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Shutters Part 8

Types or Styles of Curtains – Shutters

In our last lesson we learned about Blinds, in today’s lesson we will learn about shutters.

In this lesson we will focus on Shutters


Shutters are a form of window treatment made from timber panels with tilting horizontal timber louvers. They are not like the timber venetian blinds that are on a cord system and raise up and down, they are attached to the window frame on hinges and can open and shut, and then the louvers can be adjusted to allow light and air in as desired. They don’t rattle in the wind like blinds, allowing the movement of fresh air into the room and let in the desired amount of daylight.

Traditional Interior Shutters

Traditional or colonial style interior shutters are 3/4 inch thick and have louvers that are 1and 1/4 inch wide. These panels can be made into a number of panel depending on the height and width of a window.

Some are made like cafe curtains and only cover the bottom of the window, whilst others can go up in rows allowing you to adjust them depending on the light.

They have always been made of timber, and usually are painted, but can be stained and oiled.

They work well in country styled homes, cottages, and holiday homes.

Plantation Shutters

Plantation shutters are the new craze in shutters for modern homes. They are larger than the traditional or colonial style shutters. The panel thickness is usually 1 and 1/8 inch thick and the louvers are available in two formats, an elliptical shape – the louver is thicker in the middle and tapers out towards the ends, this is stronger than the original flat louver. The louvers are usually 2 and 1/2 inch, 3 and 1/2 inch or 4 and 1/2 inch in width and made from timber.

The plantation shutters suit the larger windows of today’s modern home. They offer privacy and the ability to direct sunlight into the room. When the louvers are open you have a good quality of vision as they are reasonably large.

Plantation shutters are versatile and can be used for numerous window treatment applications in living rooms, sun rooms, bedrooms, kitchens, and bathrooms.

When deciding how many shutters to use on a window, as a rule of thumb, follow the line of your windows if they are divided, if not, use as few as possible across the window, this allows you the maximum possible view, as there are less solid panel frames to look through.

Timber shutters can be stained and oiled or painted, it all comes down to the look you want to achieve, make sure you check with the shutter supplier before you order what type of finish you can use on the shutters, and what timber they are made from, the better timbers are hardwoods, like cedar, oak, maple, alder and basswood. They will also need to be custom made to fit the windows.

Faux Timber or Synthetic Shutters

This style of shutter is new, they basic look like traditional timber shutters but are made of synthetic products like plastic, they are cheap to make meaning they are more affordable as traditional shutters are costly because of the materials and time involved to construct and install them, and let’s just say you get what you pay for, they don’t hold their shape as well as timber, so they are not good for large windows and the product cannot be stained, only painted. As a designer myself I would recommend using the real timber shutter, at least until the quality of these products advance.

That is an overview of Features of Shutters, go and have a look at some photographs of shutters to see how they are used in interior design.

Great you have just finished reading part eight. This was a short lesson so go and read some articles and look at photographs to get ideas. In two days time you will receive your next lesson Heading Types of Curtains, and if you just can’t wait for two days the you can find part nine here online.

Bye for now


Lee Brown

Curtain Design Ecourse Coordinator