If you’ve recently purchased a new home or are planning to update an existing window treatment, you’ve undoubtedly come across plantation shutters. With their timeless style and unmatched features, plantation shutters can be spotted in the windows of homes throughout the region. One of the most frequent questions that we’re asked about our plantation shutters is about the quality of the light filtering through them. Do plantation shutters block too much light? The short answer is no, but to really understand the answer, let’s take a closer look at the plantation shutters themselves.
Plantation Shutters: A Look Back in Time
Plantation shutters date back centuries. Believed to have originated in ancient Greece, they were firstly made of slats of marble that were fixed in place. They were placed on windows, which were needed for ventilation, to protect the inside of homes from strong breezes and more damaging winds. Over time, wood would come to replace marble as the choice for shutters, and woodworkers began crafting beautiful examples.
As time continued to pass, movable louvres were developed, allowing for the freedom to adjust the shutters needed, lending increased versatility to an already useful fixture. Eventually, shutters were brought over to the new world, and they found a place for themselves on the windows of the grand homes and sprawling estates in the Caribbean and the South. In those days, plantation shutters, in addition to adding beauty, were quite useful for controlling the sun’s powerful rays while allowing in the cooling breezes so necessary in these warm climates.
Function with Style
Modern day plantation shutters are a wonderful harmony of form and function. There are four main components to the shutters: the stiles, the tilt rod, the louvers, and the rails. The rails are horizontal pieces at the top and bottom of each shutter panel. The louvers are the movable slats of the shutter, and they are controlled with the tilt rod, while the stiles run vertically and hold the louvres in place. These separate pieces all come together to form a fixture that adds as much aesthetic value to your home as it does functionality.
Plantation shutters add curb appeal, increasing the value of your home, and can even be financed into its value. Once you have plantation shutters installed, you may find yourself wondering how there was ever a time when you lived without these versatile panels.
Beyond Light Control: Plantation Shutters Have Many Benefits
Plantation shutters help with insulation. By closing your shutters, you can provide more effective insulation against the drafts of hot or cold air that can creep in throughout the year, allowing you to save on your heating and air bills. Because they can be adjusted to the exact degree of openness that you want at any given time, they are also wonderful for privacy. If you open your shutters to the right angle, you can view the outside of your house, while no one from the street can see you in return. Since they’re made from wood and therefore less transparent than blinds, the silhouettes of your family members will not be as visible from the outside of your home, either.
Light and Plantation Shutters: Do They Block Too Much?
Simply put, plantation shutters can affect the light as much or as little as you want. This is a window treatment that puts you solidly in control. Certainly, particularly during bright days, you can partially or fully close the louvers to cut down on the amount of light filtering in, therefore limiting the amount of sun damage that your furniture is exposed to and keeping the area cooler. You can also open the louvers wide and allow the warming light to illuminate your rooms. Open or close the louvers all that you want until you find just the right amount of light to create the perfect ambiance that you’re striving for at any given moment.
Adjustments and Options Mean As Much Sunlight As You’d Like
Not only can the louvers be adjusted for ideal ambiance, but different shutter styles can affect the amount of light that filters through, as well. When you think of plantation shutters, you likely immediately thinking of our classic, traditional shutters, which cover the entirety of the window from top to bottom. While these are a timeless and stunning choice, there are a variety of other options. The cafe shutter, for instance, shutters only the bottom section of the window, while the top section remains uncovered, allowing for unobstructed light to beam into your rooms, while still retaining many of the benefits received from traditional plantation shutters. If you’re looking for even more light, perhaps you’d enjoy cafe plantation shutters.
Tilt rods, as well, affect how much control you have over the light filtering into your space. While some plantation shutters use a single tilt rod, there is also the option to have a split tilt rod. This allows for independent control of the top and bottom sections of the shutter. You may also choose to use a divider rail to have independent functionality of the top and bottom sections. You can open either section as much or as little as you see fit.
What about when you need all of the light you can get? Simply open the panels. Plantation shutters are built with hinges that allow them to be opened fully, allowing for a completely unobstructed window. Don’t care for the look of hinges around your windows? We have you covered with our patented Softedge™ shutter, which fully conceals the hinges, giving the look a sleeker, more modern appearance.
Choose Shenandoah Shutters for All of the Light You Need From Plantation Shutters
Shenandoah Shutters has been carefully crafting plantation shutters in Richmond, Virginia for decades. We’re proud to routinely provide expertly designed and customized plantation shutters to the residents of cities located all over Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Washington DC, and Northern North Carolina. We’ve even provided plantation shutters outside of our usual region, including states like Florida, Connecticut, and Montana.
Since 1990, we’ve manufactured in our woodshop only our silken, lacquered, wooden plantation shutters; nothing synthetic, artificial, or anything that would take our focus away from this beautiful window treatment. We use the finest American woods available, with the material selected based on the color of your plantation shutters. Basswood, for instance, is used for our stained shutters, while yellow poplar is reserved for our lighter shutters. This allows your color to pair with a wood that allows for the richest, most vibrant hue possible. Prefer a specialty wood or other customization? Let us know.
We pride ourselves on our strong customer service record, grateful and amazed that over two-thirds of our sales are from repeat customers and referrals. We also offer a 100-year limited transferable warranty on your plantation shutters, as well as a 25-year limited warranty on our elegant lacquer finish. We don’t know of any other business that provides this kind of guarantee.
Ready to set-up your free, in-home design consultation? Contact us by web or by phone today. We look forward to showing you how our plantation shutters can provide the exact lighting ambiance that you desire.