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details of the giant hanging window in our entry/dining room

    It’s one of the most unique {and coolest, if you ask me} things in our house: this oversize salvaged window hanging from a barn door track that separates the entry from the dining room.

    I’ve never really blogged about it. What?! Sorry for the oversight.

    Adding the window to the opening between the rooms accomplished exactly what we wanted … it created a definition of spaces, but also keeps things bright and open. Plus it adds personality to our ordinary home. That’s our favorite part.

    From the front door, you can still see through into the dining room and beyond.

    We found the perfect window at our favorite local salvage yard {Second Use – for you local Seattle-ites} for about $80.

    I’m actually making that up. I have no idea how much it was. It was four years ago, for heaven’s sake! But I’m sure it wasn’t more than $100.

    Then Ryan had the brilliant idea to hang the window from a barn door track.

    It is functional – we can move it if we want the area open – but we’ve actually never done that.

    Mostly it’s on a barn door track because they look cool.

    Ryan bought the track at a local feed/farming store. That’s one of the benefits of living in the country – we have local feed/farming stores. No Whole Foods or Anthropologies or a decent place to grab a bite to eat, but hey, it’s the country. The track and it’s components were about $60 total. Again, total guesstimate.

    If you try this in your home, please be advised that it is probably really dangerous to have a gigantic single-paned antique window hanging in the middle of two rooms. I’m not sure why, but our kids have never taken much interest in it. So just be cautious if you have rambunctious or curious little ones.

    If there’s anything I’ve learned from decorating this house, it is that sometimes being unconventional with materials/ideas/execution is the best way to really make your home yours. It may not be the look for everyone, but let your home be a creative experiment for you.

    We get so nervous about putting holes in our walls {there are a lot in that L wall!} or making decisions based on resale value {tearing out upper cabinets in our perfectly fine kitchen? Not very resale-friendly} and that just stifles creativity. I’m not advocating ruining your living space and obviously renters have some restrictions.¬† But maybe we could do a better job of truly living where we live, taking our homes a little less seriously, tackling one project that we’ve always wanted to do. And, most of all, letting our homes reflect our personalities rather than the perfectly staged model home.

    I’d love to hear your thoughts on this … do you consider your home your canvas or is that too risky?

    51 thoughts on “details of the giant hanging window in our entry/dining room”

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    5. Hi! I love how this looks and think it is a fabulous idea. I’m wondering, does the window sway back and forth much? I think that is my biggest concern. Thanks!

      1. It doesn’t sway, too much, but is definitely moveable. Because it is not in a high traffic walkway and it is blocked by a post, it has not been a problem.

    6. Omg!! I love the sliding window idea…I truly appreciate uniqueness. And I would definitely Love to do this at home. Please send me more information on how I can make this possible.

    7. Love your Super Size Salvage Window with the barn door mechanism. It’s clever how it can slide to side and act as a door for your open air collectible hutch too. I dig the NYC industrial loft accent to your charming country home. Hope you keep taking such bold design risks!

    8. Hi Emily! I’m a friend of Kristen Hunters and know your sister as well! I love love love your window/wall. It is actually what started me reading your blog when a friend showed me a photo with the window in it! Thanks for blogging about it!

    9. Emily
      I am glad you blogged about it. I’ve always admired it and wondered how it was hung. What a beautiful way to define a space. I have some awkward spaces that seperate my kitchen from my living room and I’ve bought a huge window that I think I’ll have my hubby hang from one space, but I just thought I’d buy another one to hang above the other space. Here’s a link to the room I’m talking about. The two open spaces behind the sofa-half walls? What do you think?

    10. Personally, I feel like I see the same things in homes on so many different blogs. They’re beautifully staged but a little tiring. I love it when I see something different that really shows a family’s personality.

      I love the window. About 10 years ago we had a new home and I didn’t like the pass through between the kitchen and living room so I hung an old window in it with fishing wire from small hooks. It was one of my favorite things in the house and I always had so many questions about it. I wish I could do it again but our current house has no place for one, however, I still have the window!

    11. I love that window and your post was very inspiring to me! My husband also hates when I want to put holes in the wall and a friend of mine told me about Command 3M picture and frame hanging strips. They are like plastic velcro and are AWESOME!!! I use them for everything (almost)! They actually hold a decent amount of weight and don’t leave any marks on your wall- they can be pealed off easily when its time to remove them. You could probably use them for everything hanging on you “L” wall :-) I was so glad someone told me about them so I thought I would pass it along to you.

    12. We have a huge 20 something foot wall in our living room that connects to our neighboring town home. So, no windows, no details…. nada. It sat empty for 3 years before we figured out what to do with it. My brother, an artist, who worked for said Anthropologie store doing displays, had this great design for a 3 dimensional layered tree made out of OSB. It is amazing and huge and covers our entire boring, blank, odd shaped wall. We also hung some mirrors and empty frames from it with rope. So yes, we use our home as a canvas (or at least my brother does). But… we also have a master bedroom that contains a matress with no bed frame and 2 night stands…. that’s it… so, yea, we need to get a little more creative as well.

    13. I’m Seattle local, would love to know the name of the store where you got your hardware:) I can drive 45 minutes or so to get hardware at that price! I also love your window, such a creative idea!

    14. I wholeheartedly agree!! I hate thinking whether or not some person down the road will like my paint color choice! Where are all these people who prefer beige anyway? I would so buy your house before a blah-neutral-no-creativity house any day. As far as resale goes, why can’t I believe that if I like it someone else will too? I personally have a boring cookie-cutter house with no real architectural interest. I feel have to play around a little with interesting paint colors or add interest with things like hanging windows! (right now I have a metallic gold ceiling with turquoise walls in my dining room) I’ll put it on my blog soon!

    15. Thanks so much for blogging about your window! I have often seen it in the background of your photos and wondered if it was a paned door. I love it!

      We have an older, less than perfect house that has made it much easier for us to be creative and make it our own without fear or failure. I often wonder if we had new construction if we would have been so brave in trying our own ideas.

    16. I absolutely love that window and you inspire me on a weekly basis with both decorating & day-to-day ordinary stuff so THANK YOU! I would love to know where your dining, sea grass, head chairs are from. I’ve been looking and really like the style of your’s

    17. I love that you blogged about this. This was so much better than just getting a response with where you got the hardware. My poor husband is constantly fixing and adding to our little home with some crazy idea I have come up with. We started out so worried about resale, but we decided it is our home now. We don’t want to live in a space that has been decorated for the next potential buyer. One day when we do sell our home, I know it will be a very special person who will love it just as much as we have.

    18. What a great feature that window is. Love it! I want to take more risks, but worry that it won’t turn out the way I envision. And DH is less likely to do the different things, although, he embraces them once I go ahead.

    19. Loved your comments on putting your mark on a home. When you think about the time that you spend in your home and the memories that are made there, I want it to be “me” and not something out of a furniture showroom. I am always pleased when friends come in and tell me my house is so interesting. It is a mix of old and new…and quirky things that I love or that mean something to me. I love everything about your sliding window…and your blog!

    20. This is such a cute idea! I totally know what you mean about living more in the moment. I’ve always lived in rented places until now. We bought our first home! But I’m definitely afraid of drilling into the wall! I was thinking of doing a modular office against the wall in one room, but oh the holes! I need to get over it and just make our home a place we love!

    21. I love your window and your ideas. I have no problem doing exactly what I want in my home. I do not care about resale value because I love my home and do not plan on ever selling. Our home is unique, but it fits our family and my style. From the first open house we attended and I walked through the door I could see my family living in this space. It is not typical in layout and functionality and I love that. It will take me years to decide on the perfect colors for all the rooms, but I’m ok with that. I have repainted enough to keep me happy for now. I firmly believe your space affects your mood, so make it yours for however long it’s yours.

    22. Absolutely love your hanging window. Also wondering where you purchased your front door rug. I have been looking for one just like it.

      Thank you for producing such a wonderful blog. I really enjoy reading it each week.

      – April

    23. So if you all love it so much why do you not think it would be good for resale? Its what will make your house stand out from all the rest when it is time to sell. In the meantime you will love being creative and putting your own stamp on your home. Life is too short to put it off. Do it today!!

    24. I spied a glimpse of your window in a previous post this week – and spent considerable time searching for more photos of it! Thanks for sharing today, it’s fabulous!

    25. I’m definitely on the risky side. We just got married and I moved into my husband’s house he bought 3 years ago. It’s a great home but not ‘the’ one for us so we’re considering selling it in a few years. With that in mind, it’s hard to decorate or change anything because of the risk of lowering the resale value.
      I do love your window on barn door tracks. It’s a fantastic creative idea!

    26. I am completely in love with the sliding salvage window! What a fantastic idea! Also, I’ve been thinking about really living where we live a lot lately. We know we are putting our house on the market in about a year and a half, so every time my husband sees me hanging something new or moving something to another wall he grumbles about resale value. I don’t want to live in a model home for the next year and a half and I think it’s just too easy to patch a hole in the wall and touch up the paint. Just my musings, I think it’s more important to love your home and have it reflect your personal uniqueness than live in a perfect home. Love your blog :)

    27. Ridiculously, fabulously creative! Salvage window plus barn door track.
      Makes me want to push all my stuff around and throw paint at the wall just because.
      Come be my neighbor, pretty please.

    28. Emily, since I found your blog two years ago or so, that window has been one of my favorite things too! I absolutely love everything in your home…y’all have done such a fabulous job of making a newer home have so much personality and character. But, that window is just awesome. I’m with you on making a home your canvas. I love thinking outside the box and coming up with something unique that truly feels like “us.” Right now, our first home is up for sale, so we constantly battled this…I dreamed of open shelving in the kitchen, but that room just wasn’t on our list to redo, but we’ve talked about it and in the next house, we’re doing whatever we want to make it ours regradless of the fact that it too might go up for sale one day. Thanks for sharing :)

    29. That’s so incredibly gorgeous, and I love how creative it is. I’m surprised by how cheap the barn door hardware is – for some reason I always imagined it to be really expensive!

    30. I struggle with this as well. We don’t know how long we will be in our current home (could be 1 more year or 10) and I get stuck in resale value mode a lot. I hope once we are in our forever home I will be better able to let it go.

    31. Yes, I feel the same way. Neutral paint colors , not putting too many holes in the wall…etc. We had our house built (modular) twelve years ago and I always think about resale. I am with you we should just go for it and enjoy it while we live in it !

    32. Thanks for sharing and your thoughts! I’ve really been wanting to push myself lately to make a home that I love and that speaks to me, not just something pretty, and all of those resale fears are in the back of my mind. This is just what I needed!

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