Outside In

August 24, 2016


File Aug 22, 5 04 02 PM

Walk through any of the historic streets of Charleston, and you will find the shutter dog. Stoically holding back the exterior of a home’s shutter, but with a whimsical swirl that adds curves and grace to the home. I absolutely love shutter dogs, but until recently, I referred to them as “the thing that holds back the shutter”.   During one of my many, many strolls through Hughes Lumber and Building Supply on Mary Street, I saw a display of the cast iron shutter dog. Finally a name!  It’s only purpose on this display was to show off it’s “S” shape and it’s whimsy. That’s when I got my inspiration to bring the shutter dog, this quietly graceful bit of Charleston charm, from the outside to the inside.

File Aug 22, 5 06 24 PM

As much as I love exposing the original lead glass windows of the home, I knew we needed to provide our guests with some level of privacy.  But I wanted to have the option of bringing in the light and opening up the small space we had designated for the guest bedroom.  I ordered some tie backs but wasn’t happy with the look and they extended too far out from the window framing.   That’s when I got the idea for the shutter dog. This was the easiest DIY project I have ever attempted and therefore my favorite.  I bought one set to test drive the concept. I was worried we would have to extend far beyond the window framing and into the plaster walls to position them to be functional. But not this was not the case. The shutter dogs I selected mounted nicely onto the exterior of the window framing, hugging the trim. Guests can easily pull the curtains shut for privacy and latch the curtains around the shutter dog to bring in the morning light.

You never know where you will find your inspiration!

Interior photography by Gillian Ellis.

Shutter Dog


Guest Bed

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  • Reply Meg Taylor August 25, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    I had no idea these had a name, and what a fun one at that! I would love to add some of these to my home. Beautiful photos by you and Gillian, too!

    Meg, Borrowed Heaven

    • Reply English August 26, 2016 at 7:31 pm

      It was so easy and they work wonderfully!! Thanks for your comments!!

  • Reply Jayne September 8, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    Brilliant idea bringing the dogs inside! Never knew they were called shutter dogs. The guest room looks very inviting!

    • Reply English September 8, 2016 at 8:57 pm

      Always welcome to stay! Thank you!!

  • Reply Mari Barrett September 8, 2016 at 10:12 pm

    Absolutely love this!

    • Reply English September 8, 2016 at 10:57 pm

      Thanks Mari ~ it’s a simple concept! Born out of tie backs that were too big….maybe I should market this?!?

  • Reply Sarah Clarke September 8, 2016 at 11:41 pm

    Love this idea! We need these in our house too!

    • Reply English September 8, 2016 at 11:56 pm

      Thanks! So easy!!

  • Reply Barbara Roberts September 9, 2016 at 12:26 am

    So cute!

    • Reply English September 9, 2016 at 12:34 am


  • Reply Sue McClinton September 9, 2016 at 10:09 am

    Absolutely lovely……..

    • Reply English September 9, 2016 at 8:04 pm

      Thank you!

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