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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Choosing Perfect Plantation Shutters

Windows are an essential part of any home but they also present an issue of what to cover them with.  Basically the choice comes down to blinds, curtains or plantation shutters.  If you are thinking about shutters, here are a few things to help you make your mind up.

Budget:  You should decide how much you want to spend as the wood ranges vary in price.

Room:  The room you’re thinking of installing shutters into plays an important part in the type of shutter you go for.

Use:  You can fit shutters against sash or bay windows, French doors and even use them as room dividers.

Shutter style:  The amount of light and privacy you will require depends on how you use the room and where it is situated.

Choice of material:  Whether choosing a white or natural wood stain colour, consider the style of room, colour scheme, furnishings and budget.

Frame:  Shutters can be fitted on the inside or the outside of your window recesses depending on the style you are looking for.

Hinges:  Fittings are available in a choice of colours and finishes to match or contrast with your shutter, depending upon the look and feel you wish to create.

Allergies:  If you or anyone in your household suffers from an allergy then bear in mind that curtains will trap tiny particles of dust within the material.  On the other hand, shutters can be cleaned quite simply using a damp cloth or a special venetian blind duster.

Shutters are a fabulous window dressing and can actually add to the value of your home.  They can be fixed to almost any window, including bays.  But as they are more expensive than other window treatments, it’s really worth doing your homework to make sure you get it right.

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Plantation Shutters to enhance your Home Office

With the development of laptops and the internet, many people are choosing to work from the comfort of their own home rather than face the daily commute to the office.

Working from home can also be hugely enjoyable if you have a well designed home office. This usually involves having a dedicated area that is free of distractions with a desk, supportive chair and a set of shelves.

When it comes to window coverings, shutters hit just the right note for the home office.  They are stylish, unfussy and offer fingertip control of light, shade and offer complete privacy.  They also reduce noise from outside, help with heat retention in winter and deflect glare from your computer screen.

In addition to the functional benefits of having shutters, there is the professional ambiance that can help to focus the mind as well as promoting a professional image when meeting clients and conducting meetings.

Venetian blinds are also a popular choice for offices as the slats can be positioned to allow light into the room whilst screening the direct sunlight from your monitor.  However Venetian blinds can be noisy if you like to have the window open whilst working as they will blow around with the breeze. Shutters are perhaps the most versatile solution, as they allow for natural light, are easy to clean and allow air to circulate without blowing about.

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Making Your Window Shutters Last

Upgrading your home with window shutters is an excellent thing to do to your home.  It can certainly be regarded as an investment and if you’re thinking of selling your house, it could definitely add to the value.

By following this set of simple guidelines, you won’t get ripped off buying the wrong ones and they will last a lifetime.

Why do want them?

The first thing to think about is why you want window shutters.  Apart from their great looks, you need to think about in which parts of the house to have them and the reasons why.  There are shutters specially designed for bathrooms and others that are more suited for privacy or shade.  Most shutters have adjustable louvres; fixed louvres are used mostly in cupboards or as room dividers.

Not red, blue or green

It’s best to go with neutral colours like off-whites or a natural wood finish.  These colours usually go well with most interiors and in the future you’ll be able to repaint your walls without the risk of the new colour clashing with the shutters.

Durability or splendour

All shutters give that smart and contemporary look but it’s definitely worth doing some research before deciding on the type of wood you want for your shutters.  The best choice for durability is MDF like our Seattle range.  Phoenix or Cedarwood are very lightweight and have a fantastic grain.  However they may need polishing once in a while.

These guidelines will help you to find the best plantation shutters for your home and you can be certain of enjoying their benefits for a very long period of time.

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Quick House Selling Tips. Fit Plantation Shutters

Selling your house is one of the most stressful things you will ever do and is something you obviously want to happen relatively fast.  You certainly don’t want to wait years for your house to sell as this usually involves lowering the price and even making a loss.

A beautiful home sells faster without a doubt.  There are various ways to make your home more visually appealing to buyers.  You can clean, depersonalise, re-paint, remove clutter and ensure you have adequate lighting in every room.  One thing you may not realise is that your window coverings play a part in selling your home.

Changing your window coverings and installing plantation shutters will make a huge impact on the appearance of your home.  From the exterior, your home will have a fresh, stylish look that makes buyers want to come inside.  On the interior, the shutters will set the mood for each room.  Potential buyers will appreciate the beauty of the windows and the stylishness that the shutters create.

It’s best to start by replacing any old horizontal blinds.  While blinds such as these are useful, they lose their attractiveness if faded, bent or damaged.  Make the effort to revamp your windows to look appealing.  Light, sunny rooms look larger and more welcoming when you let the light flow in through the adjustable louvres.  Bedroom window coverings should give the room a peaceful, quiet feeling that is conducive to sleep.  That’s why plantation shutters are a good option in this situation.

Plantation shutters also have great environmental credentials.  Buyers will appreciate shutters because they keep the warmth inside in the winter and the heat outside in the summer.

The important thing to remember is to make sure that each room has coverings that fit the décor.  You want your windows to be stylish, attractive and flow with the interior design.  You will be amazed by the difference new shutters will make in the beauty of your home.

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Plantation Shutters are not just for Windows

According to influential TV interior designers Justin Ryan and Colin McAllister, the use of Plantation shutters should not be limited to windows alone.  In a Canadian TV programme called Colin & Justin’s Home Heist,  they explain that there are many other innovative ways in which shutters can be used.  Using the example of a messy junk room,  Colin and Justin’s transform it into an elegant dining room.

They say “Who says shutters should only be installed on windows?  Certainly not us.  As part of this project we inserted them to conceal the dating sliding French doors, but then we had a brainwave.  Why not also use them to divide the dining room from the living space that lies beyond? This approach provides the option of “open concept” while letting light flood into the adjacent room via the moveable door slats even when the shutters are folded together.”

“All our schemes are budgeted to be as cost effective as possible, and saving a chunk of cash at floor level allowed us to spend up on new features such as window shutters and a new dining set, all of which add simple style.”

Their recommendation is no surprise.  Other than superb practical solutions like increased security, light control and ventilation, many people purchase shutters for the choice of styles, qualities, colours and the bespoke nature of their appearance as every shutter is made exactly as each customer wants it.

With so much choice in quality timber and paint finishes it is no wonder that leading interior designers are looking to use shutters for other uses.  Using shutters as a room divider is an absolutely brilliant idea and would make a wonderfully unique feature.  The additional benefits of being able to moderate light and help retain heat within a room also add to their appeal.

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Fun with Shutters and Window Dressings

Decorating your windows is one of the easiest and fun ways to add design to your home.  You don’t have to spend a fortune and you can experiment with colours, fabrics and other materials.

Window dressings serve multiple purposes.  They add design and personal expression to your home and they serve a practical purpose in controlling natural light, adding insulation, creating privacy and adding comfort.

If you want to update your home’s appearance, but do not have the time or budget to redecorate completely, consider starting with your windows.  Whether you prefer interior shutters, curtains, blinds or combinations of them, working with window dressings can instantly change the look of a room.

There are many different approaches to window dressings.  The beauty of interior design is that it is flexible.  So whilst many people think of curtains, there are ways to use fabrics and other materials that can create something unique and individual.  With a little imagination, almost any type of material can be used to create a unique expression for the people who live in a home.

Shutters are of course an ideal choice.  They are versatile enough to suit both traditional and contemporary interior decors.  They can be used in any room, have the ability to regulate and block light coming in and provide effective and adequate insulation.  They also have a very pleasing appearance and do not necessarily require curtains to dress them up.

Whether you are just starting out or have an idea of what you would like to do, take the time to browse through books and on the Internet for ideas.  When looking at your design ideas, be receptive to the idea of using a variety of materials.  When you browse through design books or websites, you will quickly see how you can incorporate a broad range of materials to create a unique design.  If you are unsure about your design skills or are worried about creating something too overpowering, use the “less is more” approach.

In addition to style, keep functionality and purpose in mind as you shop.  If you are someone who likes a lot of light, look for window dressings that will allow the most light possible, provide privacy and which will compliment your style.  Shutters are of course the 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.

You should also bear in mind that even though the cost is less than redecorating an entire room, it is still an investment.  Furthermore, it’s an investment in your comfort.

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Choosing between shutters and blinds

Customers often ask us about the differences between shutters and blinds.  On the whole shutters are more expensive, but the quality of finish does vary between shutter companies.  But there is a lot more to it than that.

If you are looking for window coverings on a real budget, then you can find standard or cut-down blinds inexpensively on the internet.  You can even find temporary blinds which have been known to last for years rather than months as originally intended.  From the budget end right up to the high end of the market, there is a huge range of suppliers, fabrics, woods, styles and colours to choose from.  There may not be much choice or access to wooden styles at the entry level, but you should still be able to find blinds at a very reasonable cost which should last for many years.

Whilst many companies supply excellent quality blinds, on the whole they will not be as durable as shutters.  There is more movement required in a blind mechanism and they are therefore more susceptible to wear and tear.  Blinds with thinner slats are also more susceptible to breakage.

There are some additional design decisions to bear in mind too.  Most blinds are only available in sizes up to around 2400mm x 2400mm.  Although this is quite large, the blinds will also be heavy to lift so in practice people tend to keep them closed a lot.

You should also bear in mind that the post popular size of blind slat is 50mm (although you can buy 60mm or 70mm).  This means that blinds will have a lot of slats which can reduce the amount of light entering a room when the blinds are down – irrespective of whether they are open or closed.  Thinner slats can also create a very busy linear look to most rooms.  This isn’t so obvious in rooms with smaller windows but in larger rooms they can be quite visually intrusive.

We can supply Lumberjack 50mm wood slat blinds which are currently available in eight colours including Silky White and Oyster Bisque, which match our popular shutter colours.

We can also supply Phoenix wood venetian blinds which are available in 63mm and 50mm slats.  They closely match the appearance of our Phoenix wooden shutter range and can be used as an inexpensive alternative in many rooms.

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How to clean plantation shutters

Like most surfaces in the house, shutters will collect dust over time.  Here are some simple suggestions to ensure your plantation shutters continue to look their best.

You should avoid soaking the wood with water as this can lead to warping which could damage the shutters.  Spray cleaners containing ammonia in them are also not recommended.  Instead we suggest using a dry method to clean them and any of the following are suitable:

  • A little dusting with a feather duster once a week will prevent a major cleaning project in the spring.
  • Use a vacuum cleaner with brush attachment and glide this over the louvres to remove most of the dust.
  • Tilt the louvres to get at the dust and dirt that collects in the corners.  Use a dry toothbrush to get those hard-to-reach places.
  • Remove any spots of stubborn dirt using a proprietary cleaner.  Simply spray on a dry cloth and wipe the stain away.
  • If the shutters are unpainted, bring out the wood’s natural beauty using a soft cloth and wax polish.
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