Plantation Shutters vs. Traditional Shutters

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If you are looking for a shutter solution for your interior windows, you probably have heard the terms “traditional” and “plantation.” Ultimately, these are design terms, and refer to two very distinct shutter styles, both of which you will be able to see at a reputable retailer. The question becomes, which design is preferable for your specific windows and needs. The following will give a brief description of these two types and the benefits that each provides:

PSC_Bath3.5Plantation Shutter: this term came to be, because these types of shutters were originally used in the South, and primarily used on the outside of residences, as window protection from severe weather. Over time, however, people began to see their benefits for interior design, especially for the purposes of impacting the effects of extreme weather (heat and cold), by providing insulation of sorts when windows were not thermally efficient. Today, plantation shutters serve a variety of purposes for interior design, and are as attractive as they are efficient. Generally, plantation shutters enhance rooms in the following ways:

  1. They are a great alternative to shades and drapes for larger windows and/or large window combinations. With larger louvers, and the ability to control amount of light in a room, plantation shutters are a great option for large window areas.
  2. Because they replace shades and/or drapes, plantation shutters can actually make a room look larger, especially when fully open during daylight hours, while still providing window coverage that fully open shades and drapes do not. As well, they provide the ability to darken a room significantly, when used in a bedroom or when total privacy is desired.
  3. Plantation shades now come in a variety of materials (wood, faux wood, vinyl, etc.), so that one’s décor can be enhanced by their use. They can even be painted a specific color or stained with a specific wood tone, in order to match colors and/or woodwork in a room.

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Traditional Shutters: these shutters typically have smaller louvers than the plantation style and are an excellent treatment for smaller windows or combinations of windows. These were originally used when windows were smaller and are still a great option for single, stand-alone windows or combinations of small windows.

  1. Traditional shutters are a perfect solution for kitchen and/or bathroom windows, as well as for combinations of small windows in any room.
  2. The café style shutter can be used to allow the upper part of a window to be bare or to house a curtain valance, allowing privacy and yet plenty of outside light.
  3. The wide variety of materials, colors and stains make traditional shutters a great enhancement to any décor, from traditional to modern. And they, too, are a great alternative to shades, boring blinds, and/or drapes.

While many see shutters as outdated, a trip to a window design center will demonstrate just how contemporary shutters actually are. They can be custom-made; they can be of any desired material; they can be fashioned to mesh with any décor; and they are, in the long run, much more reasonable than heavy drapes that must be cleaned periodically and ultimately replaced when they fade or become too worn.

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