Just in case I hadn’t mentioned it before, this is the house that I grew up in.


When I look at it, it just makes me so happy. Those windows. Those columns. That porch.

I have walked up these steps my entire life.

The house was built in 1908 and had a few updates along the way, but we’ve been saving to do an entire house makeover.

Hello 2022.

I’m looking at you.

Here’s a little before and after with some of the prettiest house jewelry I’ve ever seen.

We started the house makeover by painting the house a brilliant white. 

Here’s an in-progress photo so you can see where we started and where we are going.

The crisp white paint brought back the classic historic look of the house.

Here’s what the house looked like when the painting was complete.

We also replaced the roof with a new black roof and matching black gutters.

The doors were also painted black to match.

Next, I knew that I wanted to bring back the character and curb appeal of shutters. In the 1950s the house originally had shutters and then they were removed in the 1990s.

I was so lucky to get to partner with Vantage Shutters for the shutter project. Vantage Shutters were the obvious choice for the home because of their quality and durability. There were so many sizes and colors to choose from, but I wanted a classic look, so I chose louvered shutters in black to compliment the white paint on the house. The color of these shutters is actually guaranteed for 40 years not to chip, flake, or discolor. 

The entire installation project took about two hours to complete and it was so simple.

Here’s how to install shutters:

1. Mark the screw positions on the shutter. Screws should be positioned in the side rail on the top and bottom edges of the shutter. 

2. For each screw location marked, drill a 3/16″ hole through the face of the shutter. 

3. Next, using the holes drilled in the shutter as a guide, mark the locations to be drilled in the siding. 

4. Remove the shutter and drill 1/8″ holes 3″ deep into the wall surface. Make certain there are no wires or pipes in the walls where holes will be drilled. 

5. Hold shutter in position and secure in place using #8 screws provided. Tighten the screws lightly to the edge of the shutter. It’s super important NOT to overtighten the screws on the shutter. 

6. We finished off our shutters with decorative S-hooks to add a touch of historic accuracy and artistic detail.

And now?

Are you ready for a little before and after?


From before.

To after.

Here are the afters of the front and back and sides of the house.


Seriously one of my favorite before and afters EVER. Vantage shutters were so easy to install and completely transformed the look of our home—making a bold statement with minimal investment. The vinyl construction stands up to bugs, rot, cracking and warping. Having the color throughout the shutter helps hide any scratches so there’s no need to paint.

Vantage Shutters are available exclusively at Lowe’s and have a limited lifetime warranty.

And now.

I have to share a little before and after one more time.

Isn’t it amazing?

My family home was completely transformed in an afternoon and now it’s ready for all the family get-togethers and celebrations to come.

And now when I walk up those steps?

The house is smiling. 🙂

Here’s a quick video we filmed of the before and after.

disclosure: this post was sponsored by Vantage Shutters. All opinions are my own. Please see my disclosure page for more information.

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  1. Image for Lisa Lisa

    Good moring, Karianne. Wow, what a beautiful difference shutters make on a home. I love the black contrasted with the white siding. It's just what this lovely home needed. So lovely and how fun to continue to make the home you grew up in, your own... by your adult self (smile). Always an inspiration and a pleasure to visit. Happy day to you. xoxo

  2. Image for Renee Renee

    Wow! Like adding lipstick as you head out the door—- I love shutters on a home— one more layer to complete the look.

  3. Image for Cheryll Cheryll

    Outstanding. Such a grand house looks so elegant with the shutters, sort of like a nicely shaped eyebrow! Every window deserves a an accent, be it a shutter, a keystone, or a nice mullion. Yes, this was a good idea!

  4. Image for Diana Diana

    KariAnne once again a home run. The house was beautiful before but you have made it even more stately looking. I have a home over a hundred years old. When I took off the sliding glass doors that someone installed in the parlor so they could sleep downstairs I cried. It was like the house was saying thank you.

  5. Image for Patti Patti

    What a fantastic difference! They really are the jewels on those windows! I would still remove that iron upstairs railing tho! 🤪

  6. Image for Kim Seavey Kim Seavey

    LOVE IT! any issue with leaving your rail off and building codes? I want to remove my railing on my porch, and wonder about that.

  7. Image for Ann C Ann C

    KariAnne the cute little things you put on the bottom of your shutters are called “shutter dogs”. They were used to keep shutters open when not being closed for storms. Obviously yours won’t be closed during storms but the addition of the shutter dogs makes them appear real and useable. Nice touch. I bet your mom loves seeing the changes you are making. My parents have passed but I like to think they still see what I am doing to their home they left me and approve.

    1. Image for Carol Hensel Carol Hensel

      You are so blessed to be in that house once more. And I can see why you love it. She looks so much happier now and well loved. Now make many more wonderful memories.C

  8. Image for Linda Scott Linda Scott

    A classic beauty! I love the black gutters going down the front of the house. Nice touch!! Those are my house colors too! Always loved that look on a colonial!!

  9. Image for Lisa Lisa

    B-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l. Did you have to make any structural changes to ensure air circulation in the attic without the vent?

  10. Image for Debbie Debbie

    Like you said it is Amazing. It looks great, I have the same black shutters White House colonial but a ranch. I love the shutter dogs also. Great job, as always!!! Just beautiful

  11. Image for Tammy Tammy

    I love the shutters and the shutter dogs (the s hooks). It's like adding the finishing touch of mascara. It brights up the house. She is smiling now.

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