Are you ready to give your windows a stylish new look? Window shutters add a sense of sophistication to any interior residential space and can easily be made to fit just about any window or opening. Interior shutters can be fitted inside an opening, designed to swing apart and inward on hinges, or they can frame around an opening, designed to remain fixed to the wall or to be operable.
Window shutters add character to a room, neatly framing a window opening as a stylish accessory, a practical shutter, or both. Shutters were originally designed as a protective measure for windows, a way to easily close a window with a barrier against severe weather such as hail, high winds, and wind-driven dust. Interior shutters were used as an additional security measure to provide insulation from the heat or cold and regulate lighting and ventilation through horizontal slats (louvres) that could rotate to be open or closed.
Interior window shutters now are commonly used as a purely decorative feature (fixed shutters) or as a functional, practical feature (operable shutters) for security, privacy, lighting, and ventilation. Fixed window shutters are accessories that are attached and secured to the wall on either side of a window, painted in a colour that complements or contrasts with the surrounding wall colour. Operable shutters can be opened away from the window or closed toward it either by hinging the panels along the outer stile so that they can swing, or by sliding the panels toward each other along tracks.
Plantation shutters are named for their use on plantation houses in warm climates such as the American South, Africa, Australia, and the Mediterranean, where they became a symbol of class. The louvres typical of plantation shutters are traditionally wide and flat compared to the narrow and curved design used for window blinds, although louvres that are rounded on the top face are becoming more popular. These shutters are considered low maintenance compared to blinds because the louvres are larger and widely spaced, making them easy to clean.
Plantation shutters, which are sometimes called timber shutters in Perth and other locations in Australia, are typically made of wood or faux wood. Design features are varied by changing the width of the stiles and louvers, adding horizontal or vertical cross members, and carving edge-treatments into stiles, louvres, and cross members.
Although they can be made of either wood or synthetic, faux wood, timber shutters are plantation shutters that are named for their traditional wood construction. Wood types varied and were typically timber that was locally available for construction. Among other wood types, cedar, basswood, ash, pine, and maple were common and still are today, although faux wood is becoming popular for its moisture resistance. Australian plantation shutters have their origins in cedar, which remains one of the most beautiful and characteristic woods used in traditional timber shutters today.