Monthly Archives: July 2015

What Are Plantation Shutters? The History Of An American Original

plantation shuttersAmericans are finally investing in the remodeling and renovation projects they’ve put off since 2008, and new curtains, blinds, and window treatments like plantation shutters are at the top of many homeowners’ lists. If you’re looking for a new window covering that will provide privacy, improve energy efficiency, and make your home look its best, then it’s time to discover why plantation shutters are so popular in 2015.

So what are plantation shutters?
In short, plantation shutters are interior window coverings with wide, horizontal louvers, or slats, that can be adjusted as needed. But the history of plantation shutters also open a small window into our nation’s past. Residential interior design isn’t just an idle distraction for Americans with disposable income. Not only will the right home remodeling project increase your home’s value, but home design and architectural trends can actually teach us a lot about American history.

For instance, let’s look at the common shutter. In the early days of our nation’s history, U.S. homes in the Northeast had small windows, because glass provided little insulation during the freezing winter months. Even today, drafty windows can cause 10 – 25% of the heat loss in your home. That’s why traditional shutters are still a particularly popular feature in New England-style homes.

South of the Mason-Dixon Line, large southern plantations featured distinctive shutters placed on the exterior of the house. Not only were they eye-catching design elements, but they could easily be opened and closed to provide protection from the sun and sudden storms. And when Americans migrated out West during the Manifest Destiny phase of American history, homes often featured large windows. Over the decades, homeowners wanted to enjoy the sweeping vistas of the West Coast and Southwestern states, and large windows became a distinctive feature of architecture there. And that’s how plantation windows became such a popular feature inside many U.S. homes.

After plantation windows became popular, they spread back towards East Coast states known for getting a lot of sun. In particular, plantation shutters became widespread throughout Florida buildings.

What are the benefits of plantation shutters?
Initially, plantation shutters became popular for a simple reason — they look good. Plus, as these features became popular in California homes, residents realized they were extremely effective at blocking out the sun during the day, while also providing privacy when needed.

What kinds of windows are plantation shutters used on?
Interior designers tend to use plantation shutters on wide or large windows, especially with bay windows, dormer windows, or plantation arches. But the best plantation shutters Fort Myers FL manufacturers produce can be installed on any kind of window or glass door, including sliding doors. Plus, since quality window treatments like plantation shutters last for 10 to 20 years, you can count on your new shutters brightening up your home for decades to come. Of course, they can also darken your home — in a good way. For homeowners who want to keep their house cool, white and near-white shades can cut down on heat gain by up to 45% on those long, sunny Florida days.