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We’ve had this conundrum since moving into our new home. What the heck to do with these three tiny useless windows in our dining room???
And what’s worse is that they are East facing so every day around 6 pm, oh wait, of course I mean every day around dinner time, the sun is perfectly positioned that you risk getting your corneas burned while sitting at the dinner table. Perfect.
I tried putting window film on them and it kind of worked but not really and wasn’t so visually appealing. But alas they sat like that for about 3 months while we worked on other projects. I decided the vision for our home, at least the downstairs, would be what I like to call Industrial Farmhouse…is that a thing? I love both styles so I’ve tried to find ways to blend them. The lighting throughout our home (since eliminating the dreaded boob lights) is primarily industrial while I have some decor and furniture pieces that are a bit more farmhouse or rustic.
So, one day in my frustration from being blinded at dinner time, I started thinking about maybe some sort of blinds, but these windows are literally like 16″ squares so they’d have to be some pretty tiny blinds. So I Pinterested (is that a real verb?) a bit and put a few ideas together and thus my Industrial Farmhouse shutters were born. I love the look of sliding barn doors but the hardware is so expensive. I got to thinking, a couple years ago, I built this industrial coat rack using plumbing pipes so there must be a way to pull that design into the dining room and tie it all together.
I began my shopping in the plumbing section for pipe fittings. We needed a long pipe to actually hang the shutters on and flanges to attach the pipes to the wall. I decided to use two smaller pipes to get the length we needed and attach them with coupling in the middle. To create the pipe the shutters will slide on, we used:
- 2 Black Steel Pipes, length will vary according to your needs
- 3 floor flanges (attached to the wall)
- 2 90 degree elbows (attaches the pipe ends to the flanges)
- 1 threaded tee (attaches the two pipes together)
- 1 nipple (attaches threaded tee to the center flange)
- Heavy duty O rings ( to hang the shutters)
- Heavy duty anchors and screws
- Black Matte Spraypaint
Before hanging the pipes, I gave them a really good cleaning and sanded them since they were covered in grease and then I sprayed them all a matte black color. Once they were dry, we attached the flanges to the wall using the anchors and screws to ensure it would hold a lot of weight (even though it won’t be all that heavy). We then attached the elbows, nipple and threaded tee to the flanges and then screwed in each pipe. Side Note: When taking your measurements for your pipes, be sure to account for the fact that the threading doesn’t screw together completely flush, there is always about a half inch or so of extra threading when you screw the fittings together.
As for the shutters themselves, I wanted them to be very lightweight so they’d be easy to slide. I got my inspiration from this post by the Lettered Cottage. She built a basic frame and then used Stikwood to cover the front. I decided to stain mine, so I purchased two sheets of stainable plywood and had them cut to size. I also purchased some inexpensive 1x2s to build a simple rectangular frame to attach the plywood to. Lastly, I bought thin strips of solid pine lattice molding (1/4 in. x 1-5/16 in. x 96 in.) to trim out the front of the shutters.
After building the basic rectangular frame with the 1x2s, we attached the plywood with screws and then used wood glue to attach the lattice trim. I was a little worried the glue might not hold up over time, so we used tiny finish nails to attach the trim as well. I actually like the rustic look it added. The last step was staining. I stained them a walnut color and then used a light polyurethane spray over them just for a little more protection. We attached handles to the fronts of the shutters and the O rings to the top. We ran a little silicone across the pipe so the O rings would slide smoothly.
And here they are while open…