Plantation Shutters: A Versatile Window Treatment

My favorite window treatment, my absolute favorite window treatment is the plantation shutter.  Don’t get me wrong, I love other types of window treatments, too.  I love the way drapes soften a room and would love to one day add gorgeous silk taffeta drapes to my dining room. But I’d still keep my plantation shutters underneath those drapes.

Why do I love shutters so much? Well, there are a lot of reasons, one being their versatility. Take a look at the following series of pics…

When it’s very cold outside and you want a little extra insulation or privacy, you can close ’em all up.

closed plantation shutters

Now, let’s pretend your dining room is facing a nosey neighbor’s home or a busy street and you would like some light, as well as your privacy when you are dining. Open just the top…or, open the top and just slightly open the lower louvers for additional light while still maintaining your privacy. (Pic below shows the top open with the bottom closed.)

plantation shutters with top open

Perhaps, you only need a little privacy or you mainly use your shutters for sun control…you could open all the louvers. Shutters are perfect for allowing a great view of the outside (especially with the wider 3 1/2 inch louver) while preventing fading and the damaging effects of sunlight on fabrics and furnishings.

plantation shutters with open louvers

What about if it’s a beautiful sunny day and you really want to just enjoy the view? Throw those babies open and let the sun shine in! This is my favorite way to keep my shutters all Spring, Summer and Fall. I usually just close mine at night during the winter to help further insulate the windows.

plantation shutters fully open

My Plantation Shutter Story

I bought shutters for my windows a few years after I moved in. Later, I found out they are the one window treatment you can finance into the mortgage when you purchase a home. That’s because they remain with the home when you move and are popular with almost all buyers. Plus, they increase the value of any home in which they are installed.

When interest rates dropped many years ago, I refinanced my home to an even lower rate. When the appraiser came to my home, he told me he could include my existing shutters in his appraisal. I think that says a lot about the value shutters bring to a home. Along with hardwood floors, they are one of the most sought after features when home buyers are shopping for a home. That’s why you will almost always see them mentioned in real estate ads when a home has them.

They never go out of style or fade like draperies…and they coordinate with any future decorating changes made in a room because they are normally painted to match the woodwork. They are about double the cost of wood blinds, but drastically less than custom draperies. Draperies rarely increase the value of a home and are not included in the appraisal of a home because draperies left behind by a previous home owner do not usually coordinate with the new home owner’s furnishings or taste.

When it comes to shopping for plantation shutters, do not compromise and buy the least expensive available…you could end up with sap bleed or louvers that won’t stay closed. The features you should look for are: quality wood (never pine), mortised hinges, tension adjustment screws to prevent loose louvers, side rails that are at least 1 1/4 inches in thickness to prevent warping, and shutters that are custom measured, custom built and custom painted to match your trim color, not purchased from some factory and “cut down” to fit your windows.

Original post by Susan @