Exterior Window Trim/Alternatives to Shutters?

anele_gwMay 11, 2010

Hello! I had the suggestion here to remove my shutters (too small and no room for the right size). The more I look, the more I agree, but I think this will leave the house look a little bare. Are there alternatives to add decorative trim to exterior windows . . .on a small budget?


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Admittedly, this isn't small budget. Or maybe it is cheaper than changing all the window trim. I don't know.

But here are some mock-ups with handsome doors in strong colors AND I widened the trim on the house corners to make it more substantial.

On this door, I wanted to add some classic door trim, but couldn't add it to the photo well:

This is a poor picture, but I think you can get the idea about how nice door trim can add a lot. Simple pilasters on the sides of your door would be perfect.
Simple house, lovely door trim, classic style:

And this is the most expensive option of all, but full sidelights would look wonderful on your home:

Also, I tried updating the photos with a second black iron railing on the left side, but it's not showing in the preview for some reason. I think two iron railings aside the door would be classic & pretty. Hope this gives you some ideas.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 7:45PM
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One more idea. Can you see the wide band trim that runs along the top of these houses just below the eaves? That's a traditional touch that adds a lot too. It looks good with white clapboard. Better examples of beautiful door trim too.

1 Like    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 7:58PM
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We added "crown moulding" to the tops of our windows. We thought that with the porch and all the stone it would be too busy. I'm very happy with the way it looks and people keep asking us if we got new windows.

1 Like    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 8:49AM
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I thought I posted this once already, but it's not showing up.

What I meant to say above is that it would look to busy WITH shutters. I'm very happy with the moulding, and the most impact was on the porch window...which people can't believe isn't a new window.

Here's what the house looked like before:

    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 9:06AM
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fivefootzero, that's a wonderful transformation you did there. So many attractive details. I'd never have thought to paint the columns other than white, but it looks terrific!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 9:31AM
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Thank you AWM. The columns have trim on the top, bottom, and a bit down from the top that is painted white, and with the white railings, I didn't want to have white overload. In that photo, they have yet to be painted...that is the color they came (they are fiberglass). We got paint mixed the same color as the siding and I'm so happy with it. My only regret is that we didn't cut down a larger column for the center railing support so we could paint it as well...it would have cost another couple hundred dollars and then to cut it down just seemed to me to be wasteful.

Here's a picture taken more recently, with railings and the columns painted to match the siding. Eventually we want to change the roof on the dormer above the porch to a gable instead of a shed, so it is more in keeping with the rest of the house.

1 Like    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 9:52AM
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That really is a wonderful transformation!

anele - Where is the thread about your house? I cannot remember what the outside looks like.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 11:34AM
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fivefootzero, that wraparound porch looks so inviting. I'd be out there all day reading & never get anything done!

Here's Anele's original thread below.

Oh, now I see in the original thread that Anele's getting a new storm door. I vote to paint it the same color as the door, if you can ever decide on one of those luscious color suggestions!

Here is a link that might be useful: Front door color-- PINK??? Photo inc.!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 12:00PM
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Thanks for that link!

While I agree that the shutters are too narrow, I disagree that you should remove shutters altogether. I don't see any reason why you cannot put up wider shutters. the house needs them!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 12:33PM
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We have a field across from us, with woods, and a river so it's a nice view to take in. I don't get a whole lot done in the warmer weather with the porch...we got nice comfy furniture for up there and I sit there after work and after dinner with an adult beverage and watch the deer, birds, cars, people, kids, life go by...

    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 1:32PM
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I respectfully disagree that the house "needs" shutters, though it doesn't look bad with them. IMHO, shutters that are merely decorative look perfunctory & tacked on, sort of like in the days when men thought they needed to wear hats with their suits. Men in suits look fine without hats, and houses look fine without shutters. But I confess that I'm partial to the look of simple, shutterless white houses:

Here is a link that might be useful: White Houses of Cape Cod

    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 1:35PM
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awm, thank you, thank you, thank you for the mockups! Incredible! I love the pics you linked to w/o shutters, but those homes have so much more inherent style than mine. I do think you are right in that shutters can seem like a "must" without much thought. I'll have to add on more detail to get away with no shutters!

fivefoot: The transformation is just amazing. It almost looks like a different house. So good to see what trim will do! Thank you for posting!

newhome: The reason I can't put wider shutters is that there just is not enough room. Look at how close the current (narrow) shutters are to the front door.

I'm thinking of skipping the shutters, and with the extra room I'll have, doing something about framing the door and going for some sort of moulding for the windows. I think it will take the house from common Cape to a little more of the cute cottage I want.

RE: the front door color . . .I am now thinking of a deep hot pink. Sort of cranberry, but definitely more on the hot pink side.

Thank you all so much for thinking about this with me. I really appreciate it!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 9:36PM
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anele, I'm so glad you enjoyed the mock-ups. I felt guilty because you asked for window trim ideas, and I gave you none. But I couldn't do those well in the mock-ups, and I really thought a classic trim around a pretty door would give you a bigger bang for the buck. I still think heftier trim on the house corners would be good looking and relatively inexpensive to do too. All these things would bump up the style.

I love your home. Any color would look good on your door. But a deep pink would be fun! Please consider painting the new storm door the same color as the main door.

We drove by a house several weeks ago that I thought was striking. It's a humble 50s ranch with white clapboard siding and a beautiful door, just like your new storm door, painted in a high gloss black. So simple, yet so beautiful. I'll try to take a picture of it for you.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2010 at 8:06AM
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I agree with AWM about painting the storm door to match the front door. When we were looking at doors for the house, we had the guy in Lowe's put the storm door against a door of similar color that we were buying. White chopped up the door, but matching the storm to the door made the storm door disappear.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2010 at 8:48AM
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I would love some feedback on my similar humble cape. The roof is very low so there is little room to add decorative trim above the door or windows. I am pulling off the shakes and having vinyl installed.
- I was planning on white corner trim and white water table to add some decorative interest.

-Any thoughts on the colors in the link or other ways I can make the cape look a little more pretty?

Here is a link that might be useful: Cape Mock Ups

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 9:26PM
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hi all, I saw the before's & after's and I am JEALOUS!
Here is an exterior picture of my colonial...does anyone have suggestions on what to do? I think it is way too boxy! In fact after I purchased it the very first thing I did was replacing the garage doors (they too were 100% squares) and the front door. What I was thinking is what would it look like without the shutters and instead some decorative moulding? It's very unusual to have so many windows across the top & bottom plus the shutters- it just looks too crowded (and boxy) to me. What do you think???

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 4:08PM
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Las, you should start a new thread with your question. More people will respond that way.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2013 at 4:08AM
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thanks Renee, I did!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 7:12PM
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I think the shutters is a regional thing. I live in CA, most houses are newer ranch style. The majority have shutters on them and they are ALL decorative! I never knew what functional shutters looked like until I joined this forum. I think for people on the East Coast with the older homes and real shutters they will never look quite right, but for here, in my area, they are typical of the majority of homes you will see. Sort of like crown molding or other trim, purely for decorative purposes only. FWIW, when we remodeled our home we removed the wood siding and shutters and stuccoed the home and used decorative foam stucco trim.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 8:19PM
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Shawn Handley

hey awm03 remember this picture well you see the moulding on each side of the door could i do it on my cape cod house it has door shutters but i am going to make it like that plus that wide band trim too so i will send a pic of my house to show you :)


    Bookmark   March 8, 2015 at 6:56PM
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Shawn Handley

here is my house i dont know why its upside down but anyways see those green shutters on each side of my door well those are going to be gone and i want to like that moulding on that other pic i showed you above me and plus that wide trim band so please help me :)

    Bookmark   March 8, 2015 at 7:00PM
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Love your lawn Shawn! Gorgeous!

    Bookmark   March 9, 2015 at 2:28PM
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Shawn, you might want to start a new thread with your question and pictures. Reviving such an old thread makes some people reluctant to open it thinking it's been spammed. If you do that, you might want to call out to Awm03 in the title to catch her attention.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2015 at 2:45PM
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Shawn Handley

how you do that i am new to this site

    Bookmark   March 15, 2015 at 4:25AM
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Shawn did you figure it out? I just saw your question.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2015 at 1:48PM
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