How to decide on the types of shutters to buy


Shutters and plantation blinds have become a popular alternative to curtains and blinds. They add a contemporary feel to a room. Shutters are easy to maintain and wipe clean as they don’t absorb dust.

Indoor shutters and plantation blinds are a very cost effective way of updating any room. They are designed in a variety of panels, different slat sizes and a wide range of colours. They offer an easy way to control the amount of light that comes into a room. A further advantage is that they offer insulation. Not only will they cut the cost of expensive double glazing, they also work in conservation areas where local council regulations prohibit the installation of modern double glazed windows.

1. Various styles

Shutters come in three basic styles. The most popular are plantation style, usually called plantation blinds or louvres. These control the light level by rotating the slats. Solid shutters fold out to open and back again to close. These are quite common in period homes, especially Victorian and Georgian buildings with tall windows where slats would not be appropriate. This type of shutter offers total privacy. Shutters covering just the bottom half of a window are popular in caffs and restaurants and are usually called caff shutters. These have also become very popular with home owners as they provide the look of a plantation blind at almost half the cost. There are lots of ways of putting together the shutters over large window areas. One of the most popular styles is tier on tier, when one set of shutters is above the other. This is a practical method for both controlling the light entry and, when necessary, for localised shutter repairs that do not require contractors such as Phoenix Door Services to remove the entire structure from the window frame.

2. Location and materials

Shutters can be made to fit any shape of window; square, rectangular, round or oval. They can even be made in a triangular shape. Probably the only place where a shutter may be difficult to install is an inward opening window. If necessary, the shutter can be designed to open together with the window. Wood is the most popular materials for shutters, in particular elm and poplar. Elm is more expensive and deep grained, like oak, while poplar is smooth. But it’s important to check that the wood type. Sometimes, hardened pine is presented as hardwood and may not remain stable in windows over long periods of time. Anyone looking for a cheaper alternative can choose plastics such as PVC or composites like MDF (medium density fibreboard). MDF may be cheaper and made to look like wood, but eventually will absorb moisture and deteriorate. However, plastics have a great advantage when installed in humid places such as bathrooms and kitchens.

3. Conclusion

When buying shutters, the best start is to keep the design as simple as possible to match the window frame. Remember that if you choose a colour other than white, you may quickly tire of it. Shutters are durable, but slats are damaged mostly by impact of balls or boisterous children’s games. Buy shutters where the slats are easily repaired.

Jennifer is an interior designer. She uses products from established provides such as Phoenix Door Services.

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