Window treatments are an important part of every home for many reasons. Aside from providing you with the needed level of privacy and blocking sunlight, they can also enhance the room’s design. But how do you choose a specific type from the vast array of choices on the market? Well, you take your needs, budget, home decor and preferences into account and look for the model that meets preferably all criteria. One very popular and effective option is shutter blinds. Also called plantation shutters, these are a stylish, elegant, and absolutely timeless addition to any home.
Plantation shutters blinds feature a series of adjustable louvers that allow air and light to enter the space while maintaining a sense of privacy and security. Due to the significant amount of shade they provide, they also help keep the inside of your home cooler. With accessible, wipe-clean surfaces, shutter blinds could be the ideal solution for those having allergic reactions to dust, pollen or pet dander.
Shutters can be fitted onto almost any window shape and design. One of the greatest things about them is that you can match the layout of your window with the different sections of the shutter, meaning you can make the shutter look like a part of the window design. And as the size of the shutter panels can be customized to suit any window size, it doesn’t matter if you have a small bathroom window, a large French door or a bay window. The factor that makes shutters blinds differ regarding durability, beauty, and versatility is the material they are made from.
Wood Plantation Shutters
If you are looking to add a rustic and classic look to your home, then wood shutters blinds may be the right option for you. They are the ultimate option when it comes to shutters blinds and the gold standard option is basswood. It is very light yet strong and can be honed into custom shapes and sizes easily. It can also be painted or stained, unlike the other options which are prefabricated into styles and colours.
Sometimes called ‘engineered wood’, composite plantation shutters are made of fake wood or faux wood, which is MDF wrapped in a vinyl or PVC coating. They are very sturdy, weather and humidity resistant. These characteristics are what makes composition shutters an affordable alternative to wood shutters.
Vinyl Plantation Shutters
These are the least expensive of all plantation shutters as instead of wood, they use PVC or aluminium supports for stability. Their main advantage is their low cost, however, they may have structural issues if the shutters are too big. Other benefits of vinyl plantation shutters include weather resistance and suitability for high-moisture areas. Vinyl plantation shutters are available in different types including:
- Hollow Vinyl – Made with vinyl frames, these shutters offer the benefits of vinyl but have size limitations due to the hollow frame which cannot support the weight of larger frames. Although they are the most affordable option, they can sag over time.
- Structured Hollow Vinyl – This type comes with a vinyl skeleton within the shutters that supports the shutter’s weight, reducing the amount of sag in the vinyl. While they are still considered hollow, these shutters feature better structural integrity.
- Solid Vinyl – These are actually a vinyl frame filled with blown PVC. They are a lot more stable than hollow shutters and are still on the low-end cost-wise. You can also find solid vinyl shutters with an aluminium insert. These offer the support of metal but with a lighter profile.
Once you’ve decided what’s the best material for your shutters, the next step is choosing which shutter model best fits your taste and needs. There are four main types of shutters blinds.
- Full Height Shutters – this model covers the entire window allowing for maximum privacy, insulation, and blocking of light. It is suitable for most window types.
- Tier-on-Tier Shutters – these are made of two shutter panels that are hung so that one sits above the other. This feature allows you to open up the top of the bottom part of the window independently or together as needed.
- Shaped Shutters – these are custom made to fit unusually shaped windows including semicircular, triangular and round models.
- Cafe Style Shutters – shutters that cover only the bottom section of a window so that the top part is left uncovered. This model is good for providing privacy, especially for windows by an adjacent pavement or road.
Colours & Design
When it comes to colours, white is the most popular option, but it doesn’t mean it is the only one. Nowadays, you can have your shutters color-matched to the exact paint shade you are after. Before you make this commitment, make sure you choose a colour you will like at least in the next few years. Colourful shutters make a great alternative to a feature wall in a small room and are perfect for creating a focal point. Consider using a matching paint colour on the surrounding walls or keep a motif to add extra interest to your children’s bedroom. You can also coordinate your window shutters with the walls and woodwork to make a compact space feel larger. Painting the shutters or having them factory-painted at the point of order in the same shade will give a seamless feel, especially when the louvers are closed. Also, consider hidden tilt rods and concealed hinges for minimal visual disruption.
In order to maintain your blinds looking their best for as long as possible, regular cleaning is recommended. But don’t freak out because shutters are relatively easy to clean and maintain. Experts recommend using a Lamb’s wool or Ostrich feather duster for all types of shutter materials – from wood to composition to vinyl. These types of dusters can go through the slats easily, can flick off dust quickly, and are so soft that you don’t have to worry about scratching the finish. Once you’re done dusting the shutter, give the entire structure a gentle rubdown with a dry clean cloth. Then with a cloth damped with warm water, wipe all visible surfaces. Make sure to never spray directly on the shutters themselves as cleaning solutions can damage their surface.