Why Shutters are an Elegant and Stylish Solution for your Windows

Window shutters can be an elegant and stylish solution to dressing the windows in your home.  They offer a great alternative to venetian blinds or curtains and will look stunning in any room with their sleek minimalist lines.

The growing popularity of shutters is attributable to their super-stylish and contemporary nature, which offers a great alternative to curtains.

What’s more, they allow you to control light, enhance the privacy of your home and are a versatile feature that can fit around any window.  They can create a focal point to your room or blend seamlessly in with your room interior.

Shutters are also child friendly as they are controlled by a vertical rod which attaches to the louvres meaning no cords or chains are required.  Cords and strings can be a hazard if you have small children and pets.

Shutters come in a range of colours and styles and are available in café style, full length or tier-on-tier.

Café Style Shutters

Café style shutters cover only the lower part of your windows.

Full Length Shutters

Full length shutters are available with a horizontal midrail across the middle, allowing you to control the upper and lower louvres separately.  This gives more flexibility but you can also have one full length shutter without a miodrail,  allowing you control of the full length of the shutter in one movement.

Tier-on-Tier Shutters

Tier-on-Tier shutters (also known as double hung shutters) are designed to allow you to open the top section of shutter panels independently from the lower section of shutter panels.

Whichever style you decide on, shutters will open an exciting new dimension to the interior design of any living space.  What’s more, shutters provide heat insulation during the winter months and create a timeless style and appeal admired by many.

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Shutter Popularity is Still Growing

In many parts of London it seems that every house now has wooden plantation shutters.  As with other trends, when a look is de rigueur in London, it quickly spreads everywhere else.  Sales of plantation shutters in some areas have doubled in a year and with fully fitted prices starting at £220 per m2, it is perhaps surprising when we are supposed to be in a recession.

Perhaps the reasons why shutters are so popular are because they are attractive to someone looking in as much as someone looking out.  Whereas the patterns on curtains and blinds can only be seen from the inside, shutters look great from both the inside and outside.  In fact shutters can create a really upmarket well-kept look where multiple houses in the same street have them.

Shutters are also functional as well as stylish and allow control of light, shade, heat and privacy.  They are available in different materials and they come in a large range of louvre sizes and colours.  As every home is individual, all shutters are individually designed and custom made.  They offer a versatility that is simply not possible with curtains or blinds.

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Bathroom Shutters

It can be difficult to find a suitable window treatment for bathroom windows.  Cloth coverings such as curtains or roman blinds can quickly deteriorate with the constant humidity.  Fabrics such as silk, cotton, wool and velvet can get covered in mildew whilst untreated and wood can easily discolour or warp.  So how do you maintain the privacy of your bathroom without having to constantly replace your window treatments?

A popular solution is to use plantation shutters as the range includes shutters that have been specifically designed for bathrooms, shower rooms and wetrooms.   It includes those that are just water resistant as well as others that are 100% waterproof.  This makes them ideal for high humidity areas whilst giving a stylish yet exceptionally practical solution to what is often a difficult window to dress.  The shutters looks almost identical to the traditional wood shutters but have the practicality of plastic.  They are made of a durable ABS plastic which has an attractive appearance and which is also easy to maintain.

In addition to having water proof louvres, they also have rust proof stainless steel hinges and plastic base plates so you can rest assured that everything about your window coverings has been designed with water resistance in mind.

Bathroom shutters also provide a great balance between privacy and airflow.  You can open the window and adjust the shutters to allow air to circulate while maintaining privacy.  Bathroom shutters can easily be fitted to any window and also be designed to match other window treatments or other shutters in your house.

Shutters can be a perfect choice for bathrooms.  What’s more, they come with a three year warranty.

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Advice on Shutters

Here is some advice on window shutters that will help you make the right choice for decorating and enhancing the appeal of your windows.  There are various things that you need to take into consideration while making the choice and here’s the best advice on shutters that will help you add the right style and personality to your house.

There are many choices regarding materials, colour, styles and designs and most people tend to get confused about making the appropriate choice.  Here is the advice on shutters that will help clear all the confusion and you would be able to choose one that matches your budget and overall décor of the house.

The shutters are available in different types of materials and you will need to make a choice based on the durability, price and overall appeal.  If you are shopping for shutters, it is important that you choose the best brands that are available in the market. They will help provide value for the money spent and you would be able to enjoy the sophisticated look of the shutters for many years to come.

Although choosing the right colour might seem quite simple, it requires a little effort if you want to match it with the overall décor of the house.  Most people tend to perceive colours differently and matching them correctly will require some skill.  If you get the right advice, you will be able to do so easily and this will improve the overall décor of your house.

As there are so many different varieties of shutters that are available in the market nowadays, it can be overwhelming at times to make the right choice.   Click here to see other pages on this website where you can find plenty of advice on shutters to improve the look and style of your windows and house.  The professional advice will help you save time and money.

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Berkhamsted Shutter Company

If you want to change your window coverings, the most popular options available include those from the Shutter Gallery – the Berkhamsted shutter company.  If you are thinking of remodelling your house you may want to consider choosing shutters as they will enhance the appeal of your house.

However before choosing these decorative items, you will need to make several decisions regarding their material, colour and style.  You will need to take into consideration the size of the room and amount of light you have.  But shutters can be installed on any type of window with various styles available for even the oddest shapes and sizes.

The versatility that shutters provides is simply not possible when you install blinds and curtains.  If you do not have shutters on your windows, they may look plain and dull.  The Berkhamsted shutter company combines tradition and innovation and this helps in providing an entirely new look to your home.  There are various colour choices to choose from and it would be advisable to match them with the overall décor of your home.  Shutters are available in several different price ranges and you can make your choice according to your budget.

There is also a wide array of materials that you can choose from.  Shutters not just look good but also serve the function for which they were designed.  They will help provide privacy and control light and ventilation.  Apart from this they also help to reduce noise.

Shutters are also very easy to maintain and will last for many years with little care.  You will be able to create a modern appeal and transform the overall look of your home.  If you make the right choice, Berkhamsted shutters will bring you  joy for  many years to come.

For more information or a home survey, please contact us now.

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Some Thoughts on Louvre Size

If you’ve decided that plantation shutters are what you want for your window coverings and have decided on a colour, then there is just the choice of louvre size to consider.

There are four different louvre sizes to choose from:

  • 47mm  (Small)
  • 63mm  (Medium)
  • 76mm  (Large)
  • 89mm (Very large)

Each one can look great in its own setting and there are no hard and fast rules for which one you should choose.  Very often the size of the panel you’ve chosen will dictate the best size of louvre you should opt for.

Small Louvre Shutters

The small 47mm louvres are not as popular as they were several years ago when the emphasis was on narrower panels and smaller louvres.  The main thing to bear in mind is that as the louvres are narrower, there are more of them on each panel.  So the smaller blades do tend to reduce the light and view through the shutters.  This causes the viewer to focus more on the actual shutters than what is outside them.  (Likewise your outdoor view will be more obstructed with these).  One advantage of 47mm is that no clearance is required between the back of the louvre and the frame and is ideal if you do not have a deep recess.

Medium Louvre Shutters

As most customers tend to leave their shutters closed and only adjust the louvres to the let the light in, it’s probably better to go for a larger size.

The most popular size is the medium 63mm louvre as it suits most windows.  It lets enough light in and gives you a nice view through the shutters.  They are ideal if you want to hide an ugly view or if you want to darken a room that gets too bright.  The 63mm blades do not protrude past the rear edge of the standard shutter frames and are ideal for most situations.

Large Louvred Plantation Shutters

If you have a lovely view and want to maximise the light into your home, then  76mm louvres are the best choice for you.  Larger louvres mean that fewer are needed to cover the window and there will be more space between them when they are open.  With large louvres, the outdoor view is less obstructed and your eye is naturally drawn to the outside rather than focusing on the shutters.  Large louvres do however protrude past the back edge of a standard shutter frame so a slightly larger frame is sometimes needed to ensure the blades do not hit the window handles.

Large louvres suit large windows with wide single shutter panels rather than smaller bi-folded panels.

The larger 89mm louvre is not used in many sitautions as it can be a little dominant if used in the wrong settings.  It is best kept for large rooms with large openings like floor to ceiling windows.

Whilst choosing the right louvre shutter blade size for your windows is important, do remember that the beauty of plantation shutters stands on its own, regardless of what is outside the window.

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Shutters and curtains ‘act’ as double glazing

There’s an interesting article on the BBC website today which backs up our claim that shutters can be very effective at reducing draughts and reducing your heating bills.

The report says that, according to the Edinburgh World Heritage Trust who conducted the research using thermal imaging cameras, the insulative properties of plantation shutters should not be overlooked.  Whether your house is single or double glazed, windows can be responsible for as much as 30 percent of your heat loss. This is because glass is an excellent conductor of heat.  Wood is a great insulator and both louvred or solid shutters can provide a superb barrier for retaining the heat in your rooms and keeping out draughts.

All our shutters are custom made and in addition to providing insulation during winter, they can also block out the heat of the sun during summer, providing shade and cool inside.  They are fully adjustable so the amount of airflow and light can be controlled to suit specific ventilation and lighting needs.  If you need complete privacy, you can close the shutters.

The full article can be found below and at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-11759023

Shutters and curtains ‘act’ as double glazing

People living in period properties are being told they can dramatically reduce their energy bills, simply by closing their curtains or shutters at dusk.

Edinburgh researchers claim it could be as effective as fitting double glazing.

The Edinburgh World Heritage Trust has been using thermal imaging cameras to show residents of the capital’s old and new towns how best to cut their bills.

The project has demonstrated a traditional, decidedly low-tech approach can be highly effective.

Windows with the shutters and curtains closed show up in the images in a deep blue colour, demonstrating little heat is escaping.

‘Little push’

Windows with the shutters and curtains open burn bright in oranges and reds, showing that much more heat and money is being lost.

The team behind the project said other traditional techniques were valuable too and anyone living in a period property should also not overlook the importance of draught excluders.

Chiara Ronchini, energy efficiency officer for Edinburgh World Heritage, said: “We know that improving energy efficiency in historic buildings is very important if we’re to reduce carbon emissions and alleviate fuel poverty.

“There are issues, of course, with historic buildings but they are so well designed that they just need a little push to make sure that they are performing as well as the most modern buildings.

“The thermal imaging exercise really proved that very simple measures, like closing shutters at night or using full length curtains, can have a dramatic effect and make a dramatic improvement on the amount of heat being lost through the windows.”

The project is funded by the Climate Challenge Fund.

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A Short History of Plantation Shutters

Shutters have been made of many designs throughout the ages.  They have been hung both outside and inside buildings and have been made from everything from marble to synthetic materials.  They have also served several distinct functions from climate control to security.  Today, shutters still provide a function and although some external shutters are ornamental, their design reflects the necessities of the past.

The use of shutters on buildings can be traced back to the ancient Greeks.  They used shutters to block out the sun whilst allowing ventilation and adding a measure of privacy and security.  The simplest were probably simple stone slabs, mounted on a pivot and they developed into a shutter constructed with fixed louvers and made out of marble.

The concept of shutters spread throughout the Mediterranean and the form began to change.  Wood started to replace marble as a more suitable material for manufacture and the design started to use movable louvres to allow varying amounts of light and ventilation into a room.  These shutters, typically made of undecorated boards, slid into slots on the window frame.  Those who could not afford wood would make shutters by tying bundles of reeds together.  With the louvers pointed in the downward direction, the shutters also shed rainwater.

In the medieval period, when most windows were unglazed, shutters kept out wind, rain, insects and birds.  They were often a distinct feature and decorated individually.  Shutters were used predominantly on the inside of the window as the deep window sills of this period made it impractical to place shutters on the outside because they couldn’t be reached.  In later periods, when houses had cosier rooms with fireplaces and glazed windows, shutters provided extra draught proofing and privacy.  The common use of fastening bars with security devices implies that shutters were also regarded as protection against intruders.  External shutters also protected windows from vandalism and were common on the ground floor windows of vulnerable buildings like public houses, at a time when glass was expensive.

As the Spanish started colonising in the Americas, they brought shutters to the New World.  Wealthy landowners on cotton and sugar plantations built huge houses and began using shutters, which came to be known as “plantation shutters”.  These shutters usually had wider louvres than had been used earlier and were almost always painted white.

During the mid to late 1800s, the increasing use of wood construction was followed by the popularity of using shutters outdoors.  They also began to be increasingly used as much for visual effect as for their practicality.  With the invention of the steam engine and the rapid industrialisation of society, mechanisation entered Victorian woodworking mills.  This revolution brought a higher level of sophistication and features to shutters.  So instead of just blocking out the light and heat, shutter blades were often louvered or made of narrow horizontal slats angled to deflect rain

Today shutters are a vital window decoration.  Whether you are looking to make some home improvements or merely want to give your home a makeover, one of the best ways to accomplish this is with latest window shutters.  They are available in a wide variety of materials from engineered woods, plastics and a variety of timbers.  They also have tilt rods or completely concealed tilt mechanisms and a huge choice of colours and finishes.

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Shutters are Perfect for Bay Windows

Plantation shutters really look really great in a bay window but quite a lot of people have concerns that they might not fit their own bay window correctly.  There are of course many different types of bay window;  they can be a square or a polygon and can be set at an interior angle of 90, 135 or 150 degrees.  Traditional bay windows have a large bay or double paned window flanked by a smaller window on each side.  There is often a sitting area added to the interior.

Bay windows first achieved widespread popularity in the 1870s and were commonly used to provide the illusion of a larger room.  They also increase the amount of natural light into a room as well as providing views of the outside that would not be possible with an ordinary window.

There are many houses with bay windows and more and more customers are turning to shutters to add style and flair to their homes.  Bay window shutters are versatile, easy to keep clean and come in loads of different styles and colours.  Bay window shutters are also particularly useful in town houses where they can provide additional privacy whilst still allowing views to the street.  Using tier-on-tier panels or full height panels with a mid rail, you can adjust the control of light on the upper section of the window separately from the lower section.

You should bear in mind that a bay window is a major focal point in any room and the location of the window in your home will also play a part in choosing the right type of shutter for it.  A bay window on the front of the home on a busy street will probably favour full height or tier-on-tier shutters that offer the most privacy.  However a bay window in the rear of the home overlooking the countryside will probably favour café style shutters to maintain the view with little obstruction.  Another factor to consider is direct sunlight as bay windows can let in a lot of heat and make it much more difficult to cool your home in the summer time.

Shutters can be successfully fitted to practically all bay windows.  It will just be the method of installation that will change especially as some windows in older properties are slightly out of alignment due to settlement over the years.   For some Victorian bay windows with decorative wood mouldings between each set of windows, it is often best to treat each of the windows individually and install and set of shutters within the frame of each window.  For uPVC bay windows it is sometimes better to fit shutters flush on the wall using bay posts.

A bay window is a tricky shape to furnish with curtains or blinds but our interior window shutters will make it look both smart and streamlined.

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Window Treatments to Tie a Room Together

With the huge choice of blinds, shades, curtains, valences and shutters that are now available, it can sometimes be difficult to find what is right for you.  So here are some key considerations to bear in mind.

1. Consider colours.

Too many colours or shades of a colour in a room can be overwhelming.  So before you choose your window treatments, first take a look at the room.  What is the dominant colour ?  Do you want to complement that colour with your window treatments or go for something more neutral ?  If you want a complementary window treatment, consider something with a touch of flare and drama (but not too much).  For something more neutral, consider a simpler look.

2. Lighting

For many rooms, lighting is a huge part of the feel of the room.  Keep this in mind as you window shop for window treatments.  If you want a light and airy feel to your room, stay away from heavy, dark coloured curtains or blinds.  These block light from coming in and drain much of the light already present in the room.

3. Function

Think about the main purpose or role of the room.  If you are looking for treatments for a reception or formal room, you might want to go with elegant, floor length curtains.  However if you adding a dash of fun to a child’s bedroom then maybe a fun, printed valance and cordless blind will do the trick.

4. Keep Things Simple

Unless the curtains are the focal point of the room, try to tone them down.  Busy prints or a myriad of bright colours easily draw the eye and distract from the true focus of the room.  You want your window treatments to tie the room together by complementing everything, not overwhelming or defining it.

Shutters are of course an obvious choice.  They are ideal if you want the maximum amount of privacy, to keep sunlight out during hot months and provide insulation during winter months.  They also give a slightly understated appearance that is very pleasing in appearance and they do not necessarily need to be combined with curtains.

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