HGTV's Jenny Marrs Explains How To Give Your Home A Classic Farmhouse Exterior

A classic farmhouse-style home is popular for its simple yet functional design — think textures, an airy ambiance, and bright, clean colors. Rustic and often filled with wooden elements, the classic farmhouse style is considered a cozy and inviting aesthetic. Even though you can implement various styles in your farmhouse home, like modern, industrial, Scandinavian, French country, and other duo styles, there's nothing like a classic look.

 If you've transformed your home's interior and are ready to move on to its exterior, you don't have to make many changes to give it a classic farmhouse look. HGTV star Jenny Marrs claims window shutters are the best way to give your home that farmhouse ambiance.

The "Home Town Takeover" and "Fixer to Fabulous" host has renovated, redesigned, and given a facelift to multiple homes, all while sticking to their classic look. In Season 2, Episode 3 of "Home Town Takeover" called "Get Hooked on Fort Morgan," Marrs revitalizes a 100-year-old modern farmhouse for a couple and their triplets. The century-old house originally had two entrances and a flat, green exterior, but for a proper farmhouse upgrade, Marrs removed a door and added dormers and shutters. "We'll add brand new dormers and wooden shutters that will give the house dimension, and it will give your house that farmhouse feel," she said. When considering the farmhouse look for your home's exterior, opting for shutters à la Jenny Marrs will give your home the charm and character you want.

Tips to remember before installing shutters

Before adding shutters to your window, consider how you want to install them. For instance, you can attach shutters to your existing windows or swap out your windows for new ones, then add the shutters. Both ways have options to achieve a farmhouse appeal and are easy to accomplish. Any DIYer can participate in the project, though having a partner to get the job done is best since the shutters can be heavy.

As you shop for new shutters, remember that farmhouse-style homes use wood elements, so choose pressure-treated wood shutters as they fit with the look and are sturdier. Always measure your windows before shopping to get the proper sizes. If you plan to have operable shutters, purchasing high-quality hardware to keep the shutters secure is best. If you're an expert DIYer, you can always create your window shutters if you have wood at home or buy planks from your local hardware store. If you purchase or make your shutters, you can paint them any color to match your home's exterior, much like in a Season 4 episode of "Fixer to Fabulous" when Dave and Jenny Marrs painted shutters sage green to match a garage and front door while complementing the home's neutral tones.

You only need a few simple tools, including a drill, a ¼-inch drill bit, a level, a pencil, a tape measure, paint, and shutters. However, if you're changing all the windows, it's going to be much more challenging, and a contractor should replace them for you.

How to install shutters on your windows

Once you gather your materials, paint your shutters before installing them. Add as many coats as needed before allowing them to dry completely. If you have shutters already around your windows, you'll need to remove them to install the new ones. Now, it's time to attach your newly painted shutters: Place one next to the window, ensuring it's level, and mark the corners with a pencil. Next, prep the shutter for mounting. To do this, put it face up on a piece of plywood and add a mark two inches from the top and bottom in the center with a pencil. Drill a hole in each mark.

Then, drill holes into the siding using the shutter and the corner marks you made earlier. You'll want to drill 3¼ inches into the siding without going deeper. You can add tape to your drill bit to act as a guide. After making the holes, secure the shutter with screws. Avoid tightening them too much to prevent damaging the siding. Once you finish installing it, repeat the steps with the rest of your new farmhouse-style shutters.

Once you've finished up with your exterior renovation, you might feel inspired to keep sprucing up your home. In that case, Jenny Marrs has some simple tips to give your classic farmhouse decor a modern edge — or, stick to the outdoors and adopt a few of Marrs' curb-appeal tricks, like adding some exterior lighting that will draw even more attention to your newly updated shutters.