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How We Are Repurposing The Original Living Room Windows At The Farmhouse (In The PANTRY??)

What to do with the OG original windows has been a debate since day 2. First, we thought we were keeping all. Then we thought we were replacing them all, but we landed on keeping all the original on the 2nd floor, and adding new ones on the first floor that tie in with the original windows. The gist was that we knew we were opening up the first floor windows to be MUCH BIGGER so we’d need some new ones no matter what, and mixing new and old in the same room is a challenge. Plus, remember the rest of the windows on the first floor were not original – they were aluminum from the ’60s or vinyl from the ’90s…here are photos to refresh you (and you can read more about them in this post).

The Awesome Original Farmhouse Windows

The Less-Awesome Aluminum Or Vinyl Windows

So there are actually only 3 original windows that were removed with no future home. Of course, we are dreaming of a greenhouse someday made of them, but then we found the PERFECT solution.

But first, remember the original pantry/mudroom layout before we moved the kitchen?? Here’s a refresher of where we landed a few months ago when we had ‘draft 1’ completed:

WELL, we fell in love with the walk-in pantry idea up there, but then we decided to move the kitchen altogether – to get it closer to the windows. By losing our mudroom we thought maybe we should put in a mini mudroom/entrance where our pantry was going to be, like this:

But we missed the walk-in pantry so much, so we figured out a solution on where to put the mudroom (if you’re interested, feel free to read more about the mudroom saga here)…

SO, for the first time ever we will have a walk-in pantry. We cook a ton and have carved out the space so mama gets her walk-in pantry. More on the pantry plan later, but trust me we are making it hyper functional (and yes, so pretty).

We had planned to do something interesting to separate the pantry from the kitchen, but it was TBD. We knew we wanted that entrance to involve glass to allow light and keep it feeling open, but separated so we figured some sort of vintage/salvaged doors or windows. We of course considered the original windows but they are double-hung and super-wide so they would be too big and now allow for a big enough entrance.

When I was over there a few weeks ago it became obvious and I lit up with excitement. We would hang the two unused OG vintage windows vertically so that the diamond pattern sits inside a frame that gives separation between the kitchen and pantry. Like so:

So I asked Stephyn to draw it in and see if it would actually fit and guess what? IT DID.

Of course we have to figure out how it should all be finished – how to integrate the window into the “wall” but we are thinking paneling, maybe some peg rails, and maybe even a shelf or plate rail along the top spanning the whole wall.

THEN I was at the farm with a friend a couple of weeks ago and they were like ‘a window goes here, right?’ and I said ‘uh, no …..??”. Truly we joke that this is the swiss cheese house, with so many windows and skylights (all double-paned, all UV, don’t worry) that we can’t believe we missed this opportunity. Here’s where we’re talking about:

The wall is on an angle so we weren’t able to put an upper cabinet or shelf there anyway. But our window order from Sierra Pacific was placed months ago (And was supposed to arrive this week but we had issues with delivery on our end) so we couldn’t add it. You might have seen on stories that I found another vintage window from eBay…it was the perfect size for just under $300 and it ties in with the diamond pattern AND the more simple grid pattern in the kitchen (which is two panes over two panes, dubbed a ‘2 over 2’).

And here are screenshots of the video of me taking it out of the box. Yes, some paint did chip slightly upon unboxing. We might need to do some minor repairs to it (whoops) 🙂

Technically we have one original window from the first floor left to use somewhere (TBD), while the rest of the upstairs gets repaired. So stay tuned for some more window chat coming soon 🙂

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2 years ago

Absolutely love this! Fantastic way to use the original windows.

Erin Dae
2 years ago

Finally a farmhouse update! When we continued to get lots of posts on how-to’s and gift guides I was really hoping that meant exciting things were going on in the background that we would get to hear about soon! Looks like things are coming along nicely.

2 years ago

LOVE THIS!!! There’s nothing like a perfect, serendipitous design solution to let you know your renovation in right on track. Thanks for sharing the journey. More, please!

2 years ago

More on the Farmhouse please. That’s what I’m mainly here for-watching an old house transform. Love the use of the old windows for the pantry. It looks lovely

2 years ago

Love everything you are doing! I have scoured the internet for how to blend different styles of windows in various styles of houses and come up with nothing. We might need more on how to think through doing this!

2 years ago

I feel like you need Daniel Kanter ( to help you placing all these original and vintage windows. He’s the expert repurposer.

2 years ago
Reply to  Kelly


2 years ago

I’m so thrilled with this update! I LOVE the use of windows for the pantry so much it’s helping me get over my tears for the original walkthrough cabinetry from the earlier draft.

I also think using vibrate windows indoors is a great way to repurpose without the issues of insulation.

I also appreciate that you’re giving us farmhouse updates as they come naturally instead of trying to mold your design/build process to create super-regular content.

2 years ago

Thanks for the update! Love repurposing old windows!
Just a cautionary note, and I’m sure you know this already, but it’s likely old windows were painted with lead based paint. Chipping lead paint is a real concern. I had to use an encapsulating primer to seal the old paint before the final coat to make the windows safe.

2 years ago

I. Love. This! 💗💗💗
What a great idea for a butler’s pantry, using those beautiful windows!
The ebay window is gor-g-eous too!!! Much prefer it to a reproduction version.
Love love love love it!!!
Useful, beautiful, sensitive to the origins of the house.🥰

Roberta Davis
2 years ago

Cool! Can’t wait to see more and more of the farmhouse, and also your brother’s house. Met Max in Seattle a few weeks ago.

2 years ago

Honestly, this should have been planned a long time ago. Seems very haphazard to me….my friends came over and I decided to move a window? What???? Where is the design team?

2 years ago
Reply to  Dawn

Not every idea occurs when it’s “supposed” to. Renovation (and design in general) is a process and sometimes the best ideas come later than would be ideal. You can’t fault the design team, or Emily-also a professional, for one idea that didn’t happen to occur to them sooner.

2 years ago
Reply to  Dawn

Imagine having a friend with the ability to envision a window where no-one else had seen the potential for one before. That’s not haphazard, that’s creative thinking at it’s very best!

2 years ago
Reply to  Elaine

*its 🤪

2 years ago
Reply to  Dawn

What a joy-killing comment. 🙄

Actually a true artist has an evolving design process, responding to and taking inspiration from their materials. All my best art has been like this, little epiphany moments where you step away from the conscious process and it just comes together. I think every creative person knows this feeling.

To just draw up a plan and then stick to the plan,…so boring. Im glad Emily is stepping back and listening to her house along the way.

Alexandra Rose
2 years ago

Yup yup yup. Just the perfect use of those windows!

2 years ago

Please, PLEASE be careful of lead paint on all those old windows. This is nothing to be cavalier about; you can repurpose them, but you’ve got to be knowledgable about how to mitigate the lead paint.

2 years ago
Reply to  Kate

As long as the old paint is encapsulated with primer and paint, it will be fine. with these being stationary, they won’t even be touched much. The thing to avoid is sanding dust from sanding lead paint, or injesting flakes of lead paint- neither of which will be happening here.

emily jane
2 years ago

I am feeling some SERIOUS enthusiasm for these developments!!!

2 years ago

I am so in love with this look! Looking to build a private office in our large backyard. Really wanting to make it something cozy and special… Views are the most important part. I need something else to look at other than a computer screen. LOL.

2 years ago

I just adore this use of the windows! SO beautiful and farmhouse charm, while not having to worry about airtightness. Remind me, are you doing a mudroom still?

2 years ago

I love the creativity in re-using these gorgeous (but small & inefficient) windows!

2 years ago

Oh my goodness I love this!!! What a perfect use of these works of craftsmanship.
The view from the kitchen is gorgeous. The pantry feels separate but connected and with great flow. I assume there is no door on it. That’s what I would want – no obstacle between me and my ingredients! 🙂

Anna Anasta
2 years ago

I follow your posts from the farm house but I do not understand all this locomotion about maintaining some torn down windows and low quality “original” material that is uniteresting and so …I am trying to find the word … basic, probably. There is no beauty, or something worth for all this fuss about this house. It is not a 1800s house or something, so please do not try making it seem like one. It is a pretty new, low cost, average house, that you are pretending to be something worth preserving It is not. You are making content. That is all. It is your house and you have a ton of money to spend in someting that all the words in the world will not make any more interesting that it is.

2 years ago

Two kids and two dogs in a Portland farmhouse with no mudroom? Hopefully this extra kitchen storage will make up for lots of mopping 🙂

2 years ago
Reply to  Alex

There will be a mudroom in a different location. There’s a link in the post that explains…