Decorating Using Old Windows

Add architectural interest to your home with old windows repurposed as decor. Decorating with old windows and shutters adds instant cottage charm to any space.

flowers and window

Old-window projects (with or without their original panes) instantly boost architectural interest in casual and formal rooms, as well as outside living and garden spaces. Whether displayed in their found state, repurposed, or refinished, antique windows are wondrous vintage items that offer countless decorating possibilities. Look for potential old window frame art in your garage, on garbage-day curbs, and at estate sales, salvage yards, and reclamation centers. Gather old windows that appear sound or that can be repaired with a nail or two, and prepare to decorate.

Get more ideas for repurposing flea market finds.

Additional Joy

English Cottage Decor

Sometimes you don't even need to do anything to showcase pretty, classic windows. Here, an original wall was left in place so the old windows could shine through to a new addition. The leaded glass provides an extra element of beauty to the country-chic room. Use this old window art as inspiration for other old window crafts. Follow the trend, and convert an antique decorative piece into an old-window coffee table. Or find several tall old windows and use hinges to string them together, turning the group into an old-window room divider.

Browse ways to use stained glass windows in your home.

Antique Window Mirror

mirror

Don't forget that panes from windows can be removed. The panes of this old window frame project were replaced to create an antique window mirror. Get antique-finished mirror or do DIY mercury glass for an aged look. This window frame idea is just one of many that involves replacing the glass. Add chalkboards in place of glass panes for a twist on this classic decor idea, or place corkboard within the spaces for your office reminders.

Get the mercury glass look for less!

Old-Window Art

kitchen window

The beauty of stained glass can be yours without installing colored windowpanes. When you find a stained-glass window, hang it over a sunny window in your home, like the one here, to let light stream through and color your kitchen—creating its own old-window art. Another popular place for the stained-glass look is around the panes of the front door or small windows in the bathroom.

Frame Work

storage cabinet

Old window frames can be more than pretty; they can serve a purpose, too! Take an old window casing and build a rustic shelving unit around it! This window frame project would look lovely holding toiletries in a master bathroom or keepsakes in the living room. The shelf looks great in this garden shed, and puts an old window frame to work.

Stumped on garden shed ideas? See 12 shed plans.

Creative Ways to Decorate with Old Windows

Console table, bike, window

Brush dirt from an old window frames, secure and clean the glass panes, and display it in all its time-weathered glory. For this old wooden window craft idea, lean a window against a wall behind a table or on a mantel as a breezy backdrop for collections of similar vintage. Or mount larger window frames or French-style doors to a bedroom wall to craft a shabby-chic headboard.

Outdoor Window Frame Projects

What Goes With

Old windows provide charmingly lightweight and light-reflective forms that stand out in perennial borders and lushly planted landscapes. For an easy old window project, rest a window or two against a fence, or dangle a substantial casement—like this one—to hint at a patio privacy wall. Rethink their purpose, and use them to construct eye-catching garden structures. Replace the glass with chicken wire, and use them to support climbing vines and veggies or to hold small wired-in-place pots planted with annual flowers or herbs for a living old-window frame project.

Window Frames as Decor

What Goes With

Use large windows with divided panes or small windows to frame objects like family photos, vintage fabrics, botanical prints, and dried flowers. You can also hang a window on a wall, then set pretty dishes, vintage wall pockets, or petite framed images within the divisions to create a symmetrical wall exhibit. Or leave the panes in place to protect prized photos or prints, or as a background for stenciling or painting on quotes and motifs. Think of each old window as a blank canvas awaiting your personal touch, and you'll come up with dozens of ways to have old window decor. 

Create your own botanical prints.

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