After fading from popularity during the 20th century, window shutters are back in a big way. Homeowners have rediscovered the enduring benefits of this classic window treatment, fueling a shutter renaissance. What’s behind the renewed passion for shutters? Read on to learn more about this window covering staple that refuses to go out of style.
Shutters are window coverings composed of movable horizontal louvers, or slats. They are mounted within window frames or around their trim. Shutters can be fully functional with working hardware or simply decorative.
By adjusting louver angles, functional shutters control privacy, sunlight, ventilation, and noise. Fully closing shutters can darken rooms, increase insulation, and block out sound.
Shutters complement numerous home aesthetics from stately traditional to breezy cottage. They pair elegantly with curtains, blinds, and other window treatments.
Diverse Window Shutter Materials
Window shutters come in a range of material options:
- Basswood – The premier choice for painted wood shutters. Basswood is a durable hardwood that resists warping.
- Mahogany – For rich stained wood shutters, mahogany has unparalleled beauty. Its grain patterns and hues deepen attractively over time.
- Poplar – Budget-friendly poplar works for more casual painted or stained shutters. It is not as robust as basswood or mahogany though.
- Composites – Made from synthetic materials like polymers and resins, composites won’t crack or warp. They are low maintenance.
- Vinyl – Vinyl stands up well to moisture, heat, and sun exposure, making it ideal for exterior shutters. It is dent-resistant and won’t rot.
- Aluminum – Sleek aluminum shutters have narrow customizable slats. Aluminum resists corrosion and withstands all weather conditions.
The Continuing Allure of Window Shutters
Several factors explain the ongoing popularity of shutters:
- Nostalgia – Window Shutters trigger fond memories of stately plantation manors, cozy beach cottages, and historic architecture.
- Customization – With endless finishes and design options, shutters can complement diverse aesthetics from farmhouse to contemporary.
- Sustainability – Made from natural basswood, mahogany, and other eco-friendly materials, shutters appeal to green-minded consumers.
- Light control – Shutters enable modulation of incoming sunlight, brightness, and views. This optimizes lighting and privacy.
- Longevity – Properly constructed wood or composite shutters will endure for decades before replacement is needed. Their longevity justifies the initial investment.
Window Shutters Enhance Every Room
A major driver of the shutter revival is how well they work in varied living spaces.
Living Rooms – Formal living rooms gain elegance from louvred shutters. They make an attractive frame around window treatments.
Kitchens – Café-style Window shutters allow kitchen visibility and airflow when open while providing privacy when closed.
Dining Rooms – Window Shutters complement formal dining rooms. Closed, they help protect furnishings from sun damage.
Bedrooms – Bedrooms benefit from shutters blocking light and muffling noise for undisturbed sleep and daytime relaxation.
Kids’ Rooms – Durable shutters hold up to child’s play. Kids take delight in adjusting louvers themselves. Shutters aid noise control and darkening for naps.
Offices – Productive home offices value shutters reducing visual distractions. Closed shutters allow concentration and focus.
Make Window Shutters Uniquely You
Numerous customizations make shutters one-of-a-kind:
Louver Size – Narrower louvers give a lighter look. Wider ones ensure maximum privacy when shutters are closed.
Louver Shape – Square-edged or rounded louvers each create a distinct aesthetic. For more flair, try oval, arched, or diamond-shaped slats.
Tilt Control – Continuous rods close all louvers at once. Individual louver tilting enables fine control over light and views.
Colors – With limitless painted or stained finishes available, it’s easy to complement your home’s color scheme.
Textures – Special techniques like rasping and wormholing add vintage character to wood shutters.
Hardware – Match your home’s existing hardware finishes by selecting oil-rubbed bronze, brushed nickel, copper, or other metals.
Finding Your Window Shutter Soulmate
Not every company offers the expertise and quality needed for enduring shutters. Keep these tips in mind when selecting shutters:
- Choose an experienced specialist, not a general window covering installer. Shutters are their passion.
- Look for solid basswood, mahogany, or engineered composite shutters built to last decades.
- Get a lifetime warranty against splitting, cracking, and defects.
- Ensure your shutters will be made-to-measure based on exact window dimensions.
- Ask about tilt mechanisms, hardware, color options, and design consultation services available.
- Read reviews and check samples to confirm the quality and service before purchasing.
Investing in window shutters from a reputable company is the best way to ensure this window covering staple will enhance your home for years to come.
Plantation shutters are a type of window covering featuring adjustable louvered slats that tilt open and closed. They originated in the American South, hence the name “plantation” shutters.
Some key features of plantation shutters:
- Typically constructed from basswood, cedar, or polyresin engineered wood. Basswood is lightweight and cedar provides natural insect/mold resistance.
- Louvres or slats are thin, usually 2-3 inches wide, and vertically oriented for maximum control of light and privacy.
- The thin louvres enable plantation shutters to stack neatly against the window shutters frame when fully opened.
- Can be paint or stain-finished in any color, providing a clean, contemporary look. White is a popular color choice.
- Allow for optimal control of natural light, ventilation, and privacy.
Window Wooden Shutters
Wooden shutters also have adjustable louvred slats but they are usually wider and fewer in number than plantation shutters.
Features of wooden shutters:
- Traditionally made from thicker hardwoods like red cedar or cypress for enhanced durability.
- Slats range from 3-5 inches wide giving a more rustic, bold appearance compared to plantation shutters.
- Often left unfinished to showcase the wood’s natural grain and color variation. Can also be stained, painted or whitewashed.
- Functionally allow good light and privacy control but wider louvres do not stack together when fully open.
- Offer a traditional Old World aesthetic, fitting into cottage, farmhouse, or rustic décor.
- Heavier and more rugged construction makes them suitable for exterior use as well as interior window coverings.
With their blend of aesthetics, functionality, and craftsmanship, it’s easy to see why shutters remain perennially popular. The shutter renaissance shows no signs of slowing down. Durable wood or composite shutters will serve you well for decades with minimal upkeep required. For elegance and quality that stand the test of time, few window treatments can match the enduring grace of shutters.