Over the past few years plantation shutters have become vastly popular in homes throughout the UK. With a wide range of customisable options and a simple design that can be suited to fit any environment, plantation shutters are a form of window treatment that last a long time and can even add value to your home due to their aesthetically pleasing appearance and the increase of privacy that you get once installing them.
Plantation shutters have wider louvers than the more well known ‘traditional shutters’, however this means that they also let more light into the room. Traditional shutters are becoming less popular in homes nowadays as people start to open up to the idea of letting more light into the room while at the same time not compromising much on privacy.
Plantation Shutters originated from Spanish homes in South America, where large plantation homes would use the wider louvered shutters, giving them their name ‘plantation shutters’. These shutters were used as they let more light into the room as well as improving air flow, ideal for the hot summers of the South.
Nowadays Plantation Shutters come in a variety of different styles and sizes designed to suit the theme and tone of your home. Choosing a louver size depends on where you are planning on fitting the shutters in your house and how much light or privacy you would like to have.
The different styles of shutters provided will allow for comes customisation but generally smaller louvers are better for more personal parts of the house such as the bedroom or bathroom, where the living room and kitchen will benefit greatly from wider, larger louvers that let in more light.
Styles of Shutter
Divider rails are designed to give you flexibility over the control of two halves of the shutter. For example if you wanted to shut one half of the window shutters to allow for more privacy, while at the same time still letting some light into the room, a divider rail is what you would need to accomplish this.
Half shutters provide versatility to windows as they normally only cover the lower half of the window. Again this is used in rooms that generally require more privacy such as the bathroom or shower room and is used as a more permanent solution to using a divider rail.
Bi-folded shutters are double hinged together on one side, making them great for sliding doors or large windows where you would like to provide a clear and open view. Bi-folding shutters are also a great idea in tricky design situations where you would not normally be able to draw back the shutters – for example if there were a cabinet or door obscuring one half of the window.
You can also customise or buy shutters that are tri-folded and quad-folded which are three hinged together to one side and four hinged together to one side respectively.
A double hung shutter is a set of smaller shutter panels situated above one another on the window. The top and bottom panels are independently hinged to the window opening, allowing you to open either the top shutter panel or the bottom independently from the others.
Double hung shutters are ideal for smaller window panels; however you will need sufficient wall space to be able to fold back the shutter panels. Double hung shutters are also sometimes referred to as tier on tier shutters.
Split Tilt Rod
By ‘splitting’ the tilt-rod you will have the ability to close part of the louvers and leave the rest of the louvers open to still let light into the room. This provides pretty much the same effect as a divider rail, however the shutters are made as a single panel, so the execution is slightly different.
Whether you are looking for a wide louver to let a lot of light into the room or a smaller shutter designed to give you some extra privacy, plantation shutters are ideal for any room in the house as they come in a variety of styles and can even be customised to the shape and size of your window. Plus due to their structure they are more often than not long lasting, less subject to dust and mould, easy to clean and will increase the overall value of your home.
Caroline Smythson is an interior designer specialising in home lighting and conservatories. She writes about projects for The Window Shutter Company, specialists in luxurious bespoke interior window shutters for your home.