If you’re looking for a relatively inexpensive way to spice up the interior of your home, look no further than plantation shutters. Not sure what plantation shutters are? Think regular window blinds with wide, horizontal slats, just that instead of flimsy material, the slats are made of exquisite wood or a similarly hardy material.
You’ll possibly have seen them in newer homes, as the shutter trend has become pretty big since 2019, and will only be growing way into 2021 and beyond.
Depending on the size and type of plantation shutter you install, you can get anything from a dramatic statement piece to an elegant detail — both of which are sure to elevate the look and feel of the room. Moreover, for such an obvious upgrade, these shutters come at a surprisingly affordable price. To buy plantation shutters, you’ll have to fork out about $2,000 per household, much less than if you were to remodel the kitchen or revamp the living room.
If you’re not sure where to begin looking, you’re in the right place. Here’s a beginner’s guide to finding the perfect plantation shutters for you, including what material to choose as well as how to go about installing and caring for them.
1. Size and Dimensions
Plantation shutters come in all shapes and sizes, so rest assured they’ll fit the smallest and biggest of windows in your home. Smaller shutters tend to have louvers that are roughly two inches wide, while the larger ones can go up to five inches.
When considering how wide you want your louvers to be, a pro tip is also to consider the durability. The larger the shutters are, the more durable they are, so although they’re a little pricier, investing in a shutter with slightly larger louvers can help you save in the long run. Wider and heavier louvers also serve to block out external elements like sunlight, cold air in winter, or even the scorching heat in the summer.
Another factor is that of privacy. Wider bars on the plantation shutter offer easy privacy as you won’t need to meddle with the tilt bar too much to prevent people from peeking into your home. Of course, narrower shutters can offer the same protection, but it’ll definitely be more difficult to find that perfect angle.
Contrary to what many believe, there are actually many ways to style plantation shutters and include them in the design of your home. The most commonly seen design is the full-height plantation shutter, which covers the entirety of the window. Alternatively, if you want to have better control of the amount of light entering the room, you can think about getting tier-on-tier plantation shutters that come with an upper and lower panel that can be opened separately. These work especially well on bay windows.
As for bathrooms and bedrooms where you need the most privacy, solid shutters will do the trick. With solid panels, the intricate detailing on them brings out the beauty of the space. They also help to block out noise and bad weather effectively, ensuring your snug space is well-protected.
There are a plethora of options in terms of material, so before you start to pick, it’s good to decide what qualities you’re looking for. Depending on your needs, you can then narrow down the options and pick the best plantation shutter.
For instance, homeowners who place the most emphasis on the aesthetic appeal tend to opt for shutters made of Alder or Basswood. Both are easily customized, holding paint and stains exceptionally well. You can paint them into any color that matches the interior design of your home, or sand them for a more glossy look. The former also has a quaint, grainy appearance that adds texture to the shutters.
Apart from aesthetic appeal, affordability is another key consideration for many homeowners. If that’s you, perhaps laminated plantation shutters are the best option. This kind of shutter is crafted by gluing different slats of wood to form sturdy pieces that look just like wooden shutters. While they’re the most economical option, there’s no doubt they also work well to elevate the look and feel of the room.
For those in more humid climates, another option is to go for shutters made of medium density fiber or polyvinyl chloride (PVC). These are affordable and also resistant to warping and dampness, ensuring that you won’t have to deal with wood rot even in wet weather. PVC is also resistant to heat, so it’s ideal for homes that have to withstand warmer weather.
Those in colder climates, however, might wish to go for low-cost plantation shutters made of foamed synthetics. These are not only easy on the wallet but also good for insulation. It traps heat in your home — perhaps helping you save a little extra on the heating in winter too!
As for those who are more willing to spend on something that will last a long time, a popular choice is cedarwood. This strong, sturdy wood is resistant to moisture, insect infestations, and rot, so you can be sure they’ll be stable for a long time. It also has a grand look that can effortlessly bring out the luxe feel of a room. For a more minimalist and modern look, some also opt for shutters made from composite wood. This is a special blend of wood that combines several species, creating a durable and flexible material that is ideal for styling.
4. Home installation
So now you’ve picked out the shutters, it’s time to think about installing them. Our advice? Pay a professional.
Compared to regular curtains, these are much more difficult to hang on your own. It involves several elements, such as the window treatment, finding the anchor, and fitting the shitter. Measurements also have to be perfect to a tee, with some degree of estimation needed to account for when it expands or shrinks according to the weather. A perfectly fitted shutter will last you a long time without causing any trouble, while a wrongly installed one, even if it’s only off by a few millimeters, can cause cracking and wall damage.
As such, it might pay to just hire a professional from the get-go rather than attempting it yourself. After all, it is an investment in your home, and you’ll want to make it last.
To conclude, plantation shutters are one of the most versatile window dressings you can find to spruce up your home. They’re durable, customizable, and easily affordable, beautifying your home now and for decades to come. With these pointers, you’re all set to get your shutters to adorn your home today.