Long before glass window panes were commonplace, indoor window shutters were the only way to keep rain, wind and snow out of ones abode.
Even after glass became available to the masses, shutters remained as the preferred method of blocking out the sun. Even though cloth curtains were readily available to accomplish this task, solid shutters also added a level of security for the home owner.
Much has changed since those bygone days and with the advent of cheaper materials, window covering choices expanded to include plastic slatted blinds and paper shades.
But these materials, while practical for many, lack that certain stately presence and charm that one can only get with a set of well-built shutters.
Custom designed for your home, panels can be made to suit whatever level of privacy or security you desire. They do not have to cover an entire window, so if you have tall windows and want the natural sunlight the window provides, consider a setup that only covers the bottom half of the window in question. Now you have your privacy as well as the benefits of the opening.
There are two main types of massed produced shutter panels on the market today. One is called traditional and the other is plantation. The main differences between these two choices are the size and shape of the slats. Traditional shutters typically have smaller slats that are rectangular shaped when looking at them from one end. Plantation style shutters have noticeably larger slats that are elliptical in shape when looking at them from the same angle.
The choice of either style usually just comes down to a matter of personal taste on the part of the home owner. If either had any benefit at all over the other, the argument could be made that the larger slats make the plantation style easier to maintain, from the perspective of cleaning them at least.
While these two styles may represent the majority of shutter systems, the designs availble are truly only limited by your imagination
Real wood is the most popular choice of materials as the durability and solid feel can hardly be matched. The choice of what type of wood is best really depends on whether on not the shutters will be painted or stained. Some woods have quite beautiful grain patterns and staining them further enhances that beauty. The choice of paint or stain will depend on the home in which the shutters are being installed. A stained shutter against a backdrop of all white is not typically a desired look. The same would be true of painted shutters against a stained background.
Another consideration will be where to install the shutters. If the panels are the bifold type, then they should be installed inside the window frame. The downside to this type of mounting is the inability to completely remove the shutter from the window opening. Solid panels are usually hung outside the frame making them easier to open and close and giving you the ability to completely uncover the window. The downside to this mounting is that you will not be able to use the wall space on either side of the window up to the width of the panels. Moldings that run down the sides will also need to be modified or removed in some cases.
Measuring you window openings properly is paramount for ensuring proper fit and alignment of your new indoor window shutters. Begin by taking three measurements across the width of the window, one at the top, another at the bottom, and the third across the middle. Round these numbers to the nearest 1/8 inch and record the lowest one.
Now measure again from top to bottom, again taking three measurements, one on the left, one on the right, and one down the middle. Record the lowest number found here as well.
The last measurement made will be from corner to corner to determine if the window frame is square. If it is off by very much, mounting your new shutters outside the frame may be the only option.
Whether you are decorating a seaside cottage, a standard family home, or the most stately mansion in Beverly Hills, indoor window shutters are sure to bring a cozy sense of style and class to any room they adorn.