The Rise of the Plantation Shutter

Interior Shutters

When considering window treatments for a home, plantation shutters are extremely popular because of their classic and elegant appearance. They are also very practical as they require little maintenance, protect window glass, and can be adjusted to control a room’s heat and light intake.

Plantation shutters have been around in one form or another for thousands of years; the ancient Greeks used stone shutters in a similar style. The shutters came to the Americas through the Spanish who installed them as they built homes.

Despite their long history, plantation shutters are most recognizable as a decorating staple of the old South. Homeowners would put up these shutters, often painting them white, outside their homes to protect the exterior of their houses. The use of these wide, louvered shutters on plantations gave them the name they are known by today.

In California during the 1950’s, homes were being built with large windows so people could enjoy the beautiful West Coast views. Plantation shutters became popular and were installed indoors so these views would not be obstructed as they would be with traditional shutters or curtains.

Since plantation shutters (or California shutters as they also came to be known) kept the heat from seeping through glass windows and making the home’s inhabitants uncomfortable, use of this window treatment spread to the hot and sunny climates of Arizona, Florida, and other Southern states.

Because so many people were moving to these areas and building homes, the uniform and beautiful look of plantation shutters is a common sight.

They are also highly popular in other parts of North American, too, including the Greater Toronto Area.

Plantation shutters come in virtually any size and can be custom-designed to accommodate a variety of rooms. In bathrooms or other rooms where homeowners want privacy, shutters can be built with a divider rail so the top and bottom of the shutter can be manipulated separately.

Wider shutters tend to work best with large rooms while narrow louvers fit well into smaller rooms, like kitchens or small bedrooms. Plantation shutters can be built from vinyl or a range of woods, like basswood (very popular) or alder. The possibilities for shutters (width, shape, color, material, opening style) are essentially endless and depend wholly upon the wishes of the homeowner.

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