Introduced to the Americas by the Spanish, plantation shutters are now considered a stylish choice for window treatments. The name came from the early popularity of these wider louvered shutters on larger plantations in the American South. The wider openings allow more light to pass through while still allowing for some privacy. Traditional shutters have narrower louvers. There is no real standard for how much space there should be between louvers. As a rule, however, plantation shutters tend to have a width ranging from around 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 inches although variations are possible depending on personal preferences.
Plantation Shutters and Natural Light
A big trend in home decor these days is to embrace the use of natural light. Not only is this environmentally friendly, but it is also a good way to accentuate a room's decor. Plantation shutters are selected based on factors such as how much light a room gets different points of the day and which room it is. More light is welcome in a kitchen or dining room while more privacy is usually appreciated in a living room or bedroom. When it comes to the use of light in a room with plantation shutters, options include:
- Full shutters from top to bottom of each window
- Shutters with divides to allow for separate control of top and bottom louvers
- Half shutters to cover only part of a window and allow more natural light into a room
- Double hung style where two separate sets of shutters are installed allowing each set to be controlled separately without the use of a divider
Enjoying the View from Plantation Shutters
Today, the main purpose of plantation shutters is to control the amount of light in a room and allow access to the view outside. As far as taking advantage of the view, it really depends on what views you get from which windows. A view of your neighbour’s house is not really worth seeing. In that case, divided shutters would work better since the bottom could be kept closed and the top could be opened to let light in. A bay window overlooking a garden, on other hand, would be best served with wider plantation shutters to enjoy the view and sunlight.
Custom Plantation Shutters
Plantation shutters can be custom made into any size and shape to fit any window. Other than the shape, there are many other custom features to consider when opting having shutters made specifically for one window or a group of windows in a single room. It is perfectly fine to mix, match, and have shutters of one size in one room and shutters of another size in another room. It might be best to stick with one style though, especially when you consider what the plantation shutters will look like from the outside of your home. CurtainWorld provides custom plantation shutters to suit any window. Shutters and other leading shutter installations custom make their shutters to suit every application.
Additional custom considerations include:
- Mortised hinges that tend to look better in the frame
- Choosing a type of wood that is both durable and decorative
- Rabbited edges to prevent gaps where the panels meet
- Thicker side rails to prevent warping of panels
While some consider it the ultimate style faux pas, subtle window treatments can actually enhance the beauty of a window already fitted with plantation shutters. Sheered panels or white linen grommet-style side panels can add texture and warmth without detracting from the effect of the shutters. Silk panels on the sides can add color and texture to plain white plantation shutters. It is really a matter of preference. Regardless, it's easy to see the potential when it comes to choosing plantation shutters.
… written by Eric McDonald, a home improvement specialist regularly blogs for 'Home Improvements', 'Yahoo Home' and many other authority websites in the home niche. Eric believes plantation shutters are coming more common and affordable.