward to seeing him appear in future posts as he fills out and discovers posing for the camera. 😉

    Your original idea a great… color and style. I think of your style as being more cottage on the exterior and the shutter style you’re choosing is perfect for that.

    Happy Easter!

    1. I agree, often first thoughts are the right ones. I love the navy blue shutters and think they will go just fine with your porch columns.

      Our daughter has had both rescued and breeder raised dogs and they are all special, but please everybody, try to find a rescue dog that speaks to your heart first. The last rescue dog in our family is a Senior Yorkie. We were told she was 6 yrs. old…….turned out to be 9 yrs. old. She had not been abused , but nobody had ever really loved her, played with her…..just fed her and kept her on a sunporch, didn’t want her to mess up their expensive house. She was very shy when she came and watched my daughter’s other dog to see how to behave and is still learning to play and be part of a family. Please check with rescue groups in your area before you buy and if you are interested in a particular breed, check with your local Humane Soc. for names of rescue groups for that breed.

  13. I too have rescue friends. 2 cats and 2 dogs and then 2 more dogs (not rescued) :O) We live out in the country on an acreage. We are at our max so no more rescues. But those homeless babies do tug at your heart strings.

    I like the board and batten but any idea you have always seems to work so go for whatever you think!

  14. I loved your house tour (and like other have said, so nice to put a voice to the face 🙂 ) If/when you have frustrating moments when you feel like you’re not making fast enough progress, you need to watch your video again! And Cooper is one lucky dog, I hope we get regular Cooper updates :-)! Thank you so much for your PSA, there are so many wonderful cats and dogs at shelters just waiting to give us all the love they have inside. All of our dogs are rescues, and they are wonderful! We said goodbye to our old girl, Pepper, a year and a half ago. I couldn’t bring myself to take in another because it seemed like I would be trying to ‘replace’ her. About 6 weeks ago I had a dream that Pepper told me to bring another dog home – so I went to our local shelter (in Bulverde, north of San Antonio) and found Alicia Keys (volunteers at the shelter named her, and her sister Gwen Stefani, lol). She had been adopted but returned. The shelter volunteers were wonderfully patient working with my other 2 dogs to be sure she would get along and she came home with us 4 weeks ago. There are adjustment issues mostly related to her separation anxiety when I go to work. I promised Lisha (I shortened her name to 2 syllables) that I would never return her – we will figure it out so she can relax into her forever home.

    1. I think I remember that dog on Petfinder!? Surfing petfinder is my go to when I can’t sleep, so that’s often😕 thank you for seeing through a dogs issues to give her a loving home.

    2. This brought tears to my eyes. I hate hearing about dogs being adopted and then returned because they don’t act perfectly. I mean, I realize there are serious issues, like a acting aggressively towards a child/children that can’t be tolerated. But regular behavioral/adjustment issues that just need some patience, discipline, training and lots of love aren’t a reason to return a dog. So glad you’re willing to work through those issues and give her a forever home!

      1. When we brought our boy home from the SPCA the first night was such a nightmare that I considered taking him back, not too seriously though. In any case, he settled down and I later realised that he was just extremely anxious and stressed at first.

        He’s really the loveliest dog, he seems to be a pure Labrador (he was a stray, so who knows) with the gentlest nature, and he’s now super loyal and affectionate. Shelter dogs are the best.

        Your poor little guy looks like he’s had a hard time, the way his ribs are showing. Hopefully now he’ll be able to relax and put some meat on his bones.

  15. Hi
    Your dog is adorable and good for you for adopting from a shelter!
    I have an idea about your shutters – I think you can find instructions for making flat panel cabinet doors online. Same process just scaled up a bit.
    I also like the board and batten

  16. I like the navy shutters in your mockup. I think what I like about those more than traditional board and batten is the pattern created by the spacing in the different width boards. That fancies them up a bit and also helps them feel a bit more open – not quite just a solid block of color like you’d get with the recessed panel shutters, which I also like. If you go with recessed panel, I would buy them rather than make them (and I’m saying that as someone who does have the tools and skills) because you can get them inexpensively in vinyl and once painted no one would ever know. Unless of course you’re planning on your shutters being working shutters that can be closed over the windows in case of a storm.

  17. Yay Cooper! Thank you for talking about rescue dogs! There are SO many in need of a good home. We used to foster rescue dogs and it was so rewarding, but so hard to say goodbye. I bawled my eyes out (like serious ugly crying) each time one of the dogs left. We ended up keeping one of our foster dogs because we just fell in love with her and she fit in with our other 2 dogs so well. She was with the rescue for 2 years before she came to us (and on death row in the pound before that) and she seems so grateful to have a forever home.

    There are so many amazing dogs out there looking for homes. Like someone said above, they aren’t all strays. Some are owner surrenders (due to moving, illness, death) and usually already have some training. But strays are great dogs too (that’s what our Jelly was). There are also plenty of puppies and kittens too, so there’s someone for everyone.

    And yes, spay and neuter your animals!

  18. I love those panel shutters and think they would be awesome with your house as it is turning out at the mo – they seem to me to match the style with the columns better than the rougher board and batten shutters. The colour is not a question here, though, is it? Because I love the light blue colour in your example picture but can picture them in your chosen navy colour for your house as well – that would be lovely with your coral accents!
    If anybody can be the first one to figure out how to build these and publish the how-to online, it’s you 🙂

  19. I’m not a fan of shutters. That said, your original blue shutters are the best. The blue color adds formality while keeping a cottage look. Even with columns your house still has a lovely cottage appearance. I suggest you make the shutters wide enough that they could actually close to cover windows as they were intended and still do in Europe. They don’t need to close—just be wide enough that they could close. The reason I dislike most shutters is that they are narrow, just stuck on with no pretense of function. Sometimes they don’t even match the shape of the window. There are obviously “fake”.

    I adore Cooper. Good choice! I’m without a dog for the first time in 42 years. I want one badly but we are now retired and plan on lots of international travel. We may be gone for a couple of months at a time. It wouldn’t be fair to a pet. But it makes me sad.

    I love your blog.

    1. I feel the same about the shutters that aren’t proportionate. It’s especially funky when you have window like an oval and people have the curve in the shutters the wrong direction!

      1. Picture is just what I was thinking about. I should have realized you are too tasteful to do anything like that!

  20. Congratulations on Copper. I can see he’s a sweet boy.

    I really like the raised panel shutter option for you- and an added bonus in Waco wind storms would be the ability to close them. I’m not such a fan of the board and batten look on your home. That just has a real Texas vibe to me, and your home is really more formal than that. I think it’s more 40’s colorful and fun then TX ranch. Can you have formal and 40’s and fun and colorful at the same time ? Well, you have managed to achieve all those things!

  21. How about a mock up with the panel shutter, might help for you to see both? Also, what style window box do you prefer? I imagine that could be an influence. I absolutely love the “fancy” board and batten in that blue.

  22. Sorry I can’t help with shutters. Whatever you choose will look great. On another note, we rescued two sibling cats that came in feral and had been in a rescue for two years. It’s taken time and I can now pick them up. Their little personalities keep blossoming with time. Every week we see improvement in their behavior and happiness. Loved your PSA. Everyone should adopt – don’t – shop. Happy Friday!

  23. Just want to say “ditto” what everyone else has said about your PSA and Cooper. I currently have 3 rescued cats. I take in seniors. My sister rescues senior dogs. She also has 3.

  24. I think shutters would be a great accent on the windows you specified. Love the navy blue…board and batten would be fine, as would the panel shutters. Maybe you should make a B&B set to try..not too much money or time, right?
    Cooper is awesome, hope to see him in future posts!!

  25. I wasn’t going to comment but as I read through, I suddenly thought about your options for covering up the concrete below the porch. I wonder if that might influence the style shutter you choose? Cooper is a lucky fellow and I think you and Matt will be lucky, too, as he gets more and more comfortable in your home. I’m a cat person who was able to bring home two wonderful cats who came into the animal shelter at the same time. Those two are gone now but my very first cat and the two current ones have all either been delivered into my arms needing a home or turned up in my driveway insisting on moving in with me. Thank you for your PSA.

  26. I love the navy blue mock up you posted. To me they look the best.

    I really love your puppy the absolute best though 🙂 I am down to just 1 shelter kiitty. We tried another with her, but he turned out to be a monster and we had to take him back. So hubby now doesn’t want to put our kitty thru another trial and error situation.
    When we got this one we had another one, but he ended up with cancer and had to put him down.

  27. I also love the board and batten shutters. They will look great on your house. We are dog lovers. We adopted our german shepherd Daisy 11 years ago and we adore her. She was also skin & bones. She wouldnt eat at all. I used to call her our anorexic pup because she would not eat, even if a hamburger was offered to her. She soon settled in filled out nicely. We think she was abused by a man because she was horribly afraid of men. It took awhile but now she won’t leave my husband’s side. Our first shepherd Wolfie went to heaven after 13 years & i always say he sent Daisy to us. She needed us and we needed her! Cooper is adorable!! So happy for you.

  28. OK, big tears in my eyes reading about Cooper! My Linus is a 16 years young Cheweenie that I rescued as a pup. He is my baby. Ginger is a 16 year old Chihuahua who’s previous Mama was an Elderly lady whom I cared for as a Hospice Nurse. She was so worried for Ginger as her family planned to put the dog down as soon as my patient passed away (I actually saw her daughter kick the poor thing!) I promised my dear lady that Ginger could come home with me. Ginger lay in bed with her Mama until she passed and then came home with me and has been a part of our family for the last 8 years. Finnaghan is our Scaredy Cat (he jumps at everything and loves to sleep on my husbands head. And finally Stewie is our bunny who was to be cooked for dinner by his owner as they did not want to care for him any longer. (They had him for 2 weeks and he was only 8 weeks old when we took him. ) Anyway, All this to say I love animals! LOL As for the shutters. I think the board and batten would look lovely with a frame around them. Make them with the boards and use a narrow batten. Place the crossbar accross the back. Maybe just a metal brace to hold the wood together. Then create a mitered corner frame to place them in. This combination of country and traditional suits your home. I think the blue will be stunning and when you get to landscape this home is going to be the star of the neighborhood.

    Love reading your blog!
    Sheila F.

  29. Pleased to meet you, Mr. Cooper. He’s a very handsome -and lucky- pup!
    I love those raised panel shutters; I have that exact image saved on Houzz. Your exterior is fairly refined, so if you do decide to go B & B, I like the mock-ups because they aren’t so rustic.

  30. Welcome to Cooper! When we purchased our first home last year, we immediately knew we wanted to adopt a dog (or two!). We found a great rescue in a neighboring town and brought Koda home to join our family of 6 just a few months after moving in. He was a rescue from Texas and even though he doesn’t care much for rain or the cold weather, he’s loving his life in Vermont (with a doggie jacket).

    Regarding shutters 🙂 I love the mock up of the navy shutters you have shown on the studio. They’re a great mix of traditional and board and batten…and the navy will look fantastic with your coral door!

  31. I think that with your color choice for the board and batten it leans more traditional cottage than rustic. Can you do a mock up of the recessed panel ones? I’m just afraid those would look more stuffy and formal. I really think once you get all the landscaping you want, especially your courtyard in front of the breakfast room, you’ll have a cute little cottage and the varied width board and batten will fit in perfectly.

  32. Cooper is a cutie and I am so glad you made it a point to take on a pup with a difficult history!

    As far as the shutters go:

    I don’t think rustic shutter will go well with your home. You have so many pretty and traditional elements and think the traditional shutter would look beautiful! If you want to make some, you could use this to make the panels:

    I’ve used it to make cabinet doors and a front for my bathtub and they turned out great!

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  33. I think a combination of yours / Lowe’s blue shutter with the 2 wood sizes and these easy shutters would look nice. The framing on these is a little nicer and more in keeping with your house and design sense than the standard batten shutters but I liked the interest of the two wood sizes.

    Thanks for the PSA. I’m a big proponent of getting animals from a local shelter/rescue but if somebody really wants a purebred, there are many rescues available on Petfinder and similar websites. Don’t forget to update your About me to include Cooper; he’s definitely a cutie.

  34. I laugh every time I hear the name Cooper for a dog. My son is named Cooper, and I remember thinking “that sounds like a dog’s name” when my hubs first suggested it….Your Cooper is adorable and I hope he has a long happy life with you and Matt and Peeves.

  35. Copper seems to be a better fit, considering his coloring 🙂 Welcome home, handsome boy.

    I really wish vets did not charge to have animals spayed and neutered, as I think they could dramatically help with the over population.

  36. I saw Cooper in the video and wondered who he was. He seems to have a lot of personality. I LOVE that Matt chimed in. Although you speak of him frequently, it was nice to “hear” from him.

    I love the first navy shutters you mocked up. I agree with whoever said you should listen to yourself. When I first started following you, I would often wonder what you were thinking. Now I know – whatever you decide will be great. It also makes me feel better about myself when you change your mind!

  37. Kristi, thank you from the bottom of my heart for adopting! Cooper is just adorable! As the mom of 10 rescues over the last 35 years, I wholeheartedly hate the fact that there are so many cats and dogs who will never have a home. It is heartbreaking! So, thank you again!

    I love your idea of navy on the shutters. I would stick with your original idea of the random width planks, in the board and batten style. It adds character! Can’t wait to see what you do- 🙂

  38. Your timing of the video yesterday was perfect for deciding which style of shutter to go for!!! It brought it all together for me. The raised panel in my opinion is more in style with your interiors and the more classic timeless design sense you have. I feel the board and batten ones you mocked up (which I truly get are much easier to make) are definitely more country looking, and I do not get that vibe when I watched the entire tour you posted yesterday. I realize it’s more work but consider buying them ready made and definitely not made of wood which would require maintenance often. I have used top quality vinyl ones and they look great – you cannot tell the difference! LOVE COOPER!!! ❤️ Bless you for taking him in!!

  39. Hi Kristi–

    Loved the dog story. But the shutters–esp. the navy ones–that’s another story! If you must do shutters, why not white ones, to match your porch pillars? But I don’t know that you need them at all. I really like the way the new windows look right now. And with the landscaping you’re going to do, and esp. since it’s a small house, the shutters would look kind of busy–I think. The simpler and narrower the better if you decide to go with them.

    I must say that I’m always thrilled to see a post from you in my inbox. I ran across your blog awhile back b/c I was researching chalk paint and your post about why not to use it popped up. I love getting a glimpse into your life–that’s what the best blogs do. So thank you for all the posting that you do!

  40. I like the board and batten with two sizes of boards. What if you flipped them over and had the battens behind the shutter?

    Welcome Cooper! You already know you have picked a grand dog and done a wonderful thing!

    I love the slogan I have heard/seen locally “Don’t shop, Adopt”. I just got an “Easy Walk” no pull harness (the leash clips to the front of the harness) for my rambunctious rescue terrier…it instantaneously changed her behavior on leash…and will make exercising her a joy rather than something I have avoided whenever possible. Best of luck with your new pup.

    1. Those are exactly what came to my mind. Sort of in between the two styles she was looking at. And, navy blue to boot!! Perfect!

  41. I admire adopting a rescue pup. Cooper will be a great and forever grateful addition to your family. We’ve only ever done the same and our lives were only richer for it.
    Loved the video tour, thanks! I find the raised panels a little stuffy, but link the idea of a panel shutter. A craftsman or shaker inspired shutter could be an option? Still more formal than batten but not as formal and difficult to make as raised panel?

  42. I think the navy board and batten will look great on your house.

    Also, congrats on Cooper. We also have an adorable rescue that has been part of our family for the past 7 years. Very much the same situation. He does not like to be confined (we think he was caged and poorly treated before escaping and picked up as a stray) so he was super nervous at the shelter and no one wants the scared and unsocial looking dog. Luckily once he was removed from that environment, he was absolutely wonderful. A very loving, sweet, and gentle dog, just like your Cooper. And it didn’t take long for ours to put on the weight so most likely your days of seeing Coopers ribs and hips will be few. 🙂 Best of luck with your new addition.

  43. Cooper’s ears make me smile. I am so happy to hear the most wonderful end to his stay in a shelter. So many large dogs develop kennel rage from the frustration of being cooped up in a small place, it just drives them crazy. He looks like a sweet boy. Every dog we have rescued has been “around 4 years old” LOL
    I like shutters of all sorts but not the louvered kind.

  44. Cooper is adorable. Love the ears. Hope to see more of him.

    I like the navy shutters but anything you choose will look great.

  45. I think the one you have pictured, varied-sized navy board and batten would look great.
    I guess the most important question is do YOU like them? Because honestly, for the ordinary eye passing by, the design of the shutter will blur as the whole effect of your gorgeous house is taken in. I think the last thing anyone would think is, “Hmmm, wonder why they chose THAT design for shutters.” lol Ya know? Too much beauty going on there.

  46. I prefer the paneled shutters. They are more traditional as are your wrapped porch pillars, IMO. We rescued two Havenese pups several years ago. Would do it again for sure.

  47. Kristi, take a peek at Southern Livings Sugar Hill house plan. Has similar shutters to your proposed B&B. Looks lovely.

  48. As the owner of a rescue dog, I heartily approve of your choice.
    As to the shutters, I vote for the blue board and batten shutters. I love the color with the base color if your house, and I think that kind of shutter will go well with the texture you have going on with the stone.
    BTW, I vote for using a faux stone for the skirting around your porch to keep that feel .

  49. Catching up here! You have a very lovely voice and it was fun to hear on your video. The sound volume was just fine for me – no problem at all. I think the navy blue you mocked up is a great color for your gray siding, and I even like the varied width board shutters. They would be fine with your other elements IMHO. Not feeling the raised panel ones though. Would work on my home, but they look too traditional for yours. You need to keep the fun going on! As for Cooper, what a sweet boy! Love his ears and face – the clicking, who cares! You will know where he is as he is roaming around, and to me, that sound is comforting. I have four granddoggies that are rescues – deaf, double merle Australian shepherds with heartbreaking backstories. But what sweet, loving pups they all are, and smart as whips! Have a lovely Easter weekend!

  50. I think that either the raised panel shutters or the first mock-up you did would look really good and work well with your columns. Would routering the panel design onto a solid piece of wood be a possibility for making the raised panel shutters?

    If Cooper is a lab mix, it’s likely that he could actually be 4 years old… labs can be hyper for a long time, way past “typical” puppy age, especially if they’ve never been trained. We have a collie mix dog we rescued about a year and a half ago, and it has been pretty well impossible to get her to stop jumping up on people. It doesn’t help it that some people let her do it and encourage it. Grrrr. But she is a good dog!

  51. First I guess I’m in the minority but I’ve never been fond of obviously decorative shutters, i.e. when you have shutters on either side of a window they’d never cover if they were actually capable of being closed (double windows and the like). The proportions just feel off to me. It’s not that they don’t function but they clearly wouldn’t? You know? That said, I know as I see them all over the place, I appear to be alone in my quirk.

    Of the two of these, the board and batten I like more than the raised panel. The raised panel shutters just seem very boring compared to your style. On the other hand the board and batten might be a little boring, too? W

    I googled exterior shutter styles and came across “V-groove shutters.” At first I thought they were kind of a cross between the panel shutters and the board and batten but it does look like there’s a little more work to them than that but I like that they have a little more flair to them while still having the idea of the individual planks.

    I found this Home Depot post on them that I share mainly because of the close-up views not so much because I think you need a how-to!

    If you google that style, I think you might find some more inspiration for your choice. I saw some that were a little more rustic and some that were a little more finished. A few had multiple panels instead of just the two.

    Good luck deciding!

    Oh and love that you adopted a shelter pet! So many animals out there need homes! Although I misread his name the first time as “Copper” instead of “Cooper” – it fit his coloring I thought. LOL My parents had a part lab “mutt” several years ago and he behaved like a puppy for much, much longer than any dog we had before or after. Had several people tell us that was common to that breed. He was so full of energy I have a feeling he’d have paced if confined, too.

    1. PS after seeing the ‘chevron’ style shutters someone shared above, I keep coming back to it and wonder if you could combine that with a little more framing maybe in the form of panels? Unique but not too rustic. I know I would love to see something a little quirkier. Neither of the choices seem as creative as I’m used to seeing here! Both are kind of safe.

  52. Bless you for taking him, he’s so lucky. That’s terrible being penned up all that time. He’ll relax with some good nourishment too. You are so great to do that.

  53. I can’t make a decision on the shutters, I just think that something not too rustic but not too formal will work, and I know you will pick something wonderful. I am curious, though, if they will be actual, working shutters? One of my favorite things with shutters is the hardware — the stuff that makes them fully functional and able to be closed in case of storms. I love the various styles of hinges, pull rings and locks, and especially shutter dogs!

    Speaking of dogs … congratulations on adopting COOPER! His ears are adorable, and very soft looking! His coloring to me looks like he may have some Rhodesian Ridgeback somewhere in his lineage. He looks like such a sweet boy, and his backstory is so sad! He may in fact be a little older than you think he is, some breeds of dogs (and cats — ask me how I know!) can take a lot longer to fully mature and age out of the hyper puppy (or kitten) phase. I had a cat that took the better part of four years to stop destroying most things she came in contact with and also stop annoying my two older cats, but she’s always been sweet and full of love. Cooper will be a good dog for you, you may have to be firm with his training and consistent with discipline, but dogs really want to please their people and really do want behavioral boundaries put in place so they know their limits and can obey them. I’m glad that he’s a bit wary of Peeve right now, it shows he knows that she was the resident non-human before he arrived and that he’ll have to earn her respect. My hope for her is that he’s careful and non-aggressive with her and shows her lots of love in the future, and vice-versa!

  54. So glad Cooper found a forever home. He is one lucky pup.

    And the first mock up of board and batten shutters is absolutely stunning in navy. No louvered shutters, nothing special about them, plus they would have to be plastic considering the price of the heavier ones. The same width board and batten are just a little too plain for your house. Your first choice looks like the best one to me.

  55. I love all that you have done so far!! I like the panel shutters best. To my eye the board and batten are a bit too busy. I’m not sure about the navy blue but I’m not a blue person so I admit I’m biased. I have a similar color front door and dark green panel shutters on a yellow house with white gingerbread and trim.

    Cooper is a sweetie and so lucky to have found a good home. We have never had shelter dogs but have adopted several stray cats and dogs through the years. Two puppies we found abandoned in an ice-storm one New Year’s weekend! Our daughter has 2 shelter dogs and recommends a local no-kill shelter to all of her friends who are looking for a dog. We also donate to the shelter through SmileAmazon which donates a portion, albeit small, of sales to the charity of your choice.

  56. My own PSA. Most rural Vet practices run a “Spay & Neuter Clinic” every year, offering the surgery for $15. All Humane Societies are SO grateful for donations…towels & sheets & blankets, stuffed animals. Volunteer at HS, they are desperate for people to “walk” dogs. Please contact the store manager (Target, Walmart, any Grocery store that sells human baby formula (for puppies) or dog / cat food) and ask if they are donating their “damaged” products to HS. Most will do so, especially if you are willing to pick them up. Anything you can do will be VERY much appreciated.

  57. Kristi,
    You are so lovely! Our old shelter dog has been the biggest joy in our family and I can’t thank you enough for singing their merits.

    Also for the record, I think the board and barren inn navy would look great, but it’s your eye for style that’s running a successful blog! So what do I know? Haha. I’m positive whatever you choose will be beautiful.

  58. Cooper is adorable and I agree that he has awesome ears. I just wanted to add a comment on adoption. If you know someone who just has to have a pure bred or wants a certain breed of dog please remind them that shelters frequently have some pure breds and that most dog breeds have rescue organizations just like for greyhounds. I worked with a woman who was very active in a Labrador rescue agency. If you search on the breed name and ‘rescue’ you can find them. Some rescue organizations aren’t breed specific. There is a cat rescue here that rescues pure bred cats of all breeds. Also, lots of breeders sell some of there adult dogs, too.

    As for the shutters, I think the navy mock-up looks good. I love the raised panel too but after looking at the photo for a while, that example reminds me of the panels of a folding door and, are in fact, on doorways of that house while the upstairs windows have the louvered shutters. I’m not certain how you would build raised panel shutters either unless you could start out with a door panel and customize it.

    Don’t “overthink” it. Again, your mock-up looks lovely.

  59. I love the blue shutters and the window boxes! What software program do you use for the “mock-ups?”

  60. I’m so happy you found Cooper! I found my Reggie at the shelter, and they told me I could bring him back if it didn’t work out, but I had to keep him for 3 weeks. (He’d been adopted and returned twice – he was 2 years old.) After 2-1/2 weeks, he was going back! He didn’t know his commands, and he was just too big and too much for me. Then, one morning, I was getting ready for work, and there he was, resting his chin on the bathroom counter watching me in the mirror put on my makeup. Clearly, I couldn’t take him back, because he was in love with me! 7 years later, he is the most loving, loyal dog anyone could ask for. We had to get past the initial anxiety, and he still has some quirks, but I wouldn’t give him up for anything! They really steal your heart!

  61. I like the navy board & batten shutters that you did. I also like a couple of the links that people sent in

    Once I looked at the first one again not really at the top of my list. I like the second one but only painted your navy. I don’t like it left natural.

    So glad that you could see the potential in Cooper. Animals change when they are caged 24/7. He looks like he is fitting right in. And I’m sure that has a lot to do with you and Matt showing him that he doesn’t have to be afraid anymore and giving lots of love.

    All my animals both dogs & cats have been from either people didn’t want them anymore or rescues. They love you unconditionally. I bought one breed puppy years ago and I couldn’t do anything with it. It seemed 1/2 hour after it learned a command it was gone. I would sit on the floor with her and cry, trying to figure out what I was doing wrong. I ended up selling her. Back to my rescues. I was a foster mom for a couple of years for kittens/cats and started fostering dogs. I failed ‘Fostering 101’ ended up adopting 3 of them myself. LOL I loved all my furbabies. You never know what happened to them, how they lived – you just hope to give them a better ending.

  62. Aww, Cooper is so cute. My husband and I rescued a bait dog, Shit Su and pug mix named Riley. I wanted to take all the ones the lady had rescued. But, Riley won my heart on the first try.

    Regarding the shutters. I had the board and batten irregular width ones with a bit of separation between them. Cleaning them was a nightmare. I removed them.

  63. Firstly, I love the navy blue board & batten shutters, I think they are perfect for your home. Secondly, Cooper is just adorable and he is very lucky to have you & Matt as his family now!

  64. Whatever style you choose, I just LOVE that navy blue with the color of your house. I’m thinking of painting my home, is that main color something I can purchase?

    My dog is a rescue and a redhead like Cooper. Please post more pics of him as he gains weight.

  65. Kristi I just saw your March 30 post. Thank you so much for the public service announcement. Shelter pets are in need of homes and if you had not adopted Cooper he may have ended up dead or worse. Some shelters supply labs. I am a big believer in adopting shelter pets. That or homeless strays. That’s how we always got our pets. Cooper is adorable and yes his ears are super cute.

  66. Absolutely love your mock up, perfect color. Not a fan of the regular board and battan for your house at all. However, I see Alma left a comment stating she had something similar that was hard to keep clean. Certainly something to consider. I sent you DM with an example of recessed paneled examples as an option and I see some others included links for the same style. Can’t wait to see what you decide.

    Cooper is too cute but so skinny poor thing. It’s good to know that you are already taking care of that. I am a floppy ear fan. I had a dog who had the most velvety soft ears and I couldn’t keep my hands off of them, lol.

    Awesome PSA announcement. There is such a need!

  67. wow, you are literally a life saver. thank you for taking that chance on him. i am a firm believer in rescuing. both my cats are rescue (one from the actual wild, one from a foster program). sad to say, i think less of people who shop for animals instead of rescue.

  68. Hi! Cooper is a sweety. Vet will tell you if there is anything going on with the weight loss other than that restless energy output. Poor baby! He’ll gain it back in no time so long as there isn’t anything underlying.

    I had the same issue when I adopted my basenji Bruno. He’s a nice weight now.

    Welcome home, Cooper!