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A Guide to Plantation Shutters

Posted on 8th November 2014 by Gemini Blinds

In recent years, there has been a surge in demand for plantation shutters – and for good reason. Chic, elegant and timeless, these shutters are an attractive alternative to blinds and curtains and improve the appearance of any residential or commercial space. Although this style of shutter is thought to have originated back in ancient Greece, it became properly popularised in the southern states of the USA during the colonial era, hence the name. 

But what are the different styles of plantation shutters available? And which rooms suit plantation shutters the most? The team at Gemini Blinds is here to help with this comprehensive guide.

What are plantation shutters made of?

Traditionally, plantation shutters are made of wood which, as well as offering a timeless look, has naturally insulating qualities. However, in recent years, faux wood and PVC have become budget-friendly alternatives. But which material is better? Well, that’s all down to your personal preference; if you value aesthetics then wooden plantation shutters are most suited to your needs, whereas if you prioritise durability then faux wood shutters or PVC shutters may be the better choice.

What colours do plantation shutters come in?

The beauty of plantation shutters is that they are highly customisable and available in a myriad of different colours. From bold shades to neutral tones, there is sure to be something that suits every interior. Alternatively, if you’d like to imbue your home with a bit of warmth, then wooden shutters are a great choice. With a variety of wood options available, you can select the perfect shade to add a touch of rustic charm.

What rooms are best for plantation shutters?

Plantation shutters are characterised by their adjustable louvres, which offer a high level of control over the levels of natural light. This makes them the perfect choice for bedrooms, as you can easily customise the lighting conditions to accommodate your needs, from total darkness at night to gentle morning sunlight.

Due to their thick slats, plantation shutters afford you additional privacy, making them a great option for any street-facing rooms that you’d like to protect from prying eyes – your living room, for example. As plantation shutters offer an extra level of insulation, they’re also ideal for any room that may require a bit of extra warmth, such as a conservatory.

As wood can warp when exposed to damp conditions, wooden plantation shutters aren’t best suited to environments with a high level of moisture, such as your kitchen or bathroom. However, if you have your heart set on installing plantation shutters in these rooms, you may be able to explore more moisture-resistant material options, like PVC and faux wood.

Different styles of plantation shutters

Plantation shutters have a distinct design, and it’s important not to confuse them with colonial shutters. The latter tend to be less robust with narrower slats, while the louvres of plantation shutters are wider to accommodate the extra ventilation needed on hot summer days. Depending on your needs, plantation shutters are available in a whole host of different styles, including:

  • Full height shutters: Spanning the entirety of your window, full height shutters offer full coverage and excellent light control. They are a popular choice for bay windows.
  • Tier-on-tier shutters: This innovative design splits your shutter into a top and a bottom half, allowing each section to be independently operated. This means full control over privacy, ventilation and light filtration can be achieved.
  • Cafe style shutters: So-called due to their popularity in cafes and restaurants, these plantation shutters only cover the bottom half of the window and leave the top half exposed. This helps to maintain privacy in spaces at or below street level.

How to clean plantation shutters

Plantation shutters require very little maintenance — just a quick wipe-down every once in a while. Take a dry microfibre polishing cloth or a feather duster and carefully dust each slat on both sides. Start at the top of the shutter and work your way down towards the bottom; that way, you can easily remove any dust particles that might fall as you clean.

If your plantation shutter is stained, you can use a slightly damp cloth or sponge to wipe the affected area, but be sure to thoroughly dry the shutter afterwards. You should never use any chemical cleaning products on your wooden plantation shutters, as this may lead to warping and further damage. For faux wood and PVC options, you may be able to use a mild detergent – consult your manufacturer for further guidance if required.

How to measure for plantation shutters

When measuring for plantation shutters, you’ll first need to decide between an inside mount and an outside mount. An inside mount is fitted inside the window frame, whereas an outside mount is fitted to the wall around the window. Be sure to have a steel tape measure on hand for the most accurate measurements.

  • Measure the inside width of the window frame in three places: the top, middle and bottom. Record the narrowest figure. 
  • Then, measure the height of the window frame in three places: the left, middle and right. Again, record the smallest figure.
  • Next, measure the depth of the window frame to determine the width of the louvre. Be sure to keep in mind any obstructions, like handles or locks.
  • If you’ve opted for outside mount shutters, you will need to add the frame dimensions to your final figure.

Of course, the easiest way to measure for plantation shutters is to employ a trusted professional like Gemini Blinds – that way, you can be sure you’re getting the correct figure the first time without lifting a finger!

If you’d like to know more about the benefits that plantation shutters can bring to your home, get in touch with the team at Gemini Blinds today. We’ve been serving customers across Liverpool, Manchester, Chester and the surrounding regions for more than 40 years and our experts boast years of valuable experience. We can help you find the right plantation shutters for your home – simply contact us today. 

 

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