Why You Might Want to Consider Shutters for Your Home-Shutterly Fabulous
The term Shutter applies to both interior shutters that we see becoming more popular in homes today and exterior shutters, which we often see adding charm to old cottages. It is basically a stable and solid window covering, usually consisting of a vertical frame and horizontal rails.
Today shutters are used because they add a classic feel to our home, while allowing us to take care of functional requirements such as maintaining privacy, blocking out direct sunlight or keeping a room warm after dark. They add curb appeal to a house as you pass by and are often seen as a major selling point in any home.
Shutters were believed to have originated in Greece, where marble shutters with fixed louvres were used to minimise the strong Mediterranean heat while maintaining ventilation. Not practical today, marble shutters have been replaced with a whole host of materials, solid wood being a very popular choice in homes.
Shutters were used before glass; in Medieval Europe, shutters were often used for security with iron bars across to strengthen them and to prevent against possible attacks. Even when glass was introduced in Tudor times, it was so expensive that shutters were still used on the lower half of the window to maintain security, while glass was used in the upper portion of the window; a bit like the café style shutters we see used to day.
It wasn't until 1700s that we started to see both glass and shutters used together.
When Europeans started exploring America, they took over with them the concept of shutters; white painted shutters you see in the cotton plantations in the South, gave way to the plantations shutters we use today, for example.
Why Use Shutters?
1. Keep Your Room Insulated. If you close your shutters at dusk, shutters can insulate your windows and dramatically reduce heating costs; keeping a room much warmer, acting as a barrier to drafts.
Equally, when it is hot outside, shutters keep you room cool
2. Easier Cleaning. If you have ever cleaned louvre shutters you might disagree with me on this one, but wiping away dust is much easier on shutters than from blinds and curtains. Equally you don't risk curtains becoming washed out through cleaning.
3. Adding Value to your Home. Plantation shutters look fantastic in homes old and new and are likely to be a selling point for your home. Not selling? Well, they are likely to add kerb appeal, to those passing by or if you are like me and want you home to look nice.
4. Privacy. Gone are the days of net curtains to add privacy to a window on a main road. Today you see shutters being used more and more.
You can close your shutters but still let in light, certainly if you have chosen a plantation style shutter, or even close the bottom shutters and leave the top ones open, if you have chosen a tier on tier shutter, or a cafe style, allowing you to relax in your space without people looking in, perfect for those of us that live on a main street, like me.
5. Keeping out Noise. Solid wooden shutters act as a sound barrier to outside noise, especially important if you live on a very busy road.
6.Adding Simplicity to a look, being properly fitted to a certain space and size. Having a blind or curtain in the image on the RHS, would look out of place on a small window, yet this shutter complements the bathroom scheme beautifully. Hence, simplicity works.
Shutterly Fabulous started out in 2002 to provide quality, premium solid wooden or plantation shutters for the best value and price, while maintaining a very good customer service, something they have become renowned for as the company has grown from strength to strength; starting out in 2002 with two business founders and growing now to over 70 people, with locations across the UK.
They sell a huge range of shutters to choose from depending on what you want to achieve; perhaps a strong colour block with a full height solid shutter in black against white walls for a Scandi look? Maybe, cafe style shutters for a bit of privacy if you live on a main road? Perhaps you want a pop of colour in a neutral scheme or neutral shutter to go with curtains?
All of these options are possible from the range of colour and products listed below, and which you can see throughout this post in the images included:
If you have a period home and are looking for window dressing in keeping with your home's era, solid panel wood shuttersare an option especially if, like me, you have a Victorian home. These shutters are thick and strong and are great for security and keeping a room warm.
Tier-on-tier shutters. Here, the entire window is covered but you have a number of options regarding how you control light coming into the room and privacy, being able to control the opening of each shutter component on each window.
Café-style shuttersonly cover the lower portion of your window, so your room gets plenty of light while you maintain your privacy. You could also use these shutters with curtains, since they only cover a small part of the window.
Full Height Plantation Shuttersoffer a beautifully simple look to windows, instead of blinds and curtains and are rapidly becoming very popular alternatives.
Shutterly Fabulous also have a custom colour service meaning that they will colour match a shade of your choice. Perhaps you have Farrow and Ball Downpipe in your living room, like me, and want the shutters to blend in. Colour Matching is a perfect way of getting bespoke shutters for you and the room scheme you have in mind.
Alternatively, simple wooden shutters can act as a beautiful complement to painted walls.
So, if like me you are rather taken by the idea of shutters, what is the process to get a set made for you?
How Do You Choose Shutters?
Firstly, you can head on over to Shutterly Fabulous' blog, where there is wealth of information and inspiration to help you chose, along with seasonal trends, ideas for different rooms and styles. You can also see all of the different shutter designs on the website.
Think about what you want the shutters for; as I mentioned above, do you want light but privacy? or are you making a statement? or simply want a set of shutters instead of curtains after dark? If you look at the photo grid below, you can even see shutters used as room dividers. The use of your shutters might dictate the style you go for.
What colour do you want? Do you want you shutter to blend into your walls or stand out? Are you in a new build where a plantation style shutter might fit in better with your home, or a grand Edwardian where a solid shutter might be more in-keeping with what would traditionally be found in these homes.
Honestly, I don't think it matters too much, I have an old house and would mix and match my shutter styles as much as I might my furniture or accessories, but you might choose to stick with a choice you feel in keeping with your home.
How Do You Order Shutters?
Once you have made your choice you can call or email for a quotation and if happy with this, a design consultant will come out to your home, to discuss your options and measure up and finalise the quotations for you. Your shutters are then made to order, a lead time of around 8-10 weeks. Once ready, a carpenter will come out to fit the shutters to you window and provide you with a care package for you to look after them at home. Shutters are guaranteed for 5 years from when they are fitted. Moreover, with the Classic Poplar range, you can ask for timber certified by the Forest Stewardship Council at no extra cost.
My Choice of Shutters
As I mentioned, my living room has a floor to ceiling bay window, which faces the front street and where a bit of privacy might be helpful. At present, it is a single glazed sash window with, nearly 200-year-old glass and my current choice of window dressings are blinds and very thick curtains, which keep out the drafts in winter, see picture below. Thankfully is a south facing room so the light is especially good, but it also gets very hot in summer.
Therefore, I see this room as an ideal candidate for shutters which can; give privacy, while maintaining light, bring warmth in winter and help reduce our heating bills and in summer bring shade on whichever window the sun is beating through.
I think the ideal shutter for my room would be a tier on tier shutter in a wood colour to match the stripped wood of the bay.
Why? By having individual shutters on both the tops and the bottoms of the window, I can choose to keep the bottom ones closed while allowing light through the top windows, especially in winter, when even a south facing room struggles for light. At night time, we can close the top shutters too, in winter blocking out drafts, and in the heat of summer, we can open and close each shutter as appropriate to let in air or to block out sun. Perfect for all of the issues I have in this room.
The Mood Board Below shows some of my candidate choices.
Below are some of the images I have collected to aid a choice of shutter. In white (and yellow) you can see the tier on tier shutters I mention and how they could work to achieve my long wish list from a window dressing. Colour wise I'm drawn the wooden shutters in the other two pictures and you can see the choices of colours available. A Honey Oak or Sugar Maple is probably the right colour for my window, although I would always sample check before ordering.
So, are you tempted by shutters? already a convert? or would nothing persuade you to give up you curtains and blinds?
The Girl with The Green Sofa